November Saga, a.k.a. That Time That I Had a Mid-NaNo Crisis, Accidentally Became a Rebel, And Was Extremely Confused

NaNoHelmetCoffeeA belated chronicling of the saga of my November 2015 NaNoWriMo writing adventures.

It all started with NaNo. (As things often do…)

Things were going all right, I was writing very hard on The Silver Forest and having a blast writing about my twelve dancing princesses and half-fae prince and gardener and soldier and other prince and jester and all of the rest… It was going okay, though it was definitely taking a lot longer to get finished with the beginning of the story than I thought… (For instance, chapter 3, which is when they first find the Faerie realm and meet Prince Taghdach, ended up being over 15,000 words… Whoops.)

SilverForestCoverFinalThen suddenly, I ran into an entirely unforseen circumstance. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because insane things happen all. the. time. with NaNos… but I didn’t see this one coming and it had never happened to me before.

I got exactly halfway through the month, caught up on my wordcount and got a day ahead, and went to bed quite happy with myself at 26,680 words on November 15th, feeling on top of the world and like I could totally do this NaNo thing. (Even though, atΒ  halfway to 50K, I hadn’t even introduced all the characters yet…)

Then it happened.

Below is an excerpt of what I actually typed that fateful November 16th morning to chronicle the entire incident, when I was trying to make sense of the insanity that invaded my brain:

That moment when…

You’re halfway through NaNo and you have a dream about talking to someone about your plot and in your dream you come up with a crazy new idea that would entirely change everything about the story and might fix all/most of the problems with it but could also make twice as many.


*spends next hour in bed at war with self, brain wide awake, fully alert, gears spinning like fast-forwarded clockwork*

Body: It’s cold, it’s rainy and dark out, blankets are warm, I’m tired, go back to sleep.


Body: coooooold raiiiiiiiny daaaark warm bed sleeeeeeeeep tiiiiiiiiiired


Body: Sleep. Now. Turn off. I don’t like you. Much too early for this nonsense.

Stomach: *wakes up* Why are you awake this early? Oh. Is it morning? I’M HUNGRY. FEED ME.

Brain: *distracted momentarily from chaos of NaNo thoughts* Whaaaat? Since when are you hungry for another four or five hours??

Stomach: HUNGRY. GET UP. EAT THINGS. (You can also think about your mid-NaNo crisis while you’re eating, because I’m nice like that.)

Practical half of brain: So go back to sleep; sleep on it; think about it in the morning. You went to bed at midnight, you need more sleep, plus you don’t want to catch that cold that’s going through the house so you need proper rest. In the morning–

NaNo half of brain: BUT BUT

Practical half: (No, it’s not morning yet, hush, stop arguing; it’s still dark out and no sane person who has a choice to sleep more should get up yet.) In the morning, as I was saying, you can feed your tummy at a more usual hour and after some rest your mid-NaNo crisis will still be there but you’ll be in a less sleep-deprived state and further able to process it and everything will make sense. I promise. Go to sleep, get some more rest, sleep on it and remain calm.

Creative side of my brain, utterly ignoring everything else that’s going on and still churning on a mile a minute: But see, what if……….

After that, there were about about 2,000 more words of totally incoherent thrown-around babbles about the new plot idea and all of its myriad implications, as well as screeching and flailing about the shocking realization that if I used it there would be no going back, and that I’d have to totally stop writing The Silver Forest for the moment because it would require me to basically restart the whole story. Which I was not ready to do.

I finally came to the conclusion that this was the perfect excuse to finish writing The Rose and the Raven, which I wanted to write for the Rooglewood Press contest but had only gotten about 5K words into it when NaNo interrupted.

Obviously, this would mean turning NaNo Rebel.


In the five previous years I had NaNoed, I’d always been a rule-abiding little writer, working on one story and only one story, starting it out fresh without anything previous… Now, halfway into my 6th NaNo, I was contemplating switching to an entirely different story… and then likely switching to a third, since the remaining 14K words of The Rose and the Raven which it would take to hit the 20K wordlimit, when added to my Silver Forest words, would still leave another 8K words to be written to hit 50,000 words for NaNo… so my plan was to switch to continuing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2) to fill in the final words.

It was insane, but I did it. I switched mid-month.

(Obviously this meant I had to change my inspiration bulletin board from this…)


(To this…)


And it totally broke my brain to switch stories, especially from going from a rambly mindset of WRITE ALL OF THE WORDS LET’S JUST HAVE WORDWARS AND SPILL WORDS EVERYWHERE AND HAVE FUN RAMBLING WITH CHARACTER DISCUSSIONS AND IT DOESN’T MATTER IF I HAVE 15,000 WORD CHAPTERS to a mindset where I had to try to tell a story in as FEW words as possible and actually move the plot along and try not to write too many words because it can’t pass 20K because that would make for a headache of editing. WHILE also thinking BUT I HAVE TO WRITE LOTS OF WORDS BECAUSE I CAN’T FALL BEHIND ON MY NANO WORDCOUNT. WHY ARE YOU ONLY WRITING 800 WORD SCENES?? YOU NEED TO BE WRITING ONES DOUBLE THAT LENGTH! YOU’RE FALLING BEHIND AAAAAAAAHH.


Trying to write small things for NaNo just does NOT work, and at least I have learned this… But it was an excellent way, despite all that, to actually get a lot of progress done on R&R during NaNo.

KW2coverPI ended up switching back and forth between R&R and KW2 constantly: writing a whole bunch of words of KW2 whenever I fell behind, so that I could catch up, then going back to slowly getting out those novella words. (Somehow it’s much easier to write long scenes with the Chess Club ramblings, and with Tare being all messed up in his mind, poor dear. *is knocked out of screen by an out-of-sight-Tare* *crawls back* Ahem. Sorry about that…)

And I did it. I hit 50K and won NaNo for the 6th time, as a proud Rebel!


nano2015wI wrote approximately:

26,600 words of The Silver Forest

13,500 words of The Rose and the Raven

10,000 words of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Added to what I had before, here’s what my writing bars looked like at the end of NaNo:


But there was a slightly awkward fact in there… which was that I hadn’t finished the novella yet. I had nearly gotten to the 20K word limit, but I still had a few chapters left to write.

This meant, obviously, that it was time to . . . !

(No. Not celebrate. Pfft. That would be ridiculous. No, it was quite clearly time to…)

. . . PANIC!!!

But this is getting long. So. The follow-up saga of my December and my further adventures with The Rose and the Raven will recommence in my next post!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareIn the meantime, now you know about my craziest NaNo yet. (Which is saying something, considering the fact that the NaNo before, I managed to complete my 50K words while on a roadtrip for half the month… >.> Yes, this Rebel NaNo was still crazier.)

And this is why The Silver Forest is currently at an odd in-between place where I’m not currently writing it, and I kind of need to restart it but have no idea how to go about that… *cough*

Next up: December Chaos!

To be continued . . .

37 thoughts on “November Saga, a.k.a. That Time That I Had a Mid-NaNo Crisis, Accidentally Became a Rebel, And Was Extremely Confused

  1. WHEW. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. You really had a crazy NaNo!

    I was laughing sooo hard at that excerpt you included. (Especially the part where your stomach “wakes up,” and you get distracted. XDDD) It seems we writers are a pretty strange lot πŸ˜‰

    Anywho, glad you (sort of) survived NaNo, and I look forward to hearing about the chaos of December! (Can it possibly be ANY crazier than November??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eheheh, sorry about that. XD It was rather nuts, though. πŸ˜‰

      Haha, I’m glad it was humorous! πŸ˜€ We writers are indeed odd ducks…

      Thanks very much! I shall work on that post soon, I hope… and eheh, it kind of almost WAS crazier than November, astonishingly. o.o Or so I feel. But you’ll have to judge for yourself. πŸ˜‰


  2. Wow. O_o That’s waaaay more complicated than any of my NaNo experiences . . . though I have gone Rebel twice. (During July Camp, both times. It’s sort of becoming a tradition for me to either be a rebel or write something short in the July camp . . . except for the one year when I wrote Danger in the Tower, which is in desperate need of editing.)
    Also: regarding the restarting The Silver Forest: what exactly are you having trouble with? I’ve restarted a story before, and I found it pretty easy- you just go back to where you want it to begin and start writing. And you keep what you wrote before as reference, but mostly ignore it.
    (And if you want to be on the safe side and avoid having to restart a third time, you take a little bit of time to jot down a bullet-point list of things you want to happen. Possibly having those Things You Want To Happen organized by plotline. And then you forget about the list after a month or two and just go on happily writing and rambling and coming up with plot bunnies which are then slain by your characters acting in character. RIP plot bunnies . . . except not entirely because the bunnies are only MOSTLY dead and come back bigger and better than ever for a (evil) twist at the end.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heehee. I have amazed the Sarah. πŸ˜€ I’m counting this a win. πŸ˜‰

      Okay, so TECHNICALLY I’ve gone Rebel during Camp a couple of times, but those were always more laid-back and with tiny goals and… I don’t count them on the level with NaNo. (That’s so funny you have a July Camp tradition. XD)

      Um. My trouble is that I HAVEN’T really ever totally restarted something, and haven’t a clue how to go about it. Especially when I really liked some of what I wrote but think it might be too rambly, and am unsure if any of it really fits anymore… and it’s not like I even know WHERE to restart right now, because literally so much changed with this plot change that the entire beginning is totally restructured and I’m confusing myself. Thank you for these thoughts on it though!! πŸ™‚ It may be helpful. I may also find myself picking your brains for further thoughts if I ever muster the courage to attempt to restart this thing… >.>

      (Ah, yes, the slain plot bunnies by characters acting in character and being only “mostly” dead — I totally read that in Miracle Max’s voice. All of this is gold. πŸ˜€ )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OH GOODNESS. *faints* You must be a superhuman. It’s the only way. πŸ˜€
    I just about died laughing at your little excerpt. Brains can be so annoying sometimes. *nods*
    My NaNo wasn’t half as exciting. I didn’t have enough time to prepare and so I only got almost half-way through. Plot bunnies nearly ended me, but I managed to survive, luckily…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eheh. I felt anything but superhuman … I felt rather depressingly human and overwhelmed. XD But I survived, which is good news…
      Haha, yay! πŸ™‚ Our brains, yes… *shakes head*
      Ooh, yes, it’s difficult when one doesn’t have time to prepare. I’m glad you survived the plot bunnies — and halfway is nothing to sneeze at! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Woaaah that was quite the adventure! Eep I can imagine trying to write a 20,000 novella for NaNoWriMo is hard…whenever I do one of those fairytale writing contests, I’m always flopping back and forth between “this story is too short” and “ACK I’M RUNNING OUT WORDS”. πŸ˜›
    BY THE WAY I read Howl’s Moving Castle (pretty much in one evening/night, which I rarely do) and oh my goodness why didn’t I read that book sooner?!?!? It’s brilliant and funny and Howl is the best. I still love the Ghibli movie because it’s beautiful but the book is so hilarious and has less plot holes (the plot was seriously impressive.) and all the characters are wonderful. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heehee, I’m glad you understand. πŸ˜€ But from reading your novellas, let me just tell you they turned out PERFECTLY. ^_^ ❀ But yes, 'tis a hectic feeling! o.o

      AAAHH YOU READ HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE! This makes me so happy. *twirls* I'm sooo glad you liked it! πŸ˜€ Isn't it just splendid/perfect? *huggles book* Okay, so I'm dying over "has less plot holes". XD That's hilarious, but true. And yes! The movie is lovely but the book's just alkdjlfjkl. YES THE CHARACTERS! Thanks for letting me know! πŸ˜€ I could chat about that day all day! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh man, this brings back memories. Poor Celti! This NaNo was so HARD. Funny how we both had our craziest NaNos yet the same year. I really, really hope the next NaNo is at least a little calmer. o.o But I’ve got to stop thinking about NaNo. I must!

    Your little conversation with your brain was HILARIOUS. And then the stomach popping in demanding food! I almost died. XDDD That’s the perfect example of a writer’s life, especially during NaNo. And people think we laze around in our PJs and play on the computer all day. Psh. The writing life is not an easy life.

    You were AMAZING during NaNo. Seriously, I’m still in awe. I don’t know how you did it! And then continued on with things in December! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. You. Are. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m sorry! o.o But yes, ’twas insane for both of us indeed! (Whoops, I accidentally contributed to this little bout of your looking-ahead-to-NaNo-when-should-be-editing, didn’t I? Sorry ’bout that. :P)

      Heheh, my brain… *shakes head* I’m glad it amuses, though. πŸ˜‰ And yes! Writing is hard work, people! Sheesh.

      Aww, thank you! πŸ™‚ I didn’t FEEL amazing, just tired… XD You were amazing yourself! ^_^


      • Oh no, even when NaNo is INSANE I always have fond memories of it! This made me exhausted for you, but it also brought back all the happy/crazy memories of NaNo. I always have fun with NaNo, even when it tries to kill me. XD (I do find it funny that I mentioned thinking about NaNo in our report yesterday and you posted this. Always brain twins!)

        Well, you WERE amazing. The Avengers were tired after saving the world, too, but they were still amazing. *nods, nods* And awww, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my gosh this was HILARIOUS. And basically what NaNo is all about. I had a plot crisis late one evening and, well… it didn’t go well with my brain. So I understand! xD NaNo is absolutely INSANE, but I love it. (and miss it. I WANT IT TO BE NANO AGAIN RIGHT NOW. At least there’s Camp NaNo coming up… eeep. :D)

    Excited for the next installment of the chaos! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. πŸ˜€ And indeed… I sympathize. o.o So much insanity goes on during NaNo! I hope your brain has recovered. πŸ˜‰ (Oh my goodness. *wilts* One NaNo a year is enough for me. I’ve done a few of the Camps, but always at a lower goal, and they usually wipe me out all the same. I admire your ability/willingness to partake in more than one per year. XD)

      Yay! It shall be coming… hopefully. πŸ™‚


  7. Wow, your Nano was crazy! o.O But you survived!!! πŸ˜€ (No wonder you took January off of writing, though…) You are incredible, girl!

    Oh my goodness, your brain conversation MADE. MY. DAY. XD Looking forward to the next installment of your writing saga!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing your crazy Nano-rebellion with us! I quite enjoyed the conversation between your body, brain, and stomach πŸ™‚ also where your brain split in two and argued against itself! hahahahahahaha! Quite entertaining!

    I’m so excited about March 1st!!! I can’t wait to find out who will be in the Five Magic Spindles contest and I’m SO rooting for you!!!!!!! Eep! (but also glad that I’m not having my stomach tied in knots this year on my own behalf) LOL

    I’m lousy at Nano. I’m impressed by anyone who can manage it. I’ve started it a couple of times but always end up giving up somewhere in the middle because vacation and children to care for and illness and life… or the timing is lousy to begin with. I apparently tend to do lots of editing in November. πŸ™‚ Which, unfortunately, doesn’t really count towards Nano…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much. ❀ And I now know the stomach knots feeling, so good for you for avoiding them this year. XD

      NaNo's not for everyone… especially when Life happens. That's unfortunate. :-/ And hey, editing is getting a finished product instead of a first-draft, so in a way that's better! πŸ™‚


    • Haha, yay! Glad it was amusing. πŸ˜€
      I’ve done NaNo 6 years. πŸ™‚ (Also four Camp NaNo experiences, which I don’t count in the total, since 3 were just 10k goals and one a 20k goal… all of which I succeeded at, but just don’t measure up to 50k somehow. XD)


  9. OKAY YES THAT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAD A CRAZY TIME!! You little rebel. ;D But I think that’s awesome that you kept writing and didn’t just screech that it was all too hard and throw it. xD I loved the early morning conversation with your brain…omgggg, so relatable. πŸ˜‚ My brain likes to screech at me at annoying times too. Usually when I turn off my computer and lie down to go to sleep. Like whyyyy brain?!?! Two minutes earlier and I COULD’VE WRITTEN IT ALL DOWN DARN YOU. *breaks a plate*

    Omg, but that’s exciting that you have so much to do for the 12 Dancing Princesses retelling, though, right?! I hope you get to that soon. ;D But sleep first? Cake? Rest? *gives you cake anyway*

    Liked by 1 person

    • We rebels make the world go round! πŸ˜‰ And thanks! Oh my word, I KNOW RIGHT?? ALWAYS it is right after the computer has been turned off and I get in bed… then ALL of the mind things! *flails* It’s a serious problem. I use my phone to make notes when I’m in bed though, so TAKE THAT, BRAIN, HA!
      *gives you glue for your plate*

      Thanks!! Yeah, exciting and overwhelming, but mostly exciting! πŸ˜€ THANK YOU FOR THE CAKE. *noms happily… while sleeping…?* (My logic totally works, shush.)


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