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NaNo 2012: What I've Learned

50,313 to be exact.

I finished on the 29th, and wrote every day but 4 days, which means it took me 25 days to hit the 50k mark. This is a new record for me. Of course it's only the third time I actually won Nano, out of five or six tries...

What I've learned this year:

1. What starts out as one story easily turns into something else. I'd planned blood and guts. Instead I ended up with a lot of weirdness: Nobody died.


2. Google translators suck (though I've always suspected this), and really, if you want to translate anything, you need to go to message boards, or talk to people who, um, actually know the language. Also, there are words in the English language that simply can't be translated. And vice versa.

3. Setting a novel in a different a country is a monumental undertaking. Seriously,am I out of my skull?

4. Historical research is kind of fun, especially when it's something I'm actually interested in.

5. I've never loved "new" characters more than I loved these. Even in this first miserable draft they have their own personalities. They make me laugh. They tick me off. Most importantly, they feel real to me. I'm hopelessly attached to them.

6. Sometimes names do "fit" your characters right from the start. In previous works, I've changed characters' names over and over, right up to the last minute. The only name I plan to change here is one that belongs to a someone I know--I threw it in on an impulse--but because the character turned out to be a bitch, it might be better to, um, change it, eh? :) Though nothing, of course, is carved in stone, the chances of my changing any other names are pretty much zero.

7. Scene transitions are still the hardest things for me to write (after first chapters). Therefore, I didn't write any, which means I wasted less time. I also didn't write a first chapter.

8. Neither did I write any descriptive details. Half the time I don't even know what these people look like. What the town looks like. What they're eating. Wearing. Sometimes I don't even know what freaking ROOM they're in (it's NANO, for Pete's sake...I'll work it in later).

9. I can write just as easily at my kitchen table as I can at Panera's or at the library. Who knew?

10. How easy it is to gain 8 pounds in a single month? FRIGHTENINGLY EASY!

grapemo 2012 exhausted

What's up next? I'm not entirely sure. I have another ms on the backburner I'm supposed to be working on, and as attached as I am this THIS one, it'll be hard to pull away. I'll give myself a couple days to think it over.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
No need to change it if I'm the bitch. ;)

The kitchen table is my preferred writing location over all others...including the office I just had to have.

Death to transitions, long live the jump cut!

And I can't wait to read it, someday. It sounds fascinating.
Nov. 30th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to FINISH it to get some feedback. Cuz this honeymoon probably won't last too much longer... :)
Dec. 2nd, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Huge congrats. I was watching your total updates on twitter all month amazed at your progress. I'm glad to see you complete it after working so hard at it.

Nano's too much pressure for me, but clearly it works for some people. Hopefully you polish this into something we might see one day! :D
Dec. 13th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reply and sorry it took so long for me to get to it. :) I hope so too.

It IS a lot of pressure. I totally get why people want NO part of it, lol. Unfortunately, that's what it takes for me to get off my you know what.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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