Well, almost a month into the new year now, and nearly two full months after the official end of NaNoWriMo, here is where I am: my work originally started as a NaNoWriMo novel is going steady to its finish. Not the case for a long time, however.
Immediately after the NaNo pressure, my inspiration and motivation somewhat subsided, even though my husband pushed me to write “while it’s still fresh in your mind”, which, indeed, was a fair remark, since after a half-week pause I realised I had forgotten a great deal of the characters and their aims in the narrative. (Funny to imply they have any “aims”, as most of the time, or let me admit it – the best of times, my characters just do as they please and don’t bother to seek my opinion).
Sadly, though, things were not going along the thorny path of creation, but along the rather smooth path to oblivion. My husband, however, argued, “I believe in you and do my bestest to support you, so you MUST finish it and show me I was right.” Well, he said something to that end, only more colourful and not by those dry words.
So, in December I felt compelled to keep up my NaNo rhythm, or at least pretend to. Around the middle of December, quite naturally, approaching holidays diverted my attention and kicked me in the sinister pool of fake family festivity and horrendous horrors of hypocrisy. Two sets of non-working days were nearly waisted, but not completely. The deadline I had set myself did not see the finishing of my novel. In fact, I was not even near it. In despair, I decided to cut the story short and instead of completing the school year as I had initially planned, to stop the action at the turn of the Year – 1st of January, that is. So, I needed just of couple of scenes and talks and twists to make it to the end.
Hardly finding the time and place to sit and type (a curious nearly-2-year-old hitting keys and spilling water or putting heavy objects over the laptop is not a small obstacle), I took the printout of my piece that I had printed a while after the validation of the NaNo words and started reading. Almost immediately, I needed a pen. Things were nigh terrible 🙂 I mean, really!
Reading what I had written so far, yet, was extremely useful for me. I saw that although I thought I was spending too much time on a scene, it did not show in the text. Obviously, the time spent thinking and re-thinking, or even pre-thinking, does not have a way to get recorded on the page. I saw that certain events, or sub-events are so hasty and hurried that they are annoying. In addition, the big work of my November, was too short and I read it very fast. So, here are the lessons learnt.
Firstly, readers will not know what was in my head. That is why the “thing” in my head should not stop me from producing on page. I may get tired with my characters, due to over-use or over-communication with them, but that does not apply to the reader, in fact.
Secondly, the initial part is rubbish, but when I got the impetus, around the middle of the book, the reading is good. So, I need to give myself some time for tuning and then go back and revise those parts. It means that I need to spend longer chunks of time at a single sitting as it is around the 10th page that I begin writing tolerable stuff.
Thirdly, I decided to complete my original intention and cover the entire first year at school.
So, around the middle of January work began anew, and with a new perspective.