Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo Bites the Dust

Yeah, I whipped its butt, along with about 30,000 other maniacs.

I topped the 50,000 word mark yesterday afternoon, and it took me another 1,126 to reach a semi-satisfying conclusion.

What that really got me, other than exhaustion, a lot of eyestrain and a print-it-yourself winner's certificate, remains to be seen. Some of those 51,126 words are good, some are bad, some indifferent. They'll have to sit a while before I sort them out, but it feels good to have them in the can.

I definitely have a better feel for plot. No matter how many books I read on it, how many chronological charts I looked at, or how many outlines I made, plot structure was nothing more than an idea until I got my hands around its neck and mashed it into an actual manuscript. 

I became more focused. There wasn't time to wait for ideal writing conditions, so I made do with what I had. I already alluded to writing 700 words while cooking macoroni and cheese. Well, last week I popped out 500 during the commercials of Ugly Betty. If this thing had gone another week I'd probably be writing while cleaning the litter box.

I've done a lot of whining about eyestrain. It really was pretty bad, but I'm sure it didn't help that yesterday, the last day of NaNoWriMo, I also read all 30-odd stories in the Walmart Flash Fiction Challenge (I couldn't resist - and they were all good!). Staring at the computer monitor almost most makes me long for those olden days of typewriter and paper. Almost.

I feel I should be writing right now, and I'm probably right. But I ain't going to. I'm going to put the computer on hibernate and read a good old-fashioned book. But thanks to NaNoWriMo, I'll probably feel a little guilty about it. And that's probably good.


Laurie Powers said...

Way to GO, Mr. Lewis! I'm sure the sense of satisfaction is great, regardless of what you think of the quality of the words. You did it!

I.J. Parnham said...

Well done. It's amazing to hear it worked and you lived to tell the tale. Trouble is, now it's time for NaDeEdiMo, or whatever second draft month is called!

Richard Robinson said...

Congrats, Evan! Good job!

I'd suggest you read a good-old-fashioned-book by someone you believe to be a standout writer. If that means something literary, so be it. Or of course you could read a good-old-fashioned shoot-em-up of some kind. How long has it been since you read Shane, or Farewell, My Lovely or Islands in the Stream (a personal favorite)? Some Cheever short stories? When's the last time oyu read something by Bill Pronzini?

Heh, heh, heh, heh. Let us know what you did decided to read, okay?

Oscar Case said...

Congrats, Dave! fifty-one thousand one-hundred-twenty-six words! Spelled out, it makes it look even longer.

Evan Lewis said...

Thanks, all.

Good suggestions, Rick. The answers are:
Shane - never.
Farewell - 20+ years.
Islands - never.
Cheever - never.
Pronzini - 25 years?
Tune in for Friday's Forgotten Book to see what popped off the shelf.

Cap'n Bob said...

Yes, Evan, do read something literary. Congrats on the verbiage. Now imagine doing it for 30 years like some of the big producers. The mind boggles.

Richard Prosch said...

Fantastic! Keep us in the loop as you market the piece. Can you share the (working) title?