NaNoWriMo: The final stretch and results

Like I mentioned before, I haven’t been blogging that much because of NaNoWriMo.  Most of my days have been going to work, studying Japanese, lesson planning, and then writing.  Almost a week into December, I finally have time to write about my crazy writing adventures!

This year’s NaNoWriMo is a bit tougher than last year’s, mainly because what I’m writing about is a bit tricky.  Last year I was working on my main novel, “Loveless” which is my pride and joy.  This year I decided to work on my side project that I started after I finished the first book of Loveless.  The title is “Seven Days” and it’s about a young man who is trying to get over a  former love, “the one that got away”.  However, when she comes to visit him for a week, the feelings that he has forgotten arise again and he has to deal with all sorts of obstacles that he simply ran away from as well as interacting with his former love.  The story is seven chapters long, one chapter representing a day of the trip.

When I was thinking about writing this, I wanted the theme of the story to be more mature than my previous work because Loveless is definitely a young adult book.  I started writing it when I was a teenager so it definitely has the that “young adult” genre vibe.  Don’t get me wrong, I welcome it because it is a coming-of-age tale.  It felt a bit out of place to have mature themes such as sexuality, alcohol usage, deep depression in it.  Yes, even young people deal with such things but it just didn’t fit with my story. I wanted to explore those areas so I eventually came up with the concept of “Seven Days”, a story revolving around adults rather than teenagers.  I’ll admit, “Seven Days” is one of those healing pieces for me because I have dealt with the problem of trying to move on from relationships that ended long ago.  While I talked to friends about it and even vented about my issues on journals and whatnot, I wanted to express my feelings in a different way. Creating a story revolving around those themes and memories became my new novella.  Mixing some bittersweet memories of mine with brand new characters and events felt like a fun thing to do and so I decided to write about it as a way of taking a break from Loveless.

Anyways, I had the prologue and one chapter done when I begun the NaNoWriMo challenge.  It was a rough start at the beginning of the month because I hadn’t really planned the first few chapters out.  I knew what I wanted to happen in the long run, but getting to that point was still a mystery.  Still, I awkwardly pressed forward and forced myself to write about whatever came up in my mind.  Writing my daily word goals took a lot longer than usual because of this so I knew I had to eventually come up with some idea of the story’s direction.  For a couple of day’s I used a last-resort strategy:  I jumped to the climactic part of the story in which I easily wrote the daily word goal (around 1600 words).  I did a similar tactic last year in which I would start writing a future chapter in Loveless (far, far into the future) to make up for writer’s block.  Oddly enough, I get some inspiration to write something as I’m writing into future chapters so it’s not always a cheap way of getting things done.

Around the middle chapters of Seven Day (3-5), I started to get into my groove.  I would write with no problems at all because everything started to come together.  The “less exciting” parts of the story were already written and in front of me were the sections that I really wanted to get into.  I spent the entire final week of NaNoWriMo on Chapter/Day 6 alone and it’s still not done.  The sixth day is where the story reaches its peak and it really shows because I noticed my detailing (my weak point usually) was really good and I never felt like I was struggling to write more.  I hit the 50,000 goal on the final day of NaNoWriMo while working on said chapter.  This year’s NaNoWriMo had a more balanced pace than last year’s: I wrote everyday, thus making the daily limit less of a burden.  Last year I skipped a few days and I intensely wrote on the weekends to make up for it.  It also helped that I was at the end of my novel on the final days and went into overtime, finishing the goal a couple of days early.  “Seven Days” is on the verge of completion; I think the 6th chapter will be done pretty soon and the final chapter will serve more as an epilogue than anything.  I will write more about it when i finish it but for now, I will take a short break before I start writing again at a more normal pace.

I’m glad I took the plunge last year and did this challenge because if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be writing about this today nor would I have had the idea of “Seven Days” in the first place.  When I talk to people about NaNoWriMo, they always tell me they have an idea for a novel and sometimes even inspire them to write something on their own.  That really makes me happy and I think everyone should try it at least once.  Even if you don’t reach the goal, you will have something down and ideas implanted in your head.  And really, that’s all you need to start writing.  See you next year, NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo 2011

Day 1: 1781 words (1.5 hours)

Day 2: 365 words (30 minutes)

Day 3: 2033 words (2 hours)

Day 4: 0 words

Day 5: 2623 words (2 hours)

Day 6: 2565 words (2.5 hours)

Day 7: 1607 (1.5 hours)

Day 8: 1616 words (1.5 hours)

Day 9: 1601 words (1 hour)

Day 10: 1609 words (1.5 hours)

Day 11: 1173 words (1 hour)

Day 12: 1611 words (1 hour)

Day 13: 2635 words (2 hours)

Day 14: 1581 words (1 hour)

Day 15: 1195 words (1 hour)

Day 16: 1696 words (1 hour)

Day 17: 1940 words (1 hour)

Day 18: 1702 words (1 hour)

Day 19: 2880 words (2.5 hours)

Day 20: 2704 words (2 hours)

Day 21: 1798 words (1.5 hours)

Day 22: 1701 words (30 minutes)

Day 23: 1726 words (1 hour)

Day 24: 1563 words(1 hour)

Day 25. 1881 words (1.5 hours)

Day 26: 884 words (1 hour)

Day 27: 1074 words (1 hour)

Day 28: 1796 words  (1 hour)

Day 29: 1640 (1.5 hours)

Day 30: 1847 words (1.5 hours)

Total: 50,872 words

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2 responses to “NaNoWriMo: The final stretch and results

  1. Congratulations on hitting your goal! I can’t wait to read more of “Seven Days,” to find out what happens to the characters. You inspire me. Never stop writing!

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