NaNoWriMo – A Lifeless Story
Here we are today, day 5 of NaNoWrimo – I’ve neglected family and already missed two birthdays. And as I start to struggle through, I find myself wondering “What was NaNoWriMo like last year?”
Did I suffer at all? Do I need to go back and see what I wrote here on those days? Because I have a feeling that my memories about last November are a bit skewed.
Last year, I had a story firmly in mind – I was working on the sequel to something that I had put a lot of time and energy into. The “creation” factor wasn’t as demanding because I’d already gone through that process with the first book. I was able to just sit down and continue where I’d left off.
I’ve starting something completely new this year, and I don’t know how I’m going to get 50,000 words. I feel like I’m just forcing the characters to speak to one another in order to move the story along. Maybe I chose the wrong story? Maybe I should have properly wrapped up some other projects instead of embarking on a NaNoWriMo journey this year.
When I sit down to get my daily word count in, I find myself wishing I didn’t have to work on it. I’m trying very hard, and I like to think I do have something decent going on, but I don’t feel it. I don’t feel anything for these characters yet. I’m not invested in their situation. In short, I don’t care what they do or what happens to them.
This is a pretty big problem for me.
I realize the problem may liewith my unfinished novel. It’s been pushed onto the back-burner until after November. I was having a hard time finding the motivation to finish the editing and rewriting that it needed. I was frustrated with how much time and hard work I was having to put into that novel. I was tired of it. I thought maybe NaNoWriMo would be just what I needed – to step away from it for a while, take a break, get back into the joy of writing, and then return to finish it.
I’ve only discovered that instead of this “break” being good for me, it’s only making things harder. I’m having to push myself to care, and I’m not doing so well at it. So far, NaNoWriMo has only made me realize how much fun I was having with my novel. I am deeply attached to those characters right now. Even through the process of writing these new characters, I sometimes catch my mind wandering off to ask questions like “I wonder how my characters are doing. I kind of left them hanging after that last battle…”
I have a pretty decent idea going this year for NaNoWriMo. In fact, just like my novel, this one came to me as a dream. So I do have some vested interest in the story premise…it just feels like the wrong time to be trying to get into it.
I mean, if you look at it objectively, I can come to my blog and pound out 500, 600, or 900 words with ease. I go back to my NaNoWriMo project and I find I’m ripping words out of me in the most painful way ever. Last year, I got my daily word count in only a couple of hours with hundreds of words to use as leeway, now I sit at my desk for five hours or more struggling to get down just enough to meet the requirement.
I guess the question now is whether or not I’ll make it to 50,000 words with this story, or will I give up and try something else while it’s still early enough?