Friday, December 2, 2016

What I Learned // NaNo Update No. 2

(Sorry you have to endure two posts from me in one day, but I'm going to be working all day tomorrow and I really wanted to get these updates published so that I can stop thinking about them.  The third and final post will be coming sometime this weekend, hopefully.  And no, you needn't worry, it's not going to be another long rant about how I can't write because that would be silly, especially as I shall be sharing story snippets in that post and there's no point in stating the obvious.  :P  (I'm sorry.  Do I enjoy insulting myself, or what?) 

Moving on to the subject of this post.  What I learned while participating in National Novel Writing Month...

~I am a very lazy writer.

If the words don't start flowing within the first five minutes or so, I give it up as a bad job and decide that perhaps after all today is not the day for genius to burn.

~Keeping track of how many words one writes can be very rewarding.

But mostly discouraging, especially when one's word count is rising at the rate of 9 1/2 words per hour.   (Yes, I did the math.  30 days.  720 hours.  6948 words. Average it out and it comes to just about 9 1/2 words per hour.  Yeah, I think it's pathetic, too.)

~With all the time in the world, writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is an absolute cinch!

But do I have all the time in the world?  No.  I don't think so.  (There was bound to be a catch somewhere.)

~Practically everyone believes in me!

Practically everyone, that is, except that one stick in the mud, me.  (Spoil-sport.  Look, I know you don't like to go with the crowd but on a matter such as this, couldn't you be a bit more obliging?)

~I have a talent for saying way too much in my writing, while at the same time saying very little. 

It's the art of overly-descriptive, semi-repetitive, jibber jabber.

~I'm horrible at transitioning from one scene to another. 

Okay.  Forget transitions.  I'm horrible at writing scenes, period.  I have such a hard time making my characters do things.  I can make them talk, but what do I make them do?  How do I move them from one room to another without describing every single step they take?  How do I make a scene come alive with just a few simple words? 

~It's commonly said that NaNo is a risk to one's sanity...and even perhaps to one's life.  Well, it had nothing on me.  I survived it quite easily.

It's called admitting when you're licked and knowing when to beat a retreat.  Like one week in, perhaps, before the stress really begins to do things to you.  Just fall back.  Chill.  Give up.  Quit.  Ruuuuuun!  (Hey, it worked for me.  It can work for you.  Just trying to preserve lives here.)

~I hate my writing with a vengeance.  It makes me SO mad.

Because it rarely does what I want it to do.  And it rarely sounds how I want it to sound.  It's just the orneriest thing ever!

~Making up stories is fun!

No.  Making up stories is tragic.  Especially when you're bursting to get your characters out onto the page so you can read about them...but they simply won't be got out.  They're stuck.  Oh! the pain!

~It's one thing to know what sounds good in a story, and quite another to actually go and write it.

Couldn't have said it better myself!  (Wait!  I did say that!)

~Some people simply don't know when to quit.

I am speaking specifically of Natalie.  Honestly, people, I tried all month long to set her a good example of how to quit, but she never caught onto it.  She just kept going, going, going.  Like she was in the middle of a writing challenge or something.  (Mwhahaha.)  Seriously, though, she did an awesome job!   I won't tell you what her final word count was because she may want to tell you that herself, but I assure you, it totally and completely put my word count to shame.  YAY FOR NATALIE!

And while I'm on the subject of congratulating those strange people who stuck with this thing through the whole month, I have to mention Kate Marie.  Because apparently she didn't get the "it's time to quit" memo either.  She went and wrote 50,000 some!  And did it all by hand, too, which ...*shivers*... let's not even talk about that, okay?  Congratulations, Kate, my friend!  Remind me never to try and race you in writing a story. 

~Failing to reach a desired word count is nothing compared to failing to express oneself properly. 

I'll be honest and say I'm still a little shaken about my ability to write.  I mean, I'm writing right now, so obviously I can write.  But what I mean is, my ability to write stories.  Because it's a completely different ballgame.  And actually I'm beginning to think I really don't know how to do it. 

In other words...


But somehow I have a feeling I'm going to go right on doing it just the same.  Why is that?

For those of you who participated in NaNo this year, tell me, how did it go for you?  Are you glad November is over?
And for all of you, how was your November?  Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Talk to you soon! 
Sincerely, Miss March


  1. Don't apologize! I was sitting around trying to procrastinate school... And your post popped up and I was like, "AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!" Because I love your posts (and, you know, I DON'T love school...)!

    Aw, shucks! Thanks for mentioning me! I blame/owe Mary Horton and a couple other incredibly fast writers for bringing out my competitive side. And the fact that I can't quit once I start something.

    1. "Trying to procrastinate school"? Hahaha! Well good then. I'm glad I was able to be of help to you in that endeavor. ;)

      Can't quit once you start something? My goodness! But it's so very simple, Kate, my dear. Heehee. ;) Just kidding. I'm GLAD you didn't quit!! You did a marvelous job!! And I'm proud of you!

    2. Oh, yes! You were infinitely helpful! ;)

      Well. I wish I had your talent for it. (That sounded mean, but I'm serious.) I just... can't quit. My own stubbornness can be a little scary sometimes, to be honest. Not to mention exhausting!

    3. Yes, well I suppose it doesn't come as natural to some people as to others. But don't worry. Perhaps if you hang around me long enough and you'll catch on to it. Mwahaha! ;)

    4. Of course! You must teach me your ways!

    5. Heehee. This comment made me smile. :)

  2. This sounds like me!
    "I have a talent for saying way too much in my writing, while at the same time saying very little."
    That is me! Exactly!!

    1. You, too? Oh, then you understand! Isn't it so frustrating though? I do wish I could master the art of being concise. ;)

      Thanks for your comment!

    You are the bestest Miss March.

  4. OH MY WORD. I just burst out laughing at your reference to me. And hee, thanks for not revealing my word count. I'm actually working on a blog post right now, but I had to come and check your posts to see what you had to say....I'll be back with some proper comments later. ;)

    1. Heehee. You're welcome. I certainly didn't want to steal your thunder; not with such an important announcement as that. ;)


    2. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. ;)

      Awwww!! Thank you ever so much!

  5. Ohhhh, Miss March, I love your posts. You're the best. I seriously admire you for even endeavoring to do this, and hey, you learned a few things so all is not lost. ;)

    1. Thanks again, Rae. And oh! I'm so glad you enjoy my posts. That means a lot to me. :)

  6. STORY SNIPPETS? Please publish that post soon, thank you. :D

    Hahaha. You did the math. -shakes head- Miss March, you simply must stop making yourself sad by dwelling on the negative. ;)

    Yes indeed. Please do be more obliging and believe in yourself. :)

    "It's the art of overly-descriptive, semi-repetitive, jibber jabber." Heh heh. But it's the perfect way to reach word goals, am I right? ;)

    I actually relate very much to the scene-change-describing-ever-step thing. I say "walked" too much. And "looked". Stooopp.

    RUN! :D

    Aww. Don't hate your writing, Miss March. It's like hating your children when they misbehave. They can't help it. :( (Well, ok, they CAN, but are you going to hate them for it?)

    Hahaha, I still love your shout out to me. Thank you, friend! And congratulations to Kayla Marie!!

    You keep writing because somewhere, deep down inside of you, there IS a story waiting to be created. It's there. Keep searching. :) You can't succeed without trying!! *hugs*

    1. Your wish is my command. Story snippets published. Wala! ;)

      I know, it's horrible, isn't it? I wonder if I'm one of those people one reads about in books who just enjoys being miserable. Mwahaha! ;D

      Oh my yes! Excellent for reaching word goals. (At least it should be. Except in my case when I feel like I'm writing jibber jabber, I think I tend to freeze up and then all writing comes to a dead halt. I just can't win, Natalie. I just can't win. ;) Haha.)

      Oh I know! I'm so paranoid about using the same words too often, but it's so hard not to. I guess that's where the editing comes in. That's when you can go back change out all those boring verbs for more exciting ones. Right?


      No, you're right. I shouldn't hate my writing. But it sure could use a good spanking sometimes, I think. :P Haha.

      Oh, you're welcome. I'm glad you liked it. :)

      Aww. THANK YOU, NATALIE! Thank you SO, SO much! You're the best! *hugs*

      And thank you tons and tons for your deliciously long comments. They made me so happy, and finding them this morning was just what I needed before going to work. Brightened my day up considerably, I'm telling you. Thanks, friend! :D

    2. Hi, Natalie! *waves*

      Thank you! Congratulations on your (ahem, rather mysterious) NaNo accomplishment!

    3. Hello Kayla!
      Aww, your welcome. And hee, thank YOU! :D I reached 50,037 words. :)

    4. YAY! I enjoyed that post so much. :D

      Editing is definitely helpful. ;)

      Aww! Don't spank your writing. :( It tries it's very best, Miss March!

      Awwwww. I'm so glad! *hugs back* Don't EVER give up writing, please! You'll disappoint your fans (me, and all your blog readers) very much if you do.

    5. Aww. You're too sweet. Thanks so much for this comment, Natalie! :D

    6. @Natalie WOW, YOU DID SO AMAZING!!! Congratulations!

    7. Miss March,
      :) :) :)

      Thank you!!!

  7. Hehe, this was very funny, Miss March. ;) Couldn't help giggling! (Sorry I've been absent, too - I've been on holidays! Camping.)

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Thanks! I'm happy this amused you. :) Oh, so that's where you've been! Camping. What fun! I hope you had a marvelous time. :D

      ~Miss March