It’s over, finally. NaNoWriMo was highly motivational, with the online tools and forums and all that good stuff. Unfortunately (and you knew this was coming), I allowed life to run rough-shod over my goals for that little project, and I ended up with under 6,000 words in a month that was meant to produce 50K.
It was amazing what I was able to accomplish. A revamped, comprehensive outline of the entire novel is drafted out, and a prologue plus three complete chapters are written. I experimented with several point-of-view shifts before settling. I also did an analysis of several fantasy novels that provided me with new insight into how fantasy narrative flows. In short, I broke practically every NaNoWriMo commandment: don’t plot, don’t stop, don’t look back, don’t edit. But I still produced something I’m proud of, and I have confidence that I can build on that work. As the month went on, ideas for plot became clearer and made more sense, and characterization (which was my biggest stumbling block, really, trying to make my people do what I wanted them to do) started to gel. Overall, it was an exciting experience that pushed me to do something I didn’t think I could do.
It taught me a few things about myself and my life, too. I’ve been saying for a long time that I’m over-committed to volunteer activities, and mid-month I had a reason and the gumption to call it quits on two major responsibilities. Several people are unhappy with me now, but I tried to quit in a graceful way that indicated to others that now it’s someone else’s turn to serve. That may be the best accomplishment of the month.
Thanks, Office of Letters and Light. Even though I not among the 19% who reached the goal, I still appreciate the lessons learned in the attempt.