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It's Finally Over.

Day 26: 1.6k; 43.3k
Day 27: 1.6k; 45k
Day 28: 1.6k; 46.6k
Day 29: 1.6k; 48.3k
Day 30: 1.6k; 50k

I did it. I thought November would never end. But then it did. This has been the single most difficult nano I've ever completed. I stepped out of my comfort zone with The Naked Eye, but apparently when I'm not comfortable with what I'm writing, I don't care about what I'm writing. I spent some time looking through the chronicles of my previous nanos and there have been quite a few lowlights, but they were always counteracted by highlights. It was always, I hate my plot, but I love my characters.

Now that I think about it, I don't think it was the comfort zone that destroyed this. I always love my characters. I love writing character-driven stories and if I don't love my characters then I don't love or have the potential to love my story. For this, it was like I went through all the motions of other nanos. Some days were easier to write than others. Around week two things got difficult and I was barely reaching my goal if I even did make my goal. And then towards the end, I had an epiphany and things fell into place and the words were a little bit easier and I sort of knew where I was heading. It was all the same, like I have a mental schedule for doing nano.

But I did not like my story at any point during this. I never really like my main character, though at one point I thought I could see something in her that I might be able to enjoy if I cultivate it, but that withered and died. The character that I thought I would love never actually made it into the story and I'm not the type who can just skip ahead to a favorite part. I'm a pantser, so skipping ahead would just leave me stranded, lost and confused. The two characters that I enjoyed the most had their personalities hideously warped by the plot and by the time I noticed I was too emotionally drained to try to do anything about it. The few characters that maintained their personalities throughout and that I didn't have trouble writing were minor characters that showed up maybe once every 10k.

I wrote 50k this month. 50k of a novel I cannot stand and I don't anticipate every enjoying even with some time apart. I wrote 50k and it took me all 50k and ten words and then this post to realize something about myself. I almost feel like this was a wasted month, but I just have to hold onto my new knowledge. 

*If, as I am writing, I find I cannot love my main character or at least who I intend him or her to be, I'm better off giving that novel up for a loss and trying something else.*

Did anyone else learn anything during this nano or nanos past? Was it worth the heartache?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2012 05:21 am (UTC)
Dec. 2nd, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 5th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Nah, it wasn't a wasted month. Even if you dislike the characters and the plot, you still wrote a novel! You still wrote 50K. And you'll take this experience and apply it to the next novel you write. Every time you do this, you get better. So, yes, it's always worth the heartache, I think.

Dec. 13th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
I think I really needed to hear this, so thank you so much. I just feel like it's been a bad couple of months combined with a unloved nanonovel, I was just rundown by Nov. 30. I think I was trying to tell myself this, but it didn't seem half as useful coming from myself.

Thank you!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )