NaNoWriMo 2018 ended a week ago, and I’m still tired.
The previous years I’ve written for Nano, I’ve held myself to a very high standard as to how I would count my words. It was all toward one, newly started project, and only words in the manuscript draft itself were counted. All the writing I was doing for school, for other projects, even for the info and notes on the Nano projects weren’t to be included.
This year I was a little more desperate creative with where I counted words.
I didn’t start actually writing until the seventeenth. At that point, I hadn’t even written one full day’s count. Usually when I’m that far behind, I at least had a foundation of words. Not this year.
This year I counted all the words I created in November on my project, one that I’ve now worked on for three years (part of it’s published in This Anthology, which was super exciting!). Notes, editing, internal screaming. Actual drafted materials. The pep talk I wrote myself about making mistakes and giving myself a plan for fixing them later, once the project has actually been created. I counted all those words, all the words I could, and it was still a hellacious slog.
After a few days of catch up, I was overwhelmed and bored and frustrated. I ended up trying to figure out if I could murder a character without drastically changing the actual plot of the project, which did not call for a murder.
It turns out I could figure it out. And that it solved a couple of problems I’d been having with plot holes, motivations, and backstories. I only had to go back fifteen years, invent twelve new characters, take them across the country, and casually change tone from lighthearted danger rebellion to dark, murderous, with extra tasty trauma emotions.
This sideways mutation of my project has been lovingly dubbed Plot Bunny Noir, and made up a majority of the words collected for the month.
I made 50K words on the last day, between all of the pieces related to my project. I took approximately five minutes to feel elated, and then I took a nap while my brain melted.
I’m proud of the writing I did this month. A lot of it will be useful, even and especially some of the plot notes, editing theories, and world building blocks. I ended up solving a lot of issues I’d been having, I managed to survive the word count, and an exhausting time was had by all.
To everyone who participated, you accomplished something awesome*. You have all the permission to be proud of yourselves.
To everyone else, wow what a normal month you must have had. I hope it was a good one.
Everyone should be proud they survived another month, words or no words.
I wish you several good sleeps.
Bonus Cool Shit:
National Novel Writing Month