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Writing Update: NaNoWriMo Day 23

Nearing the End of the Adventure

The adventure of writing 50,000 words in 30 days is almost over for another year. As in 4,000 words/7 days close.

I don’t mean to say the “novel” I’ve been working on is finished. I’m not sure anyone looking at it would think that. But I’ve been doing what I set out to do.

Just writing. Whatever I feel like, writing.

It was supposed to be a wizard’s travelogue, filled to the brim with adventures and stories collected along the way.

Hasn’t really turned out that way. I haven’t written either of the two myths I meant to include when starting the project (silent apology to writing buddy who asked me to write one of them). And the travelogue sensation has been all but drowned out in places. Probably 10,000 words need to be cut out.

Then again, NaNo isn’t about being perfect. It’s about writing. Whatever you want. And apparently what I wanted was cyborgs, fire, and dragons instead of shadows, war, and magic flowers.

Cue helpless shrug, please.

This week has gone…differently. In some ways, I feel like I finally am starting to write this project. As if I had to wander through the better part of 40,000 words to realize I’ve been holding my map upside-down all along. And now all I want is to see where it will lead me.

So let me say one crazy thing–one month is not long enough for this madness of writing 1,667 words a day. I need more time. I need a second November to finish this adventure.

I need someone to smack me upside the head and remind me how nice it is to remember the names of people I see every week and get eight consecutive hours of sleep at night.


This week was especially exciting because in addition to nearing the end, I had a small word slump.

The cause? Book trauma.

This may be unfamiliar to some of you. Book trauma is essentially when I become too deeply involved in character’s lives I then get the sensation of a pencil being snapped in half when something goes horribly wrong. Not dying characters or unforeseen plot twists. I’m a seasoned enough reader by now not to be bothered by that. Much. It’s more that I’m so attached to the world, the characters, I can’t completely pull myself back to reality. If someone gets hurt, I can get over it. But if a character lets me down? Betrays everything they seemed to be and act like it’s nothing at all?

It’s as if your best friend suddenly told you out of the blue that you are fat and stupid and have a witch wart on the end of your nose and that they don’t care about you at all.

Dramatic, I know. It happens when you go hiking up Mount Doom on the weekends and spend your evenings in the Eolian tavern and a month writing 50,000 words instead of going to work parties and reading light magazines.

Or whatever it is normal people do.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just cry it out and be done with it. But the last few times this has happened, it’s like it’s been a delayed reaction. I was still sensitive talking about short stories I’d read eight, nine months afterward. It wasn’t until 24 hours after reading the section of the novel that traumatized me this time I felt that sick pull in my stomach that comes with realizing what I’d read.

Usually when a book makes me angry, the writing is splendid. I have ideas, I have plots, I have revenge and wrath and visit justice upon the horrid author’s ideas. Book trauma this time was different.

I couldn’t write. Everything I put on the page that night seemed like a horrible, shallow idea.

It wasn’t big enough to throw off my word count or set me behind. But it was pretty awful.

Word of warning–people say you can read to inspire your writing, and it’s perfectly true. But apparently so is the opposite.

Blog will probably return to “regular programming” in a week or two after NaNo ends…so a quiet thank you for listening to me grumble about my adventures. More book reviews soon.

Happy reading, and to the NaNo writers out there, happy writing. Everything will be back to normal soon.


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