The final paragraph has been written, the word count verified and NanoWriMo is over for another few months.
I meant to post another update at about 30,000 words but that idea fell by the wayside when I got wrapped up in my story. I’m glad that I didn’t give up in Week 2 when I was so tempted to, because the story did indeed “grow legs and gallop ahead again”. It’s amazing how, some time in Week 3, there is always that moment when I have an idea or picture a scene that inspires me again.
I was looking at my Nano progress graph and realised that it probably hasn’t changed in years. It always looks something like this:
Stage 1: I aim for the wordcount and it’s pretty easy to hit that every day, but I’m not particularly inspired to surpass it.
Stage 2: Week Two hits and after thinking about Nano every day for weeks I’m now tired and all the good parts seem boring or cliched.
Stage 3: I’ll begrudgingly plunge forward, a tiny bit at a time, dragging my feet. Nano takes a back seat in my mind while I concentrate on life.
Stage 4: Something triggers a new idea the then leads to a new flood of inspiration.
Stage 4: I do something that wasn’t originally in the outline and it’s pretty scary because it takes things in a slightly new direction. Usually this means picking up new characters that didn’t exist before. It’s a huge challenge to not end up with a whole cast of these who pull the story completely off track. Luckily this time I only picked up three. And one died 🙁 (RIP).
Stage 5: I’m incredibly excited about the story, it’s building momentum. The world opens up to me. I understand the politics, I understand the history, I understand the characters and feel like I can have actual conversations with them. In fact I do, often, in the car on the way to and from work. Writing is the highlight of my day.
Stage 6: Nano ends.
It’s like this every time. Just as I’m hitting my stride, I hit my word count.
You’d think the solution here would be simple: just continue writing after Nano. But it doesn’t seem to work like that at all. I’m probably going to try, like I always do, to capture those last imagined scenes and pieces of dialogue before they escape, before the characters slip away from my mind. But it never works.
It never works for the precise reason that Nano does work. I need that deadline.
I’ve been playing with the idea of trying to turn this story into a webcomic though, so maybe I’ll continue working on it in some form.
Otherwise, I guess the characters and I will see each other again in July when the whole process starts itself up again.