Writing challenges can be hard. I suppose that’s why they’re called “challenges” to begin with. This past November I took my first shot at slaying the fearsome beast known in the writing community as NaNoWriMo (aka- National Novel Writing Month or “Nano Rhino” if you’re absurd and silly like my boyfriend and I are). It did not go as planned.
But, hey, instead of letting it getting to me or giving up I took it as a learning experience. I took a hard look at what didn’t work for me and read people’s tips on what led them to their own NaNoWriMo success. One of the best tips I read was: Do not go for perfection. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. 😉
This month I decided to take what I learned and try again at writing 50,000 words over the span of 30 days in a challenge I dubbed The Return of the Necro Rhino. Again, because I am absurd and silly. And also morbid.
I started off strong and then hit a bump in the road earlier in the month when I got sick AND lost power for 48 hours due to some crazy high winds. Luckily I caught back up and have been going strong for the most part and staying right on track. Aaaaand today I finished the challenge by completing just over the 50,000 word goal for the month!! 😀
I still have so much work left to do on this book and the rough draft isn’t even fully finished, but a big chunk of it is, and for that I am pretty damn jazzed. I got over a major writing hurdle I was experiencing and feel liberated because of it. I’m also really, really thankful for all of the wonderful support, advice, and love I’ve gotten from you guys during this challenge (and just overall in general). You guys are seriously awesome, and you make blogging such a joy!
So, I’m a week into my “Necro Rhino” 30 day writing challenge and am still chugging along at a good pace. 🙂 I was hoping to finish today with at least 11,662 words and I am just 829 words shy at the moment, with hours to go until my day comes to an end.
I’ve really embraced the fact that first drafts are not meant to be perfect and it’s helping me gain the forward momentum in my writing that I had hoped for. I’d love to walk out of this writing challenge with my 50,000 words (or more if I’m lucky) and have something I can craft into an actual novel. Once I get to that point I will worry, fuss, and edit my little heart out, but for now I’m just writing and embracing the chaos!
I’ll admit, the story is changing a lot from what I originally envisioned, but I’m excited about the direction it’s heading. It’s also getting easier to write as I embrace the changes instead of stubbornly trying to hold onto the original picture I had in mind. I’m looking forward to seeing where it finally winds up once I’ve finished.
Well, today was a triumph when it came to brainstorming plot points at work. My current job is extremely monotonous so this affords my mind time to wander. I’m frequently called out for daydreaming or zoning out, but hey, I can still get my job done in a timely fashion while my brain is far off exploring a completely fictional world. And when I say “called out” it’s more in a “you must really be in the zone” sort of way rather than a “you’re in trouble” fashion.
This is actually my first attempt at writing a multiple POV story and while it presents some challenges it also is allowing me a lot of new opportunities that I never had in storytelling when the tale was always from the same character’s point of view. It’s keeping things fun and interesting for sure. 🙂
That said, it’s time to eat some ice cream and then write out those plot points I spent all day thinking about without the time to actually jot any of it down.
There was a time when I was little that I used to cry to my mom and dad because I hadn’t mastered reading yet. I wanted to be able to read books dammit! I wanted to be able to WRITE books!
The first books I managed to write were typically about animals. Otter ninja babies born with the maddest of karate skills, anthropomorphic beatnik wolves with a love for flowers, and a gang of dogs staying in a hotel filled with monsters were some of my first stabs at writing. I guess there might be some merit to all those kids who called me “weird” in elementary school . . .
Things changed a lot over the years. As I got older, writing took on a form of therapy without me even realizing it until recently. Underlying themes in my books seemed to correlate with things I’d experienced or witnessed that struck a cord with me.
I’ve recently experienced some things in my life that hit me hard. The kind of hit you don’t bounce right back up from. The kind that changes the way you see things in life, how you see people, and most definitely how you see yourself at the end of each day. I can’t help but feel like it’s changed my writing style now, too. I see things differently so I suppose it only makes sense to write about these things differently now as well.
Tonight I’m starting the first draft to a book that feels even more like therapy than anything else I’ve ever written before. I normally am the sort of writer who obsesses and plans in a manic sort of way, thinking out every single possible detail of their story before they begin to write it. This time around I am just diving right in. I know some major plot points I am aiming for story-wise, but I guess I’m letting my characters take the wheel on this one for the most part. They’re a damaged and flawed lot, but each of them has their own tale to tell.
I’ve had issues before where I spend too much time planning and too little time writing because I want everything to be perfect. Nothing is ever perfect though, especially not first drafts. So, “not this time,” I say. This time I’m just listening to what those little voices in my head have to say . . . THE CHARACTERS’ LITTLE VOICES! Their little voices, not “those” sorts of little voices. Not yet anyway. . . . Give it a few late nights of writer’s block and maybe “those” little voices will join right on in, too!