NaNoWriMo 2013 starts in just five days and I am ready. Last year, I went into this endeavor without fully understanding the importance of having a game plan. I naively thought I could pump out the 1667 words a day with no problem. I mean, I am a writer, right? I had no clue how tough it would be.
Between a full time job and family obligations, it was difficult to carve out time solely for writing. Well, for writing that much at a time. I try to carve out a bit of time every day for writing, whether it is working on my latest writing project, writing in my journal, or penning a poem. Sometimes it is only a few minutes and sometimes it is an hour or two. But I must confess I am not consistent.
And that brings me to the problem I had during last year’s NaNoWriMo. I did not realize how difficult it would be to write so many words a day on story idea I just pulled out of my hat with no thought to topic or characters. In fact, I bombed miserably last year, only making it to 15,000 words. Here it is almost a year later and I am still working on that story. I also discovered that I have a hard time turning off my inner editor. It seems that I sabotage my best efforts by wanting to go back and edit what I have written, causing myself to lose focus of the story and its completion. I bog myself down in second guessing what I already wrote and trying to change it instead of powering through to the end and then going back and editing it.
I love the idea of last year’s story and I think if I can just get it done it would work out. There are some lovely bits in it, but the whole thing just ran away from me. I introduced characters that I am still unsure about and I think my plot twisted in a way that I may not be able to recover from. But I will continue to try. At this moment, I have 25,000 words invested in this story and my goal is to get it to an ending, any ending. And see if I can’t wrangle a good story out of it in revisions.
But in the meantime, I’ve found an idea I love for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve developed the three top characters so I know who they are and why they act as they do. And I will spend the next five days developing the secondary characters as well. I have developed an outline for how I would like the story to progress and worked out my setting so that I can move comfortably in this story. I know that as I write, things may and will change, but I feel like I am in a good frame of mind for this year’s challenge.
Having attempted this challenge last year, I now know what it takes to get the minimum word count done each day and still progress my story to a finishing point.
I feel confident that I will get to the 50,000 word goal this year. That is the real challenge to me this year, to reach the goal. But more importantly, to have a story I will be proud of.