Last’s months experiment with National Novel Writing Month didn’t turn out well. The sum of my writing in November was 3,075 words That’s about 46,925 words short of the 50,000 total goal for National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t make it. No, not even close.
I didn’t spend as much time on it as I should have. Granted, things were crazy, but I could have given it a bit more effort. Then, when I did sit down to write, my brain didn’t want to work. I felt like I was running into a hard wall.
I wasn’t sure what to do next in the story, and I got stuck many times trying to describe a place I could only foggily imagine. At about half way through, I realized that the current direction of my plot was not going to last, and would cause major problems down the line if I continued without making serious changes. This left me panting hard to try and figure out a better plot line then get back to writing as soon as possible.
My writing sessions were spent trying to push myself to get words on the screen. There were a few reasons for this. First of all I was out of habit. Over the summer I had worked up to a habit of writing every day. Since then I had lost much of my consistency, leaving me out of shape in November. But there were other factors that I did not have in place that slowed me down.
I did not know my characters very well, so when it came time to write them I had little to say. The locations and landscapes I was trying to describe I knew only about as much as I would of a building I had been in only once. And worst of all, I only had a very basic outline to work with.
A detailed outline is crucial. Knowing your characters is important. Discovering locations ahead of time is smart. I had not properly prepared for writing my novel, and by jumping into writing I soon found out how unprepared I really was.
All in all, my try at National Novel Writing Month turned out pretty miserably. But, I don’t regret trying. You see, putting myself under the heat of such a large goal brought the problems to the surface. And now that I can see them clearly, I can address them so that the words can again flow.
This month, in light of what I’ve learned I will work on getting all the framework aspects of my novel in place. I’m going to be spending time on making a detailed outline of Heirs, developing my characters, and mapping out the locations. I can’t wait to share with you what I discover!