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NaNoWriMo – my failure and my thoughts

By pcurd

Last month I attempted to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I didn’t do very well (as can be seen here), barely managing 4,000 words.

I had hoped this would be my chance to actually write a decent amount of prose and possibly actually articulate a few ideas and characters I’ve had knocking around.

As it turns out, it wasn’t. I have fleshed out part of one character, but nothing more. The back story was unbelievable and even I did care what happened to him. I clearly have some work to do on my style.

I had hoped having “Writing Buddies” would spur me on but even carocat and amykate didn’t finish. In fact, I wrote more than either of them (at least, that they logged on the website).

So what went wrong?

Well, Dragon Age: Origins came out – I have invested 16 hours or so in that so far, that’s valuable writing time lost. I could have been using my Starbucks time to work on it but.. I didn’t. I think the primary reason I stopped writing was I got fixated on the word count. Against better advise I began to measure my progress based on 1,666 words a day, and this wasn’t feasible. By day 3 I was far behind and even a brief splurge on day 4 couldn’t bring it back up.

Why did the word count matter? It didn’t, not at all. But it was symbolic of my failure to give NaNoWriMo the care and attention it needed. Perhaps if I had pushed myself harder I would have gotten into the story, that alone might have kept me going. Perhaps if I had been challenged to keep up with some other target rather than words, although what that might have been is beyond me.

All told though, it was an enjoyable few evenings – even if I was a little too presumptuous, declaring the book a triumph by the second day…

Maybe next year, maybe some other time but I feel there is a book in me somewhere.

Amykate herself explains her own failure in a eloquence most becoming an author on her blog here.

Carocat .. well perhaps trails off is the best way to explain, I’ll let her cover the basics in her last NaNoWriMo post too.