Giving Up

I won NaNoWriMo last November. At the time I was excited and proud of myself; I saw it as the push I needed to just get my story out. From that point I could use what I’d written basically as the notes to write a real first draft and then go on from there with as many rewrites and edits as it took to create what I’ve been dreaming about for years. 

I was wrong. I was horribly wrong. 

NaNoWriMo was not good for me or this novel and now I do not know if I can fix it. I do not know if I even care to. NaNoWriMo didn’t just force me to get my story out, it forced me to put on paper the worst possible version of my story. Instead of feeling like notes I can use for a real first draft I find myself looking at these 50,000 words and feeling as if this is really all I am capable of. I feel paralyzed. I feel like my story will never be what I want it to be. 

I am 16,000 words into my real first draft now and I hate it. Yes, first drafts are supposed to be bad, I know, but it’s not the quality that is bothersome most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m telling the story I want to tell. I don’t feel like I’m telling an interesting story at all. I’ve seen the worst I can do and it makes me not want to write this any more. 

I want to give up. I am not getting enjoyment out of this any longer. I see no value in this story I’m telling or any story I have floating around in my head. 

This is me giving up. I’m putting down the proverbial pen and joining the ranks of writers who crashed and burned. After all these years I’m putting this story away, it was never very good anyway. 

Finishing My Novel

Don’t let the title fool you; I am not finished my novel.

I am, however, finished with the rough draft of my novel. 😊 It is the roughest of drafts, most of it having been written during this past National Novel Writing Month (wanna read about my time in that level of hell?) and the rest eeked out over the dreaded holiday season. I just finished on January 16th. Okay, technically seven minute into the 17th but sue me.

I’ve mentioned before that this story has been living in me for years, so now that it’s out, even unpolished and terrible, I feel a little loss. Now what? The characters are written, the story is told, well shit.

My plan is to let it sit for a few weeks so I can forget about it that way when I come back through with my red pen I will feel less protective of the words in the page. Kill your darlings and all that. Once I run through and rewrite most of it to, well, to make sense (yay NaNoWriMo cut corners and retconning!) then I’m going to hand it over to some friends so they can tell me what a shit writer I am, and then I’ll rewrite it again, rinse, repeat until I’m either happy with it or so full of despair I give up. Either works.

In the meantime my friends and I have begun a weekly shirt story challenge. Each week I draw a random prompt from a jar and we all write a story based on it. The prompts are either randomly generated online or ideas I found around the internet as writing exercises and such, nothing special. I believe I will share my creations here so be in the look out for rough short stories!

What are your writing goals this year?

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 30!

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That there was no week 3 update should tell you everything you need to know about how week 3 went for me. I wrote one. I just never got around to formatting and posting it and then by the time I had time it was already more than several days late and I said fuck it. To summarize though “I’M FALLING BEHIND WRITERS BLOCK WANTS ME DEAD WHY DID I START A THIRD JOB DURING NANOWRIMO?” moving on.

IT’S THE LAST DAY OF NANOWRIMO! We made it!

I “won” the night of the 28th but surprisingly I am not nearly as excited about it as I thought I’d be. I sort of just breathed a sigh of relief. I think it’s because I’m not finished, I still have a few scenes to write but I’ll talk about my plans later on. I am, however, more than thankful for all of the people who helped me do this; I failed at my last attempt because I didn’t tell anyone but this time I had my family, friends, and internet strangers encouraging me the whole way. Sometimes it just takes someone you care about to say “Don’t fucken give up you asshole.” to give you that little push when you’re discouraged πŸ˜‚

In all I have to admit this entire experience was amazing. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities; best of all I am writing again. Not just my book but in my head I am writing stories again, dreaming of characters and worlds, and words.

I head somewhere that it takes 21 days to make or beak a habit, I don’t know if there is any science behind that but I do know that I have created a habit of writing that I am proud of. Just last night I almost went to bed without writing any words all day. I told myself there was no pressure, I’d already won! I couldn’t fall asleep until I got about 250 words in. Not a lot considering I’d done almost 3k the day before but the point is I HAD to write. I want to keep that need strong.

NaNoWiMo is the kind of thing that I think any writer should attempt. It’s much more than getting those 50k words in. I don’t know if I will ever do it again, I only have 1 other novel I want to write but the perfectionist in me is going to love on my current project for a long while to get it just right!

What was you NaNo like? Did you learn anything knew? What was you’re favorite part?

WORD COUNT:15300675_1193094320729185_1088829806_n

I “won” with 50,163 words but I’m still writing until midnight on the 30th (It’s 3pm right now) so we’ll see what my full 30 days gets me.

Edit: 51,033 as of midnight

FAVORITE LINE/PASSAGE:

Ugh. Nothing really. The quality is shit, everything is all tell and no show, its a cluster fuck of events and conversations that needed to happen to move the story with a dash of me feeling out character development and subplots. I’ve noticed my favorite passages all come from scenes with one group of characters. I don’t know what it is about them but writing them flows so much better than any of my other scenes.

“No.” she said, turning back to her bread and beans. Aarelith pinched the bridge of his nose and groaned.
What incredible luck, he thought, she fits in perfectly at Jesania. “Prince, that wasn’t a question.” he said. How he’d survived dealing with all of these pigheaded children he could never guess but he was beginning to wonder if it might not be worth it to track down the Lady Euthymia and let Aikaterine talk herself into an early grave.

For context he told her they needed to get her out of the country because once the King found out she was still alive she wouldn’t be able to stay that way long. She’s 16 and stubborn to a fault. She still doesn’t realize that sometime she should just listen to what people are telling her to do.

FUTURE PLANS:

My first draft is not finished, I still have several scenes to do. Then I have to basically rewrite the entire thing because there is a good deal of depth missing from many of the scenes and I spent the whole month retconning the hell out of everything. It’s plot hole city. Nothing major, I worked out the major stuff just smaller things like me making a whole scene about one of my characters learning about a big secret and then deciding afterwards that I don’t want her to know and I never bring it up again.

Once I fix all of that a lot of the character building and relationships need fleshing out. Part of this is me just being lazy and wanting to get words out but part of it is my characters changed as I wrote and got a better feel for them and their motivation so I want to make sure their development is smooth and not jumpy at all and some characters have little to no development.

Ugh. So. Plan.

  • Step one: finish this draft. Should take a day or two.
  • Step two: Put notebook away until January.
  • Step three: Continue this habit of writing everyday. I have several short stories I want to work on in the mean time.
  • Step four: Edit. Rewrite. Edit. Hand over to be beta read and edited. Cry. Rewrite. Edit. Rewrite.

By next NaNoWriMo I hope to have a pretty polished story πŸ™‚ I hope everyone had an amazing NaNoWriMo 2016! Did you win? Did you meet your personal goal? Tell me about it down below!

IG: @_volume_of_forgotten_lore_ NaNoWriMo user Bogorm

NaNoWriMo 2016 Halfway Point

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Guys.
Guys.
We are halfway through NaNoWriMo.

I know that NaNoWriMo is a challenge that many people participate in each year and so many people are able to turn out 50k words no problem. Hell, I’ve seen people who have already won NaNoWriMo this year and if you are one of those people Congratulations! Even with all of this I can’t help but feel proud of myself. For years I never thought I would be able to get this first draft out. I would try and would eventually grow fed up for one reason or another. Now, in just 15 days, I have written over half of my first draft. That is amazing. That brings tears to my eyes to know I can do that.

I know that the difference this time was my friends, one in particular, who helped me do this. All those years I was writing to and for myself. No one knew about my story, and those that did believed in me just as much as I did; they knew I *could* do it but probably wouldn’t. This time I told people, this time I have a dead line, and this time when I get discouraged I have a friend to tell me “Don’t fucken give up you asshole”.

My story is flowing again after starting the week in a bit of a funk. I am happier with my writing overall and my characters have taken me on a few surprise adventures as well! It’s always fun when that happens. I am finding that even after 7 years this story has a way of getting away from me. From characters showing me sides of them I hadn’t expected to a scene that really got away from me, I am discovering this story and it’s making it exciting to write. I am also itching to give Stephen Kings On Writing a reread but I LOST MY COPY and the moment I am able I am going to the store for another because the need is real.

On a more serious note; one theme that has been the entire point of my story since the beginning has been hitting me a bit had recently and that caught me by surprise. In a nutshell my story is about a kingdom whose king begins to go a little crazy and believes he has to bring his county to perfection in order for his god to love and favor him. He starts restricting rights and privileges for non-citizens, woman, and his working class. I hope you can see where I’m heading here. This past week has been an emotional one for a lot of people in my county and I’m finding that writing about the riots and protests in my fictional kingdom is genuinely making me emotional. 15 year old Tarina never imagined that distopian kingdom she was creating would be something she may very well have to live but the fear and uncertainty I’m feeling has helped me put myself in my characters shoes and their motivations are becoming much clearer.

Has your story evolved any over the past 2 weeks? How so? Are there any things in you book that are binging up emotions you weren’t expecting?

WORD COUNT:

sdg
I haven’t counted/updated for today yet

As of writing this I am a little over 27,744 words. I never know exactly until the end of the day because I am writing longhand like a loser. Looking at my “Words remaining” on the NaNoWriMo website and seeing only a little over 22k remaining really made me feel good. I have never written 50,000 words in 30 days before, but I did just write 25,000 in 13 so doing that again doesn’t seem like that daunting of a task!

FAVORITE LINE/PASSAGE: Believe it or not I quite like a lot of what I wrote this week. Here are a few sentences describing the port city of Cybre.

“The city itself was beautiful, in its way. Closest to the port sat businesses of all kinds; pubs, inns, whorehouses, lawyers, anything a freshly landed ship of people might find themselves in need of. Cybre was large and working class meaning the establishments were all in the comfortable place of being affordable to the average person while also boasting low odds that someone would pull a knife on you while you were inside.”

I remain, as always, pretty happy with my descriptions and less happy with my character interactions. I can barely hold a conversation in real life so its hard to write characters that can converse with ease. It’s a skill I do not have so how can I write it accurately?

That’s all for my update! How are those word counts, where is everyone? I will be posting weekly updates on my NaNo progress, stresses, and inspirations but you can get almost daily updates on Instagram.
@_volume_of_forgotten_lore_
NaNoWriMo user Bogorm

NaNoWriMo Day 7

“Alchemists tried for centuries to turn base metals into gold. Every time we sit down and put words on paper, we succeed where they failed. We’re conjuring something out of nothing.”

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It’s been 1 week!!!

I have never been more excited to be writing than I have been in this first week of NaNoWriMo. I don’t know if its having a goal, or having the support and encouragement of the community, or both, or something else entirely but I feel motivated to write my words each day. This project, which for years seemed like an insurmountable task, feels doable. I can accomplish 50,000 words; I can write the first draft of my novel. I hope everyone else feels positive about their goals this month as well.

This project is about seven years old; it began with the idea to create an utopian society and once I had conquered that task to my satisfaction I wanted to destroy it. Thus Donoma was formed and launched into hardship. Seven years. I built this world, these characters, this story; I thought I knew all there was to know about my characters and their motivations. I was wrong.
One main character was an optimistic leader. He was secular, and a provider who wanted to do what was best for his country. Turns out he’s actually a bit of a cynic who is a firm believer in the Gods and who has religious as well as self centered reasons for his actions.
One young man was a bit of a bully to his younger brothers but nothing extreme, he liked to get into trouble but was mature and caring when needed. He shot that down immediately and let me know he is actually a twat, a preening hedonistic peacock who torments his younger brothers like a tyrant. He does take responsibility when it suits him and he is good in leadership roles in those instances but he’s mostly a piece of shit.

Those are just two drastic examples. I have always loved for my characters to show me who they are and I’m so excited that even after all this time I’m learning new things about them!

WORD COUNT:
I had 2 days this week where I wrote less than 1,000 words and it really hurt. As of sdgwriting this (9pm Nov 6) I am at 7,500 and change words. I still have a lot of writing to do tonight and I am behind on my personal goal by at least 3,199, depending on what I finish by midnight. Update: I’m at 9,059 as of posting this.
I’m planning to accomplish my daily goal of 2,000 words and use my days off work this week to write 4,000 words. If I manage that I will be ahead of my goal by Friday.

FAVORITE LINE/PASSAGE:
Last time I jokingly said they were all terrible, this time I mean it. I feel as if the quality of my writing has been decreasing as the days pass. I find myself wanting to edit more, though I have been fighting the urge, and also noticing a lack of depth in my sentences. I usually prefer rich description but that’s not what I’m writing. I know what I’m capable of in first draft work and this simply is not it. I think its the time crunch and the daily goals; I don’t have the time to dream up the words to make each paragraph poetry. I genuinely can’t find a single sentence that I feel reflects my abilities or that I even like as is. As I read over my work I am real time editing it in my head to make it flow better!

The hunting ceased when hunger and thirst forced both players to abandon the maze in favor of the more hospitable kitchen. Like two little wildlings they ran across the hot patio, clothes torn, hair full of petals and brambles, faces streaked dirty with sweat and grime. They couldn’t imagine being happier.
“No.” Enki hardly let them cross the threshold before he spoke, shaking his head as if the children had just suggested something preposterous.

Do your characters ever get away from you and show you who they really are? What about those word counts, where is everyone? I will be posting weekly updates on my NaNo progress, stresses, and inspirations but you can get almost daily updates on Instagram.

@_volume_of_forgotten_lore_
NaNoWriMo user Bogorm

NANOWRIMO 2016 Day 1

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
– Somerset Maugham

 

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HAPPY NANOWRIMO!

It’s technically the beginning of Day 2 for me once this posts but I’m writing it at 1am, just after finishing my Day 1 writing.

WORD COUNT:sdg
I have written 2,178 words as of midnight! My goal is 2k a day so I’m doing alright considering that was only a little under 4 hours of sporadic writing time.

My region is doing amazing as well! I’m trying to be a part of the actual NaNo community this time around instead of just updating my word count. Maryland is at over 2,600,000 words on day 2!

FAVORITE LINE/PASSAGE:
They all suck honestly. I am pretty good at writing descriptions and not so good with dialog or character interaction so let’s pick one of those things I guess…

While the boy was glancing down the Prince took the moment to close the gap between them and connect her right fist to his jaw. He stumbled back into the barrel dropping the dagger, which she scooped up before putting her back to the wall once more.Β  Having steel in her hand made the whole experience more comfortable.
“You didn’t have to fucking hit me!” Damon yelled righting himself, “I was going to give it to you!” He rubbed his jaw once and stared at her horrified and confused.
“But know you know I didn’t need you to. . .”

Excuse me while I cringe to death and also, apparently, fall asleep writing this. It’s been a productive day and I’m hoping for an equally productive week.

I will be posting weekly updates on my NaNo progress, stresses, and inspirations but you can get almost daily updates on Instagram.

@_volume_of_forgotten_lore_
NaNoWriMo user Bogorm

NaNoWriMo2016

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I am going to participate in National Novel Writing Month this November. Gods help me, I must be going mad.

If you go back far enough on this blog you will see that I failed Camp NaNoWriMo in day fucking 6April of 2015 due to a combination of writing a new and complex story, and accidentally getting a boyfriend. I stopped just under 7,000 words in which is pitiful. This year I have been loving reading work by my friends and it has inspired me to get off my ass and finally get a first draft of my pet project on paper. I’m excited. I’m so fucking excited.

I am also apparently the worst at summarizing my own story because I’ve been trying for 20 minutes now but basically its a rebellion story. You know the one; big baddy is big and bad and so we must assemble our band of merry misfits to save the kingdom. Sprinkle in a bit of religion and gender politics, with a heaping spoonful of my shitty personality and BOOM that’s what I’m writing! The novel doesn’t have an official name but I have been calling it Donoma for so many years I don’t believe I will ever think of it anything else. It is historical fantasy set in a world inspired by cultures in real world Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

This time around I will be writing my novel longhand because I prefer that to typing by a wide margin so its going to be a month of counting words for me! That’s okay though, I truly believe I can write 50,000 words this way. I will also do weekly updates here and updates every few days on Instagram to talk about my word count, how I’m feeling, and also my favorite line from the past writing session. This is going to be fun in an “I hate myself” kind of way, so lets get hype!

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year!?