A 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.)
Then 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, at 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.
Wakes up at 5:33 a.m.: WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EVEN DO WITH THIS INFORMATION???
*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.
Brain: BUT I’M WIDE AWAKE LOOK I HAVE ALL THESE IDEAS I CAN’T TURN THEM OFF OH MY GOODNESS THIS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING MUST PROCESS ALL OF THE THINGS WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WOW I’M SO CONFUSED THIS HURTS MY BRAIN JUST WHAT BUT I THINK I LOVE IT BUT WHAT IF I DON’T BUT AAAAHH
Body: coooooold raiiiiiiiny daaaark warm bed sleeeeeeeeep tiiiiiiiiiired
Brain: BUT BUT BUT CAN’T YOU TELL I’M HAVING A MID-NANO CRISIS THIS IS IMPORTANT GAAHH
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…)
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.
I 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!
I 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!
In 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 . . .