NaNoWriMo – The Second Course

Day 18

Song That Helped Me Out: Circle of Cysquatch, by Mastodon

Word Count: 51908

This is part two of a four part series

It’s 2008, there’s a new President on the way and I am hungry to write a novel.

I sat down a few months back and thought about what I would love to write about. I love bad-ass doctors, but I don’t want to write about them. What about some fantasy story? I love playing RPGs and I always wanted to have my own story in an RPG. Why not write one? A cool main hero with a cool sword that goes on a quest with a party of friends and rivals and comes out of the quest as a new person? Maybe he has to save that childhood friend he secretly has a crush on? Let some stranger join the group and have to earn everyone’s trust.

I even had a small map planned out of the world I was going to set my story in. Made some creatures, some town names, even some plants! I was going to be writing a story in my own fantasy world.

I had a general plot lined up that’s more detailed than the year before. Took some time to create a villain with a purpose other than “I’m evil, that’s why!”. I bounced some ideas off with people on the forums and even had a friend who was also doing NaNoWriMo. Competition!

At this rate, I was planning to write an awesome story for a video game.

November 1st arrives and I begin with a good start. I had taken a great start, writing two thousand words a day. Decent lead and I was liking the story.

Then things came up that I really didn’t plan out too well. Some classes were turning out to be much more difficult than I had planned. My grades were beginning to tank so writing had to be put on hold to get them up.

Some personal issues began creeping up and soon, I was writing no words for days. This wasn’t going to end well.

Thanksgiving week was here and at this rate, I would have to write over five thousand words a day to reach fifty thousand.

I began using every trick in the book to boost my word count. Writing “did not” instead of “didn’t”. Making my characters hum the tune to a song that wasn’t even in their time period or world. Super detailed descriptions.

Last day of November, I hit 50,000 words and earned my certificate.

Quite frankly, I didn’t earn it.

The resulting draft I had wasn’t even worth editing. It was that bad. I’m pretty sure my characters changed names and physical descriptions throughout the story. The plot I had was now all over the place. Nothing wrong with a diversion here or there, but navigating through the story was like going through a dark forest blindfolded. The trees would all feel different and the smells would change at every breath.

It was so messy, I felt I didn’t deserve to say I wrote a draft of a novel. While I know that unplanned things came up and they had to take priority, I knew I still could have done better.

But as I sat during the end of the semester, I took another look at the draft and began to wonder if bits and pieces of it could be taken out and put together. It was like looking for gold. Shifting through all the dirt and rocks to find that sparkle. That’s what I spent the remainder of 2008 doing.

What happened in 2009? Find out tomorrow!

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