This blog was featured on 12/04/2019
What Makes a NaNo Winner?

I didn't win NaNo this year. There it is. Some personal things came up this month and I just did not have the energy to devote to my work-in-progress (WIP). This is somewhat unusual for me.  It is rare that I abandon a goal. But this year I submitted to the powers-that-be, shrugged my shoulders, and said "oh well." I gave it the old college try and found that the "pantsing" approach just wasn't productive for me.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my current project is one that requires a great deal of research. My plan for NaNo was to pants-it. I would worry about fixing up the novel once I had time to devote to research. Yet this sneaking, heavy feeling sat on my chest the whole way through and after a week or so I realized that the pants-it approach would result in a complete re-write down the road. About 20,000 words in, the characters were not feeling authentic to the story. Don't get me wrong, I listen to my characters. I'm not afraid to follow them in a different direction if they have their own ideas. But in this case there was no direction. Neither they nor I were leading anyone anywhere. 

So I sat around for the month of November. I took in everything going on around me, read and journaled. After a few weeks I came to a different conclusion. Now is not the right time for this project. That doesn't mean that I won't get to it at some point, maybe next year or the year after. I discovered a few things during this month of reflection including:

1) The show must go on. Writing itself is not optional.

2) I need a new WIP that won't require so much research right now. There will be a time for researched novels, this is just not it.

3) This new WIP also needs to be of a less serious subject matter, something lighter that feels less high-stakes, something that is purely fun to work on

So there we are. I just started character development and I'm excited for the story that is unfolding. Wish me luck!

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