NaNoWriMo 2013 Retrospective

I’m back! And I’m a Winner!

What an…interesting month it was for me. I’m not going to lie – it was hard(!) – which was disappointing after the phenomenally positive experience I had in April and July for Camp.

This novel is also a mess (even more so than my NaNo novel from last November) – which is frustrating because I know I’m capable of writing something coherent. I’m supposed to be getting better, after all. Not worse!

During week two, I took a break writing my main character’s viewpoint and did some flashback scenes for another character. And I really like that character. A lot. What I tried to do was have the two story lines converge toward the end of the book – the main character being a linear timeline in the present while the secondary viewpoint is a series of flashbacks leading up to that character’s present time when the two characters finally have a showdown at the end. I still think it’s a cool idea and it could work but I didn’t even get close to having it ‘work’ here. Just figuring out how the main character was going to get from A to B was struggle enough (PS I didn’t figure it out).

My first problem was that I only gave myself a month to think about it. I was going to work on a novel I had already started back in August, but I changed my mind in favor of doing something ‘new.’ Bad idea. I really had too many ‘what is my character going to do now?’ moments.

My second problem seems to be that I might enjoy writing male characters more than females. Given that my protagonist is female…I struggled nearly everyday to write something interesting. My first instinct is to write female protagonists. I don’t know why that is – maybe because, being female myself, I think I know what a girl would say or do. It’s familiar and seemingly easier. But men and boys just have a swagger that female characters…don’t. They’re more fun to write. I suppose that’s a failure on my part to write engaging female characters.

So overall, I don’t feel like this NaNo was a success even though I ‘won.’ I am proud of myself for not giving up -because there were days when I really wanted to.

On a positive note, I had Writing group earlier in the month and loved it. I wrote a scene for my NaNoWriMo novel specifically to share with the group and it turned out pretty well. We’re still talking about a first draft here so there were some things I wasn’t happy with, but I am a perfectionist so I’m never completely satisfied. As I was listening to the others reading their selections I kept wishing that I could write as well as them. While I was reading mine (which was SO much easier this time), I realized that I enjoyed reading my writing, too. And maybe, just maybe, I’m doing alright at this whole writing thing…

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12 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2013 Retrospective

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