Once again I have failed NaNo, following what seems now to be a tradition over 3 years old. This year Dru and I decided to try and work on a single story together, each of us putting in 50000 words. Dru won because she is awesome. I failed with only 25500 words.
Post-mortem – What went wrong
Well, I think the main problem was, ironically, one that Dru was worried would effect her and I was quick to dismiss – that of us writing parts that involved other’s characters.
The plan from the beginning was that we would each take a handful of characters and we would run through their individual plot lines until they met up, where one of us would take over (depending on whose character met whoms, etc, etc. I ended up with two characters, while Dru ended up with 4, pluss all of her secondary characters. My characters on the other hand were mostly solitarry or aloof and didn’t really have much in the way of a supporting cast which I think only contributed to my downfall.
Without enough characters, I began to run out of stuff to write. While Dru could happily plough on through, I needed to keep these two characters going with little support from the rest of the story and not only that, I needed to keep the events of two characters aligned with the events of four other ones, something that made the task of writing for them even more difficult.
Another issue is that I find Dru’s writing style quite hard to read, especially when it’s during the heat of NaNoWrimo and horribly unformatted and unedited. Trying decode the wordstorm so I can work out what’s going on and align events in my own plotlines was taxing and demoralising.
Mostly though, I have only myself to blame. I refuse to ‘cheat’. I refuse to use dirty tricks to bump up my word count. I want to write a novel in a month, not just 50000 words of babbling garbage and mindless repetition. It didn’t have to be a good novel, but it still had to be a novel, otherwise I’d have a character start stuttering at the beginning and never stop until they’d repeated the same word 20000 times or something.
I also didn’t want to give up doing the things I usually do, like watching various TV shows, playing the odd game on the PS3 or doing roleplay. All of those ate time I could have used writing and maybe if I’d had to inclination to forsake these for a month in favour of writing, I’d have done better.
The Good Bits
It wasn’t a complete failure I suppose. This year I’ve got further than ever before. My last record was 14000 so reaching the halfway mark this year was a definate improvement. At this rate maybe I’ll win NaNoWriMo come 2012…
We also have an unfinished (I was meant to write the ending but never did) novel of 75000 words so far and hopefully during editing we can turn our awful spewing of crap into something beautiful, or if not that, at least something we can read without wincing with embarrassment.
I don’t know if I’ll do NaNoWriMo next year, but then again I never do until the few weeks before. Guess I’ll see next year.