On The Brink

I officially have 2,105 words left until I win National Novel Writing Month!

As I am poised on the brink of 50,000 words, I wanted to take a moment to reflect. I thought I would post more updates, but I got carried away in the writing (imagine that) and didn’t come here to post. However, I wanted to take a second and speculate what it will be like to pass 50k.

Firstly, I am bad at committing to tasks. Putting a due date on things is the easiest way to make me not want to do them. For example, I love to knit, but I just abandoned a knit-a-long because something about knitting under a deadline makes it less enjoyable. So I am amazed at myself for sticking to this task for nearly a month. I actually expected to lose interest about a week ago. Granted, I may have tried to finish as quickly as possible to try and finish before that happened…

I am feeling good about approaching the finish line but, what is scary, is that the story is no where near finished. I don’t just mean that it needs mounds of revision (though it does). I mean that there is close to another half that remains to be written. NaNoWriMo encouraged me to churn out 50k words, but I have some concern over what will encourage me to finish the rest of the writing. As I have written, the story is coming to me easier and easier. Yet, there have been plenty of days where I would have avoided writing if not for my NaNo commitment.

So I am almost afraid to finish those last words. Will that drive to write disappear? I have ignored this story idea for most of my life before finally brining it to life this month, so I know I am good at not writing. This month also showed me I can be good at writing. Which of these will stick with me in the months to come?

I think I should use the final week of NaNoWriMo to challenge myself to see how far past 50k I can go, but I already feel the temptation to relax instead.

I suppose there is always Camp NaNo in the spring and summer if I need to recommit. But I hate to think of abandoning my fledgling tale for so long.

Ok, now I am off to finish my writing. I will let you know who I am on the other side of the brink.

November, Here I Come

I have, in the past, halfheartedly said I would do National Novel Writing Month. I even had one April where I started Camp NaNoWriMo. However, after about 5,000 words I realized that the story I was working on wasn’t clicking and I needed to let it go (at least for the time being).

However, I am hoping this November will be different. I am out of school until January when I start my MFA program at Lindenwood University (Class schedules for the Winter term came out today and I am really excited about the choices). I am still in my current job, in spite of multiple attempts to escape. (I still have my fingers crossed that the job I interviewed for last week will hire me, but even if they did I wouldn’t start until the end of November.) Whatever my feelings toward my current job, the advantage of it is that it would give me time to write at work. So this seems like the perfect chance to participate in NaNoWriMo.

I have been researching my butt off up to now about the Iron Age, Ancient Celts, and Druids. This is, let me tell you, not such an easy task. The Celts didn’t have a writing system so all evidence of them comes from the archaeological record or from Roman and Greek accounts (which are possibly biased). The Druids have been turned into mythical, magical beings that are highly romanticized. The thing is, we know there really was a class of people known as Druids, and that they played an important role in Celtic society, but little is known about what that actually entails. Since my story is set around a real event, the Menai Massacre, I have been trying to get my history down pat. That said, there is a lot of artistic licence that needs to be taken to fill in the gaps. The story idea is one I envisioned when I was about twelve years old and have spent the last dozen years writing on and off, researching on and off, and, overall, developing into a totally different entity than what I originally wrote in notebooks during middle school. Due to the amount of research needed, and, if I’m honest, due to how personally attached I am to the idea and the characters, I have put off actually writing this story for years. When I started at SNHU, I decided it would be my thesis project. Now that I’m transferring to LU, which only requires a novella-length thesis, I’ve decided to stop thinking and start writing.

I am incredibly nervous about taking on writing 50,000 words in a month as well as leery about my own ability to stick to a commitment like that for a whole month (making things a requirement tends to cause me to balk and avoid doing them). However, I’m also totally pumped to start writing. I have already found two NaNoWriMo buddies online that are writing about Iron Age Celts (although in Scotland and Ireland, not Wales like me). So I hope that we can assist each other on this undertaking.

I’m still using the next couple of weeks for more researching and planning. Although, admittedly, I am a terrible planner. Everything is in my head so I get annoyed trying to put it on paper. I wrote one very lazy outline and I have yet to force myself to elaborate. I still need to go through the scenes that I already wrote over the last twelve years (all of which need serious revision) and make sure that they’re accounted for in my plan.

I’ll probably be using this blog to check in as things continue, but for now, November, here I come!