NaNoWriMo 2010 Debrief

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Okay. So November was not the greatest month for blogging, but I did have a lot going on. I had a 50,000 word novel to write, for one, which, by the way, I did not even come close to finishing—only made it about 30 percent of the way. The outline for the novel, as well as the novel itself, went through a lot of changes and editing and revising, and I think for the better, too.

I think one of the hardest things for a writer is to change the story he is working on when he has already invested much in to the project. The more time a writer spends with his characters and his story, the more he grows attached to it. Two reasons for this, which are related to each other, is that one, he has invested himself into the project, and two, no matter how much he tries not to, he writes himself into the story via the characters and their problems and questions.

But sometimes revision, which is just that—Re Vision—is necessary, whether to fix certain plot holes, or to make the story more meaningful and powerful, or what not. It is never easy. but if your story is not working, then it needs to be re-worked.

This was the biggest lesson I learned from this year’s NaNoWriMo. I was stuck and unmotivated. But after taking a risk and sharing my outline with my roommate, we were able to talk it over and with his help and suggestions, I was able to begin re-working the story. It has changed much from how I first perceived it, but it has, at the same time remained the same.

It seems to me that no matter how much one isolates themselves and writes alone, even if no one is aware they are writing, a story is never written “alone.” It is our interactions with the world, with people, with friends, with family, that stories are written, whether we discuss our story ideas with others or not. In fact, I wonder if everything we do is affected in this way. I think it is.

So whatever it is you are doing, don’t be afraid to take risks; don’t be afraid to rework and revise your project, especially if it is not working, and be open to suggestions and corrections. It will make life more enjoyable and more exciting.

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