This is my second attempt to write a blog post about my 2014 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Why? Because I haven’t written non-fiction in 30 days and it’s hard to suddenly switch back. I’m also out of practice with some key elements to good blogging, such as caring if what you write is any good and knowing when to stop.
Oddly enough, my first NaNo was the easiest one, and it’s only gotten harder since then. Perhaps it’s because your first will always be the novel you’ve imagined the most, and therefore it will be the one you’re most prepared to write. That was certainly the case for me. My first year I started without much preparation, yet I already knew my protagonist, antagonist, love interest, several supporting characters, a few key settings, the basic plot outline, and what themes I wanted to explore. This year I knew months in advance I would write that superhero story I’ve been kicking around for years, yet when November 1st arrived I realized I wasn’t prepared at all.
I didn’t have a plot beyond a few basic ideas. I didn’t have an antagonist until halfway through the month. I had a few isolated scenes and a whole lot of placeholders. Placeholders like, “a scene where she first notices her powers,” and “she should kill someone in a way that is understandable but not really justified.” These are about as helpful as someone suggesting you should “put in something really cool.” Thanks. I’ll get right on that.
Yet through it all I managed to bash out 50,359 words in 30 days. A lot of them are very bad. Most of them will be thrown out before anyone sees a first draft of my yet untitled superhero book. But it’s a start. And it’s more of a start than I had 30 days ago. Most importantly, last night my boyfriend went to the store and bought me a box of celebratory Lucky Charms. So not only did I write a book, but today I had Lucky Charms for dinner. And it’s not even Christmas yet.