#NaNoWriMo (And What I've Learned So Far)
It's about time I finally break in this blog given that I've been telling myself I'd start posting things on here for what feels like centuries. And what better way to kick things off than with a fun NaNoWriMo post?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it's basically 30 days of torture where there are neither enough words nor enough to coffee at the end of each day, and we all struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel. No, I'm just kidding. Mostly...
NaNoWriMo is an annual event that takes place in November, in which participants (writers of every skill level) have 30 days to write 50,000 words. It sounds intense, right? However, it has been one of the most rewarding learning experiences for my writing. Each year, I begrudgingly learn how to drop the constant, self-editing side of myself in favor of just getting words down on the page. NaNoWriMo is extremely helpful in making me focus on the drafting portion of writing a novel, essentially forcing me to hold myself accountable for getting my word counts in and not obsessing over tweaking every little line. I mean, I still do, but at least it's less frequent during November and I will take that as a win any day.
So, here are the things I have discovered so far during NaNoWriMo 2018:
1. Writing with a black background and yellow font is SURPRISINGLY HELPFUL TO ME???
I came across a tweet somewhere (forgive me for not crediting whoever posted this tweet, but I was just scanning quickly and forgot to make a note of it) that a cool writing hack for those whose eyes grow tired of staring at a white screen all day is to change the background to black and the font to white. I was not sure if there was conclusive evidence as to whether or not this was actually true, so I decided to do a little bit of research and the results seemed to be mixed.
Me being me, I decided not to try it given that I hadn't found anything concrete telling me to do otherwise. But the idea stuck in my head for a few days leading up to November, and I thought, "what the heck" and gave it a try for the sake of literally anything that would help me get through writing this month. And it worked???
I'm not sure if it was my brain delighted at a change in writing style and some dusty, old gears decided to kick on in response to this new change, but my headaches were less frequent (also due in part to my dorky computer glasses) AND I was actually producing words. Like, way more words than I usually crank out. And I don't crank out all that much in single sessions.
***A little tip from me: play around with the coloring of the yellow font. I found some yellows to be too harsh on my eyes and adjusted it until I found a shade that contrasted well with the black without killing my eyes in the process. You do you on whatever shade works best for you.
2. About 11,000 words into drafting, ya girl decided THIS NOVEL NEEDS MULTIPLE POVS, LET'S SWITCH THINGS UP!
And because I seem to have a penchant for masochism, I did just that. Despite, ya know, having NEVER written in multiple POVs and being utterly terrified of the idea of throwing a whole new wrench in the month where I was supposed to just get this draft done. Yup, I went into this thing blind as hell and with no real strategy for success.
But. I. Actually. Kind. Of. Don't. Hate. It?
Adding more POVs felt like the most daunting decision before I decided to take the plunge, but part of me felt like I needed to do it. The story was bogging down, and the characters that were somewhat of a focus in the story were not efficiently having their sides shown except through the MC who was bias against their sides from the beginning. Each of the other characters had major motives for the way they reacted in the story that I as the author knew, but that readers would be completely clueless to know because, again, the MC was not really keen on exploring their motives.
So I added the POVs, mostly because my NaNo side was like WOO! WORD COUNT BOOST! But also because I knew that I wanted to explore these other characters in more detail than I was previously doing. Who knows, I may have royally fucked up the story, but hey, no words are lost words. It took me a damn long time to learn this, and I am proud that if nothing else comes out of this, I have a greater love for the other characters and more of a background into their headspace.
3. Netflix binging shows that are in the same genre as my WIP totally counts as research and NO ONE WILL CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE
I don't really have a further explanation for this one. It just is.
BONUS: My favorite line from my WIP so far-
His hand had not moved from her shoulder, and she felt her skin crawling under the weight of it as if it might jump right off her bones and run away. Ellory maintained strict rules when it came to people touching her without her say so, which was why she had always been clear with setting her boundaries upfront. Her rules were a wall that protected her from anything unwelcome, anything unwanted, and they made her feel safe behind them.
And right now, he was breaking them, tearing down that carefully crafted wall brick by brick.
So yeah, hope this ramble was at least somewhat of an entertaining read and didn't portray me as a complete, bumbling fool. It's totally valid, but still.
All the best,
Follow me on Twitter at @snazzysavvy9