Sunday, November 10, 2013

And just like that, my NaNoWriMo failed.

One second, I was typing away and the next it was over.  I knew it instantly.  My plot, the characters, they weren't going to work.  Everything I'd worked for since November 1st, completely useless.  I stopped and closed my laptop.  I thumbed through my journal that contains all my notes, story mapping, character developed...nothing.  I sat down with my husband and ran over every possible scenario for these characters, all the ways the story could end and the steps that needed to occur to make these endings reality.  Impossible. 

So just like that, my story was unable to end. 

Even as I type, I'm going through the plot one more time, asking "Well, maybe if I change.....Nope, that won't work.  What  Not that either."

Darn.  Ok, a different less appropriate word came to mind.

It's not like this  has never happened to me before.  I've started and abandoned plenty of projects, knowing in my gut that they simply aren't the "right" story for me to tell.  But I've never gotten so far (almost 25,000 words) into a story nor have I ever set a deadline (end of November) that I really wanted to accomplish.

A part of me is still clinging to hope that I can salvage something.  I tell myself that I'll just put it aside for a while, marinate on it, then when I have more time I can recreate some of the characters and try again.  Maybe it will happen.  Probably not.

I started a new NaNoWriMo, mapped out the entire 16 chapters with each chapter having 2 scenes.  I know exactly what I want to write about in each 1500 chunk.  A step in the right direction but the hit of my failure is weighing on my mind.  Almost 25,000 words, completely unusable. 

And November is ticking away.  I'll have to work twice as hard to hit the 50,000 word mark.  Can I even do it with the time left?

Here's how it's going to work for me.  I don't like to fail, never have, but I've done it enough times to know how to pick myself up, tell my self-doubt to "suck it" and keep moving forward.  So that's what I'm going to do.  Yeah, it's a bummer I put so much time into something that didn't work out, but I learned a lot about drafting scenes, and even though the entire story won't come together, I re-read chapters and individually, it's some of my better writing.  And whenever you write, you practice.  I got practice address the 5 "w's", adding detail, working with believable dialog, and writing historical fiction.  On a side note, I know way more about the roaring 20s and the Polish-Soviet war than I ever imagined I would.  So all isn't wasted.

I'm going to pick up the pace, write fast, work hard and at the end of November, I'll have my NaNoWriMo. 


  1. Alien abduction. It can happen any time, any place. Hello unexpected plot twist.

  2. I think you're on to something! :)