Hello, everyone! I know, it’s been a while since I last posted. But NaNo ended in the middle of tech week for a show that I was in, and life was too tiring to try and blog. (Being gone for a little while is why some of you may have gotten comments on your older posts rather than your most recent ones, since I was starting from where I took a break. Which was probably stupid, considering how many posts I missed… but I caught up!)
So, NaNoWriMo ended about a week and a half ago. You may have already noticed the lovely little “Winner” badge in my sidebar. If you didn’t, well, guess what? I WON!!!
It’s a lovely feeling to hit 50k and have NaNoWriMo done and off your shoulders
although I’m frankly terrified at the prospect of editing, right now. Yikes.
I had to write 9,000 words in the last two days to win, but I did, and I was very happy about that. I also broke my record for most words written in a day, raising it to a little over 5,000. That’s more than double the 2,000 maximum that I was able to hit last year.
So… my story. Is. A. Mess.
But a lovely mess.
But a terrifying, lovely mess.
(Excuse all these short sentences, since I’m tired and I’ve had a busy day today. This morning I thought it was smart to get up really early, even though I went to bed late last night. No, it was not smart, Kit. Don’t do that again.)
Anyway. My story is a bit of an editing nightmare (at least to my inexperienced editing soul) for reasons I will explain shortly. However, it was also a bit of a crash course in writing my world, which helped me develop a lot of things really quickly. (Though I’ll probably need to re-develop a lot of those, since making things up on the fly doesn’t always work, as you will see…)
Reasons That I Am Very Happy With Arevik:
Lots of characters! I was able to name and create all of my MC’s teachers, when otherwise I would have procrastinated from that job. Also, Amala met a lot of spontaneously created characters who all apparently have personalities. Yay.
I definitely have a map of the capital city and the country in my head. Unfortunately, I am rubbish at putting maps down on paper. So they’ll probably remain in my head, at least for now.
And character relationships! I have teachers, students, and others, disliking or liking teachers, students, and others, for actual, logical, and emotional reasons. For example, Egricis and Leovin do not like each other because both are very vocal about their political opinions and believe very different things.
There’s also general worldbuilding (and character) development–I had to and did decide specifically on how different clothes looked, how the university architecture was designed, the classes available in the university scheduling, etc., since I had needed some more world-building-ness in my story. I think it definitely helped give Arevik a little more body and substance, even if it still needs more development.
I also learned about Amala’s relationship with her family and her life back in Kala.
Reasons That I Am Not Very Happy With Arevik:
THE LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY. AGH. I made up the university schedule on the fly, because I needed to write but I had to have the schedule to get further. It was more like a high school, not university (so I need to fix it) in that there are nine classes every day.
“Oh!” thought I. “Let’s make each class two hours!” (No, I did not realize that that made the day 18 hours long–but wait. There’s more.)
Then, I decided on a ten minutes passing period, since the university has a large campus, and a thirty minute break in the middle of the day for lunch. Except I added that mid-story, and my characters had forgotten to bring lunch. (I don’t know how lunch would work, anyway…) So they sat around and wondered how to get to their next classes. And the other thing? It takes half an hour to walk to the university from Amala’s boarding house. That means one hour walking total, and adding this all up equals 21 hours. Which means my MC has three hours to eat supper, eat breakfast, do any studying and extracurricular activities, sleep for goodness’ sake, and get mixed up in a brewing rebellion. Eep.
Needless to say, I am going to need to alter this a whole ton to make school shorter AND also make it like a medieval university, not some form of high school that bloomed out of my NaNoWriMo mind.
Another problem? The slow pace. I blur through two or three days in the beginning, equaling a few thousand words. For the rest of NaNo, I only wrote about the first day of university. I did not even get to the final class. What even?? No. 45k or even 40k words do NOT equal one not too eventful day. That’s waaay too long. I am not letting all of this lengthiness get to draft 2, although I’m probably going to rewrite and finish draft one, first. *sigh*
Also, I don’t know very much about living in a desert. I’ve been to the southwest US, but that really isn’t enough, so I need to do way more research. This is a sand-dune-y desert as opposed to a rocky desert, so if anyone has experience or knowledge about living in deserts and is willing to help, please tell me. Thankees!
Last but not least, my MC is boring. I don’t really have her figured out, I guess? She just needs work. I am not going to let her continue to be anything resembling cardboard. Cardboard is good for many things, but not for being a character.
Despite these issues, though, I really am happy with my story.
Even if editing in (hopefully) January seems a bit terrifying, I’m also looking forward to it in a way. Editing is not always pleasant, but by doing it, maybe I can eventually turn my ugly duckling into a swan.
Did you do NaNoWriMo? Did you hit your goal? What are some strong and weak points with your project?