I’m Doing NaNoWriMo Again and It Is Not Going At All Like It Did Last Year

Tree outside Tanoan Country Club, location of LERA Enchanting the Page Writer's ConferenceFirst off, I am already behind on word count. I have a good excuse! On Saturday I attended an all day writers’ conference put on by LERA, my local RWA chapter. By all day I mean from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. It was a magical day, though, so well worth it.

In so many other ways, this year’s NaNoWriMo experience is completely different from last year’s experience. It is all just a wee bit disconcerting.

What Plot?

Last Year it just poured out of me.

The story I wrote had been coursing through my bloodstream for years. Ninety percent of the scenes had played out in my head, in technicolor and painstaking detail, multiple times. So it was a matter of sitting down with the hero’s journey the last week of October and plugging in the scenes wherever they belonged: Call to Adventure, Crossing the Threshold, Ordeal, etc. By the time November 1st rolled around, I was good to go.

This Year I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

I thought, “I’ll write a road trip story. That’ll be fun.” Sat down with the hero’s journey and had nothing to plug in. Nothing. November 1st rolled around and I still had nothing.

Word Count or Sleep? Hmmm. 

Last Year I came home after midnight from a Halloween party, sat down at my laptop, and typed out the daily word count before going to bed.

This Year I came home after midnight from two Halloween parties and went straight to bed.

Who Are You And What Have You Done With My MCs?

Last Year I wrote the first 1,667 words and thought, “This is great. I know who my character is, I know how she thinks, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

This Year I wrote the first 1,667 words and thought, “Who are these people? What are they doing? Why are they even friends? What the hell is going on here?”

Genre and Tone–So Overrated

Last Year I set out to write a super sexy times story. I ended up writing a super sexy times story. I was all giddy and exhilarated the whole time I was working on it.

This Year I set out to write a light-hearted romantic road trip story. What I’m actually writing is a dark and angsty road trip story about loss, trauma, and guilt. It’s like I’m listening to a Janis Joplin/Adele playlist all day every day.

On the bright side, my characters will eventually have sex. If only I can stop crying long enough to get them there.


3 thoughts on “I’m Doing NaNoWriMo Again and It Is Not Going At All Like It Did Last Year

  1. This is my second time doing NaNo too. It’s a totally different beast the second time around. It’s almost like since I’ve done it before and won, I already know that I can do it, therefore there’s nothing to prove anymore. It’s slightly less exciting somehow even though I feel like my story this year is a lot better developed than last year’s.

    I hope it’s just my current mood saying that. I really loved the feeling of finishing last year and think it would be cool to make it a yearly tradition.

    Like

    1. Somebody at a write-in I went to said the same thing–that they’re having more trouble with the second year. I think we might be experiencing what they call the sophomore slump! The one thing that is still true, though, and why I really enjoy NaNo, is that it really fosters, actually forces sometimes, that raw creativity. I love it. That in and of itself is gold.

      Like

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