NaNo 2014 – Anthology of False Starts

50,013 words

NaNo Graph 2014

If I thought that NaNo had been difficult last year, then 2014 was a complete nightmare. I wasn’t worried about my slow start and I was away for four days the first weekend of the month to celebrate my little brother’s wedding (gratz! I love you little bro!)

However, each day it got harder and harder to put anything down at all. I pushed back the writing again and again. This went beyond the usual lack of motivation, I was in a deep dark funk. I had weekly appointments with my doctor, half of which I blew off to sleep instead, and my daily medication didn’t seem to be touching the depression in the slightest.

My starting idea was a story called Asylum. I’d recently started playing the game The Evil Within, which had inspired a wild theory about a committed serial killer that I had plans of spinning into a novella. The first two real writing sessions went well, but it quickly became apparent that either my story wasn’t going to pan out or I didn’t have the skills to build on the concept I’d created.

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Camp NaNo 2013 – Grim Repercussions

23,390 words

Camp2013

Camp NaNo is normally run in July, but this year, just as I felt I was floundering on my current project Grim Repercussions, came Camp NaNo in April.

Camp NaNo is different to NaNoWriMo & ScriptFrenzy in that it takes a more relaxed approach to the idea of writing challenges. NaNoClassic is for novels & is strictly 50k words. ScriptFrenzy is for stage and screen plays & that’s all I know about it. Camp NaNo is for writing of all kinds & you set your own word goal, you can even change your goal right up until the last week.

I decided to set my word goal at 50k because I already know I can write that much in thirty days, but perhaps I was overly ambitious. In all likelihood, I just slacked off too much during the month.

Every November I find myself distracted by side projects, or the desire to sleep, but the wide knowledge & appeal of NaNoClassic usually keeps me in line fairly well. Having nothing to prove, no one to compete against, & my timetable being tossed out the window by starting a new job all conspired to keep my word count low.

However, success is measured in more than just word counts. There are measures by which I can consider myself to have done adequately, if not well. Firstly, I met the suggested word count of 20k, so my failure was no where near as spectacular as the first time I tried NaNo. Secondly, I discovered what was stopping up my flow of creativity. This is an important point, because I learnt something about the way that I write that will influence my attempts at composition for the rest of my career.

Lastly, I achieved what I needed to achieve. While I only wrote about half of what I would of liked to write, I’ve built something with the 20k I wrote that I can really work with. I’ve solidified ideas, discovered major plot points, & met a new character.

I still have a long way to go, but, if I had been at this point when Camp started, I would have aced it – either by word count or by finishing the novel.

NaNo 2012 – Speak for the Dead

50,846 words

NaNo 2012 Graph2

I’d spent a good part of the year leading up to NaNo excited about the idea of writing a zombie story set in Australia where guns and crossbows are much more strictly controlled and finding weapons for the zombie apocalypse would be significantly more difficult. I had a folio of ideas that I wanted to explore, and I think there was a lot of potential. But during 2012 I made the mistake of reading Fifty Shades of Grey and any inkling of motivation for writing I might have had evaporated.

I couldn’t not do NaNo, it was an institution in my life, to skip it would just be wrong. Eventually I decided to pick an idea out of my folder of story fragments and run with that. I settled on Picklekin, Kindlewisp, and the Dragon and I started NaNo off with a bang.

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