I don’t know if you’re aware or not but…NOVEMBER IS OVER!!!
NANOWRIMO IS FINISHED!
Oh, and guess what? MY BOOK IS FINISHED TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wrote “The End” on November 30th!
And I’ve been dancing and squealing ever since! I was just…shocked I managed to get it done. I really thought I’d have to continue writing through the first few days of December to wrap it up. BUT IT IS DONNNNEEEE!!!!!
I honestly think this is the fastest NaNo I’ve ever experienced. It zipped by me so quick, I’m pretty sure it gave me whiplash. Like…what is this??? November is gone? December is here? I NO COMPREHEND. But also? IT WAS GREAT.
Usually my NaNos are frantic and exhausting and full of days where I’d rather chew on glass rather than write. I mean, yes, NaNo is like my favorite thing ever. But writing like a rabid octopus filled up on five cups of coffee for 30 full days can wear a person out!
But this NaNo? It was one of the most smooth sailing, pleasant ones I’ve ever experienced. Sure, I basically didn’t sleep for 30 days, ignored about a thousand and two other things that needed to be done (you guys should see the state of my inbox…), and probably almost killed myself from a sugar overdose. But otherwise, it was a pretty smooth month of writing. (And let’s be real, those things are basically NaNo staples.)
Today I’ve decided to do a sort of monthly wrap-up post (I feel like I’m the only blogger who basically never does those awesome things…oops?), but it’s going to really be a NANO wrap-up. Because, like, what else happened in November besides writing, amIright?
NANOWRIMO 2017 WRAP-UP
THE LIFE-Y THINGS
(Wait. Why is this section here? I mean, life? That doesn’t exist during NaNo, does it???)
Life was pretty great this NaNo. As I said, the month went at a shockingly pleasant rate. There were certainly some frantic and stressful days. And I’m pretty sure I need a 12 year nap now after the lack of sleep of NaNo. BUT. It still felt way less hectic this year than some NaNos?
Honestly, I don’t think it was so much my life as my mentality. This NaNo I’m at a much better mental place than I have been for the past few years. I’ve been working hard this year to find contentment, to be a little more laidback about things and not always so uptight. To just enjoy the moments and go with the flow. I tend to get prettyyy stressed when even the slightest thing rocks my perfectly laid out plans. I still have a long, long way to go, but I have seen improvement. On top of that, there have been a lot of changes that took place in life in general this year that added to me being far more content and happier.
AND then there’s the fact that I basically took all this year off from writing. Which is something I haven’t done it like…8 or 9 years? I usually consistently have a writing project of some kind going. But this year I think I needed a rest, I needed to soak up life and work on my own mental state instead of frantically focusing on a thousand writing projects. Buuut after going for months without writing, well, I was about to explode with STORY. I needed to wriiiiite!
Thus, between my better mental state and long break from writing, I was SO ready for NaNo. So, so, so ready! It was such a pleasure to dive into a story again, and I could feel the good affects my break and growth had taken. I was a much calmer, happier writer this go round. In fact, there was only one day this whole month I desperately didn’t want to write. ONE! Usually those days happen pretty frequently, and yes, there were plenty of days where I really wanted to go read or binge on Netflix rather than write. But still only one particularly day the whole month where writing felt like scraping my face across a brick wall. I THINK THIS IS A RECORD.
In general, I was content and happy and just had a lovely month all around!
Other lifely highlights of the month:
(Many of which I already mentioned in other posts, but it’ll be nice to have a full overview of the month for myself so…sowwyyyy. *smile, smile*)
SAW THOR: RAGNAROK. Which I adored with all my being! Although, the more I ponder over it, the more I realize I do wish there had been more emotion. I looooved the comedy, but they kind of covered up any good emotional scenes with it. There were some…pretty tragic things in that movie, but it made such light of it all, the effect wasn’t as powerful as it should have been. I want a good balance of humor and emotion. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies proved you can have both. Those movies make me split my sides with laughter, but they also make me SOB. (I mean, will any of us ever recover from “We are Groot”???) But Ragnarok breezed over pretty much all the emotion in favor of comedy. BUT STILL. I loved it and it’s honestly one of my top favorite Marvel movies. Speaking of which…
I WATCHED THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR TRAILER. And have been shrieking ever since!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GOT TO DO NANO WITH MY SIS. My very firstest time to do NaNo with a person IN PERSON. And it was fabulous! Though she did finish up within the first two weeks, leaving me to do the last half of NaNo allll on my lonesome. *stares off in the distance dramatically*
I DIDN’T READ A SINGLE BOOK ALL MONTH. I knoooooow!!!! I MAY BE DYING. I always write better when I’m reading a lot. But every NaNo I abandon reading and then wonder why my words are so dry and messy???? I NEVER LEARN. Needless to say, I am dying to now go read allllll the books!
WENT TO SEE A LIVE BALLET OF THE NUTCRACKER. And drooled over all the pretty dances and costumes.
ENJOYED THANKSGIVING. Turkeeeey.
SURVIVED NANO AND DIDN’T DIE. I call that a success!
I WROTE WORDS, MAN. Who am I kidding? I basically just ignored life for the whole month and wrote like a crazed octopus.
THE NOVEL THING
The question is, how did I actually enjoy writing The Nether Isle itself? (Okay, you’re probably not asking that, but I’MA TELL YOU ANYWAY.)
To sum up it up:
NOW. That does nooooootttttttt mean the story turned out epic. I’m pretty sure over half of my wordcount consisted of “he smiled” and “she laughed”. And I think I said “Karis’ heart flipped” about 2394 times because I was too focused on getting the story down to come up with clever ways to described she was shocked.
That’s how first drafts go for me. Now that the whole story is down, I can focus on prettying it up come revision time. And despite the bland writing style, I STILL LOVED WRITING THIS THING.
It was such a different experience. Which may have added yet another reason as to why this NaNo was so fun and less stressful. I had been working on my Colors of a Dragon Scale series for SEVEN NANOWRIMOS. And I loved it but…I was kind of getting ready to move on, try something new and unique that didn’t involve a gadrillion swordfight scenes that I have no earthly clue how to write.
The 1920s, steampunk, creepy isle setting was a brand new one for me! I thought it would be somewhat familiar, because the Isle is full of dark forest areas, which I write about…quite a bit. (I LOVE EERIE WOODS OKAY?!) But, in the end, the story mostly took place in the ruins of a magic town, which I had too much fun exploring!
The overall feel of the story is also something I totally enjoyed…even though I kind of confused myself with it. Because, like, what is the feel of this book??? On the one hand, it had a ton of lighthearted scenes and was just a fun, rollicking adventure. But on the other hand, one section of the story was getting so creepy even *I* was feeling a little uncomfortable and freaked out. (Oops?) So there’s that. There were also FEELS. Because I’m incapable of writing stories without ‘em! #NoRegrets So…was this a lighthearted adventure tale or a creepy, feelsy novel? I DON’T KNOW. And…I think that’s a good thing. The original point of this novel was to mashup ALL THE THINGS. To just throw in a bunch of story elements I love and see what happened. And, well, I love stories that have a mix of everything. Not just lighthearted and not all feelsy, but a good balance. And I think (hope) I accomplished that with this one. So yay?
Then of course there was the magic camera that takes pictures of the past. I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had with that concept. There was a few sections in the story where Karis wasn’t able to use it and I was just like, “I MISS THE CAMERA!” Of course, Karis was feeling the same. Her over-excitable nature maaaay have been a smidge relatable for me. *griiins* Speaking of Karis…
KARIS AND JONAH. Let’s be real. They’re the actual reason I enjoyed writing this thing so much. Really, I had a blast with ALL the characters. But, just…KARIS AND JONAH!!!!!!!
Forever shamefully fangirls over my own characters.
Ugh. These bbys.
Like I said, Karis’ excitement about every little thing was basically me. (Though she’s much nicer and way less sassy than I am. XD) While Jonah’s calm nature was a nice balance to her constant hyper-ness. I still can’t say I favor one over the other. Which is weird for me because I’m a despicable person and always choose favorites amongst my children but NOPE. I LOVE THEM BOTH!
And I’m kind of having a hard time saying goodbye! After spending 30 consecutive days solely focused on them (not to mention all the plotting I did in October), I almost feel…empty not writing anymore. On the one hand, I’m ECSTATIC to be finished. On the other…I MISS MEH BABIES!!!
I JUST REALLY LOVED WRITING THIS NOVEL, GUYS.
I feel like it was a stepping stone for me. It really gave me more and more of an insight on the types of stories I love to tell. It was both familiar—fantasy, creepy forest, feels with some humor mixed in—but also brand new at the same time.
I’m pretty sure once I read back through it I’m gonna think, “DID A 5 YEAR OLD WRITE THIS???” But I love the plot, I love the concept, and I love the characters, and, as with every novel, it helped me grow as a writer. It accomplished exactly what it was supposed to.
THE STATS & OTHER THINGS
Because everybody likes stats, right??? (No seriously. Right? Because…I do. A lot. *cough*)
First, some fun facts!
I wrote every single day in November. I didn’t start out planning on doing that. There have been a few NaNos where I did make that goal, but this year was not going to be one of them. But as the month got closer to the end, and I realized I had successfully written everyday thus far, I thought, “WHY NOT???” (Because who needs their sanity anyway? Obviously not meeeeee!)
I, erm, did not take this NaNo easier like I had every intention to. IN MY DEFENSE, my story turned out waaaay longer than I thought it would. I originally suspected it’d be around the 80k range, allowing me to not do a double NaNo like I usually do. I thought I’d just be more chill this go round now that my CoaDS series was done. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Ahem. That didn’t happen. With each week my Crazed NaNo Self came out more and more and…yeah.
BUT HEY. It’s not my fault this book turned out to be a monster and I was determined to finish it as soon as possible. Well…okay, it may be sort of my fault. BUT STILL.
This was my first year to finish the book right on the 30th! I had a few years where I finished before the 30th, but the majority of my NaNos I had to finish up my book in December. This time it took me exactly 30 days to write the entire thing and my perfectionist self is ridiculously happy. I’m also still shocked I did finish it up in November. I was just sure I wouldn’t make it but I did and I AM JUST ALL THE HAPPY.
My final NaNo ‘17 stats
Total Words Written: 117,755 (x___x Yeah, definitely not the 80k I’d hope it’d be. *pretends to laugh but is actually crying*)
Largest Wordcount Day: 7,026
Lowest Wordcount Day: 743
Number of Chapters: 25 (Except that’ll probably double come editing time because these chapters turned out HUGE. *collapses*)
Number of Character Deaths: HA! Like I’m telling. *smile, smile*
Total Hours of Sleep: 3 (Juuuust kidding! Though some days it felt like it. z_z)
A glorious amount of nothiiiiing!
Okay, that’s not true at all. Because I spent all November simply focused on writing, I mostly ignored everything else and have about 29348 things to catch up on. So I will be steadily working through emails and things. BUT. I will not be doing any writing related projects for all of December. I shall be taking a BREAK.
I have an enormous list of TV shows, movies, and books I want to tackle. (I haven’t even watched season 2 of Stranger Things yet, guys!!!) It’s so great to be freeee! Plus there’s also CHRISTMAS THINGS to plan and do. So my December will basically consist of fun busyness and glorious laziness and I am excited!
Then come January I will…not be editing The Nether Isle. Because I will finally, finally, FINALLY start the second round of edits for Burning Thorns! I know all year I said that’s what I was going to do and then…didn’t. BUT THIS TIME I MEAN IT. I think I needed this year to step back and reevaluate my life. But now I’m BACK in the writing world and SO PUMPED!
As for The Nether Isle, it’ll sit in its current state for a while. Although, for the first time like…EVER, I actually want to edit it??? Usually after I finish a novel, the idea of editing it makes me want to ship my laptop to Antarctica so I never have to see my story again. But this time I’m already thinking about editing and am actually looking forward to it! O_O Like…wut?! I’m calling that a good sign! It’ll have to wait though, because Burning Thorns has already had to wait an entire year. It is high time I return to it.
But The Nether Isle has treated me well and was a thrill to work on.
My 8th NaNoWriMo was completely and utterly AWESOME!!!
Until next year! (And I won’t tell you guys I’m already thinking about next year’s novel… *COUGH* Ihaveananowrimoproblemokay?)
NANO IS OVER, GUYS. (I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.) I am dyyyying to know how everyone’s NaNo went, so TELL ME EVERYTHING. And I’m also dying to know how November went for you sane people who didn’t do NaNo. (Because I haven’t had a non-NaNo November in 8 years and I think I’ve forgotten what that feels like. o.O) So SPILL IT! How was your November? I feel like now that my novel is done I’m reentering society. And I want to hear about ALL THE THINGS! Let’s chat!