I did not win NaNoWriMo this year. And yet I feel elated now that it is over.
I knew the project I wanted to work on. It was a project that I have had ticking around for several years. I have already tried writing in multiple times before this. I have IDEAS for it. I know the twist. I know how I want you to feel while you read it. I know the type of voice I want, and the POV.
But then when it came time to writing it I didn’t have all of my scenes worked out and I felt like I was wondering around a bit lost. Part of the reasons I had failed to finish this project before was the wondering around lost bit. The other part was I was trying to tell it in first person, but had way too many players in the game that needed their angle. The other part was that it was a much bigger story that anything I had tried before, and I didn’t feel I had the writing chops at the time.
At the end of November this I have the beginning scenes written for this novel. I have Character backstories for almost all of key players. I know the ending, we’ll kind of; I know the twist.
What I need to do now is finish plotting it out. I need to take the time to see this story through, and really build a comprehensive outline. Then when it comes time to sit down and write it out, I will have a much better understanding for each scene and what is going on in it. All of the questions I’m asking, should have answer in the novel.
That’s what I’m going to do for this project. I’m going to set myself up for success. When I say I’m writing or working on it, what I will really be doing is brainstorming for it. I will be immersing myself in this world, and really figuring out the details, and the flow of the story. I’m really really excited about this. And with the pressure of NaNoWriMo being off, I feel like I can properly take the time to do this, rather than pumping out word count.
So I lost. But I lost in service of the novel. I lost with intention that I want to create something epic. And to do that, I need more time. This year was about quality not quantity. I’m happy with the quality of what I have produced so far, and will be happier still to continue figuring out the depths of this book, and getting them into a proper outline before I start writing the scenes. I’m looking for my guideposts now.