Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No more Nano

I knew it was going to be tough this year and I didn't think I could make it. Well, I haven't.

I went to see Bill Bailey at the weekend, which was great by the way, but the trouble is that I'm still recovering. I haven't written since Sunday and as I can only manage 2,500 on my best day there's no way I can catch up now.



I have more than half a story written though. I think my best bet is to take what I've got and edit it into a short story. That way I'll have got something tangible out of it. At least I've got plenty to edit and some of it is fun.

Every time I do it I learn more about the way I write. This year I learnt that I can get over writer's block by not being so linear and writing the next bit I know how to do and then going back and filling bits in.

I think my next major learning needs to be how to write a decent plot. It's all good.

Good luck to everyone who's still doing it! And good luck to Geoff while your human is busy writing.

13 COMMENTS:

Kiersten said...

At least you gave it a shot, right? And learning about yourself and getting a short story out of it strike me as more valuable than 50,000 words of dross ; )

Whirlochre said...

As a famous chinese philospher once said, "it isn't the trying that counts, it's the abject misery. That, and a big bowl of noodles."

I didn't even attempt Nano, mainly becuse I have a WIP bubbling on the hob but also because I couldn't write 50,000 words in a month unless I was chained to a rock and tortured into a confessional by armed fascists.

My problem at the moment is that I'm 7/8ths finished and my internal editor wants the next batch of words to be up to the standard of the ones already polished — a feat I can only manage on my better days.

But, I have a break coming up so I'm going to commit myself to writing the purest slurry I can muster and edit it all later. The silly thing is, whatever any of us write is likely to be chopped to pieces anyway should we be lucky enough to attract agents and editors to our writerly person(s).

Meanwhile — hope you get a good short story out of this.

And keep feeding the cats. They can turn, you know.

fairyhedgehog said...

Kiersten: You have a point. Although you can learn a lot from 50k of dross, just as you can from the 25k that I've got. Editing 25k is less daunting though.

WO: Good luck with your WIP. I'm not at the stage of thinking about agents and editors yet, I'd just like to get to the stage of writing competently. (Note the run-on sentence. I'm not there yet!)

Oh and you might want to watch out for Geoff while you're all tied up with your writing. I think he's already turned.

freddie said...

Hey, you did a lot better than I did. And as K points out, what you learned about your writing is valuable.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, freddie.

I felt a bit fed-up at first but now I'm looking at the good side.

JaneyV said...

Well I haven't had illness to contend with and I've done way fewer words than you. So you have my undying admiration. 25K is a great start and, as you say, much easier to edit. It also means if you made a plot mistake at 18K you only have to go back and change a few chapters instead of most of the book.

I have also learned that crucial lesson of getting around writer's block by skipping to the next bit and filling in later. It's the only reason I got past 7K actually.

Rest well and take care! x

scarlet-blue said...

I don't think I could do Nano - nice in theory.
I'm loving all your cats... it's things like this that are a major distraction!
Sx

sylvia said...

Well, I've been chugging along at my short story doing 500 words a day. It's interesting because I think I would have thrown in the towel - it's not the sort of thing I normally write and a lot longer than I think it should be for the amount of plot it holds. But having said I'd keep going until the end or Nov 31 (which ever comes first), I've kept going and I'm back to being intrigued by it.

So I suppose what I've learned is that when I go outside of my comfort zone, I'm a bit too prone to packing it in - not something I'd ever realised before.

Robin S. said...

I think having the spine of a short story out of it is great- and given the health hassles you've had, you should be patting yourself on the back!

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm glad you have a great short to work on out of the NaNo. It's definitely not for everyone, but it can spark something really good. Hope you feel better soon.

fairyhedgehog said...

JaneyV: Thank you. At least I learnt something from this year's Nano. I've put the story aside for now to edit a bit later.

Scarlet-blue: Hi! Nice to see you in here and I'm glad you like the cats.

Sylvia: You say you're prone to 'packing it in' but it sounds like you've stayed with the story past a difficult patch. Good luck with keeping going to the 30th.

Robin and Sarah: Thank you. Your support means a lot to me.

McKoala said...

I admire anyone brave enough to even try NaNo!

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, McKoala.

It's good to see you up and about again.

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