NaNoWriMo 2016

30 11 2016

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner

30 days, 50,000 words. That’s the challenge. I took it. Again. I’ve done it seven or eight times before with six “wins” under my belt. For me, it’s always exciting doing NaNoWriMo, but until this year I’ve never really ended with a good feeling about the stories I’ve written. They’ve all just ended up in the digital drawer where they gather dust.

This year, I changed it up a bit. I decided to write short stories instead of a full novel. I started out wanting to write a collection of short stories against a background of climate change, but at some point the main focus changed to centre around LGTBQ characters, which I’m really quite happy with, because they are awesome characters.

I ended with six (more or less) finished stories and there are a few of them that I will definitely want to pick up and work on further:

Whiteout has 5,956 words and is a story of a woman getting stuck in her car in a blizzard and through flashbacks tells a story of her relationship with her first girlfriend and her struggle to come out to her parents.

Spindrift is a 4,345 word story, half of which is pure M/M smut. Enough said.

Wildfire is the short story that turned into a novella that wants to be a novel (standing at 20,470 words currently). A twisted tale of a young addict getting kidnapped and ending up falling in love with his captor who has a secret. This is one of those stories I’ll probably work further on.

Sirocco (Ghibli) ended up with 4,595 words and features a bisexual doctor, trying to do her best when there’s an outbreak of a super-flu in the refugee camp where she has volunteered.

Dust Devils is another short story that turned into a novella that wants to be a novel (at 13,814 words). Set on Mars, the main character is a trans/ace man, trying to sort out his feelings while at the same time being part of the first crew to spend any significant time on the Red Planet. This one I’ll also likely try to work more on.

Squall is the shortest of the lot at only 2,524 words with the same MC as in Wildfire, six years after the events in that story. So this one might be merged with Wildfire when I rewrite that.

So that’s my experience with NaNoWriMo 2016. It was good and it taught me that I may need to pull in the reins when writing short stories, but that in writing them it keeps my momentum going.

And it taught me that while I’m most certainly a pantser, it’s not a bad thing to have a few prompts lying around before starting out.

In the end, I’m satisfied, and happy that I’ve finished with 51,704 words in total. But now I’m going to take a short break from writing (maybe just for the weekend before I get back to my RPGs) and reward myself with binging Westworld, which I still haven’t managed to watch a single episode of.

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Beginnings

13 01 2012

I just wrote the first line of my novel. And now I’m back to procrastinating as I write this blog about it. Go writer!

Well, already I’m feeling the inner editor rearing its ugly head, telling me that there’s no way you’ll keep that first line and maybe it’s right. But at least I’ve begun now. The document has been created and I wrote the first line. Two, actually. A total of forty words. In those forty words, I think I’ve already established that this world is not entirely normal, that it’s certainly not set in the present and I’ve introduced the main character by name and gender. Not too bad, I think.

Now, I’ve said earlier that I was going to rewrite the novel I did for NaNoWriMo back in 2010 and perhaps I am. Time will tell. What I am doing is using one of the characters from that novel and telling his story first. It’s what I’m feeling inspired to do right now, partly because he’s an interesting character and partly because it’s a story that has been in my head for a very long time, one that I started as a short story over a decade ago and never really expanded on. Time to write that story now.

I’m not much of a planner. I don’t outline my stories. I don’t know how they will end when I begin writing them. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never really been able to actually finish anything. I like to think that the reason I haven’t finished anything yet is because I haven’t had the will for it before. I found that will last year. I finished NaNoWriMo. Didn’t just reach 50 thousand words and then stopped. No, I wrapped up the story (perhaps a little fast, granted) and put ‘The End’ on it. And it felt fantastic!

And so, while beginnings are easy (I have dozens of beginnings in notebooks and stored on my computer), this time around I feel confident that I will at least get a first draft of this story done in 2012.

Now, back to writing on my novel instead of procrastinating with writing about writing!

 

[Edit] And then, just as I returned to the document and wrote another one hundred words or so, the muse decided that the story needs to start a little more… Um… Violently. Fun times!