Ah, November–a time to try to cram everything in. There’s holidays and medical appointments and school productions and shopping to be done. It’s usually a month where I’m overloaded with things to do that it’s amazing I get anything else done. That leads directly into:
IWSG question of the month – November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?
I have. I’ve participated 8 times, won 5 times… and in doing so have landed myself in the mess of book 2 plot problems that I’ve spent the past half-decade trying to fix.
As a result, I’ve chosen to abstain for the 2022 season. I’ve made steady progress on book 2 this year, averaging 3K a month as I rework the main character’s subplot into the bigger overall story arc. It’s been a deliberate and methodical process to make sure the story A) makes logical sense and B) keeps moving in the right direction that I don’t want to disrupt anything by throwing myself into a challenge.
I’m on the sixth version of this book–and when I say version, I don’t mean drafts and edits, but complete plot shifts, setting changes, and thousands of words that couldn’t be salvaged. Version 1 had my character abducted. In 2, he was trying to cure a dying people. For 3, I completely rearranged events across multiple POVs to fix pacing problems. Version 4 afflicted my character with an illness he’d inadvertently taken on. And 5 was the bad idea of me splitting the book in two that left me stalled out for years.
I’m confident version 6 will be the one that sticks.
I need to get this book done, and I need to get it done to my liking. That won’t happen if I distract myself by jumping into another book or forcing words in this book that don’t fit my end goal.
But maybe next year!
Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Have you ever gotten yourself in trouble because of it? What plans do you have for November?