Nanowrimo is over. done. fini.
It was a good learning experience for me though there are some problems inherent to the very idea of setting a goal of fifty thousand words in thirty days. There is little time to change your mind or to camp out in any one spot for long. If you have any kind of life you are going to have times when you simply cannot write and unless you have cranked out a huge amount of words ahead of time you will find your palms sweating and your knees knocking, worried that you have begun the slow slide into the pit of defeat. The motivation of being part of a group works for me for quantity and now is the time to edit. I will give it a few days and then revisit what I wrote.
I learned several things along the way that someone might have told me or I might have read in a textbook, but I never would have really “gotten it”. Having written nothing but short stories before this, I had no concept of the scope. I had no concept of the depth necessary for a character to become a person known intimately by the reader. I also had no clue how much LABOR is involved. I still have difficulty letting bad things happen to my characters. I grow to like them and end up with an aversion to hurting them or subjecting them to conflict which makes for a very boring book.
The encouragement from doing this as a part of a group is helpful. I was a part of a region but not close enough to any group to actually participate in a write in. The occasional pep talk emails from authors that are sent out to nanowrimo participants are helpful and the forums are interesting to stroll through. All in all, it was a good experience and I will probably do it again next year.
I am excited about the idea of starting a Young Writers Program at school. Nanowrimo supports this program and has materials and tee shirts and badges to help. The computer lab would be ideal for holding a write in so I will be talking to the English teachers hoping to get some interest generated.
Back in the spring I sent a short story to Every Day Fiction. They contacted me a couple of months later and said that they liked my story but had a few suggestions for revisions. I made my revisions and re-sent the story. I received an email this evening saying they have decided to publish my story and will contact me again with the publication date. There were some nice comments included with the email.
According to their website:
Every Day Fiction is a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine fiction in bite-size doses. Every day, we publish a new short story of 1000 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast.
So I will take a little time with my Sunday Scribbling prompt this week and maybe enjoy just a few moments to bask and catch my breath.
Thanks are due.
To Tony for nudging me to write, for suggesting nanowrimo, and for the existence of this site that has become my digital home. For being the Wizard and knowing answers to some of my weird late night technical questions. Congratulations to you and Paige.
Paschal – thank you for the encouragement. Not just for nanowrimo, but for always.
Dale, my love. Thank you for looking over my shoulder and telling me to get off Facebook and get back to writing. Thank you for cooking, for encouraging, for editing, and for not giving me a good smack when my answer to a question was to hold a finger up as I continued to type. (no not THAT finger!)
There are others and you know who you are. Thank you.
P.S. I have been informed that my story will be published December the third. I will of course, put a permalink on this blog when it is up. Hope you will all drop by for a read 🙂