November & NaNoWriMo | 2019

Hellooo there. Lovely day isn’t it?

Well, I’m back.

After being gone for a month, it’s strange returning, but let me start with my two main pieces of great news:

  1. I am alive.
  2. I wrote 50k words for NaNoWriMo with two hours to spare.

Yep.

That’s right. I survived NaNoWriMo without any prep beyond a list of things to include in the story (which the characters took the liberty of editing when I was off drowning in mashed potatoes and gravy, but we’ll return to that later)

Yes… no prep. Result?

The story smells like week-old cans smashed in a plastic bag and living in a bin outside and away from the house.

In other words: it is trash.

The plot is terrible, the world 2D, and the characters are all cardboard, and it’s not just because it’s a NaNoWriMo project.

I mean this is actually bad even for nano.

And that’s saying something.

Out of the 50k worth of events, only two – maybe five – things that have happened made me feel a little satisfied. And the story isn’t even finished. Meaning, it ended on a cliffhanger, but to be perfectly honest I had no idea what was coming next.

It was actually interesting how less stressful it was this year as compared to last one, when I was more invested and had plotted most of it before November even started.

Last year, every moment was about NaNoWriMo. I was thinking about writing. Living, breathing it. Plot holes piling everywhere I look and haunting me in my sleep, but this year, I honestly did not think about it unless I was sitting down in front of the computer with the document open.

And so on one hand, it was not as crazy, but on the other, I’m less satisfied with the content of the latter method.

Maybe it has to do with everything going on this November. There was a point where I was falling behind and getting too overwhelmed and gave up.

Completely and absolutely gave up.

There was debate going on over here, choir prep for our huge Christmas concert over here, family in town, school papers and prep for finals.

I decided that was it, which made my competitive side feel cheated and angry, but that was washed away with the flood of immediate relief.

For eight days straight, I never touched it. Instead I memorized my speeches, attended my scrimmage, did my schoolwork, and even got some time to enjoy some doodling.

And then everything changed.

I finished school two weeks early.

Out of the blue, I finished everything and found myself blinking at an empty to-do list. At which, I thought, hey. There is something I could fill all that white space with.

The conversation went something like this:

Answer:

Me:

At which point, I knew I would have to throw myself all in to catch up (you know catch up on *coughs* 20,000 words) so I went to my room, opened my closet, and pulled out my laptop.

It’s a serious thing to pull out my laptop, let me tell you.

My dad likes to say this laptop teaches the virtue of patience.

I like to say it’s the NaNoWriMo-er’s dream come true.

Or the procrastinator’s nightmare.

Look at it whatever way you want, but this tiny device I got used is so slow it can not process more than two (sometimes three if we’re lucky) things at a time. When I say things, I mean tabs open on a browser. Two programs – say the weather app and a browser – that kills it.

(The laptop also so light and small, it’s easy to walk around and type on at the same time, see? NaNoWriMo-er’s dream come true. FYI I’m selling it to the highest bidder, starting all the cost of all your books and mugs.)

In the end, it works like this:

  • Tab one: document with story.
  • Tab two: NaNoWriMo.

And I am here to tell you it works like magic (mixed with some coffee, chocolate, fellowly desperate writer-friends, and a stubborn nature)

And so on November 30th, right at 10 p.m. I reached 50,000 words.

And won.

And got this cool badge:

And this one:

Here’s how it ended up looking:

(the light blue line is the ideal spot to be every day for a casual and perfectly evened out win.)

My most written in one day was 8,537 words.

So I finished. Now what?

Like I mentioned, the word count goal was finished but the story was not. So do I plan to finish it?

The answer is, no not really.

Perhaps someday I will dig it out of the dumpster and completely start over with a new plot, some new characters, but the same seed of an idea and hope the mutation doesn’t happen again.

As I wrote November 30th at around 10:55 p.m. in my victory acceptance speech:

In the end, this is a jumble of confused sentences strung together with random items and phrases woven within. But do I care? Sure it is trash – I’d be the first to admit it – but I am happy with it for the single fact I won. Oh life, oh stress, oh busy days, where is your sting? I went ten full days without writing a word and yet I am the victor. I finish with a blast and blow the stress to bits, burn it it all to dust, and throw the ash into the four winds to be carried off by Euros. And so I plant my flag of victory of “50,009” into your throat and declare to all the world, I beat you oh monsters. How does that taste? The taste of defeat and shame. You have no hold on me. I wear the flag of victory.

Yes, in the end it is trash, and I will never go as far to even write a second draft, but I care not. Someday perhaps I might take the initial idea – that of the task of taking up a pen and writing about three hurt and broken people struggling to make sense of a broken world – that small glimmering jewel I took hold of for the first day and lost somewhere in the mist – but until there, small cardboard empire, wash away and erode into the murky sea. 

Good novel of NaNoWriMo 2019, I give thee leave to do it. In fact, until further notice, when I might take ye out for a laugh or a mighty cringe-attack, I command thee to collect dust in the utmost darkest corner of the valleys in my google drive.

Yeah. I was excited. 😛

Let’s look back and see what changed from what I did have in my brainstorming list of things to include. (list from before)

| outcasts |

Check!

Though my unique, wingless, outcast character stumbled somehow upon a wingless society which she fit into perfectly, and then the rest of the story happened there.

Yeah.

Don’t ask me where that country came from.

| fog monsters |

Yes! Though again. For some reason my characters aren’t actually frightened of them… even though they are extremely deadly… and they never truly show up even though they are amazing hunters…?

Maybe the fog monsters were on vacation.

| towering treehouse mansions |

Do you realize houses are hard to spread over multiple trees, because trees bend and shift in the wind?

And there’s lots of wind in my story.

So there are towering treehouse mansions, but there really shouldn’t be.

If I rewrite this thing sometime, it will be more of a Swiss Family Robinson with swinging bridges. Except that people who can fly don’t need bridges.

| old maps |

There were two. But they were just old maps. Nothing spectacular about them. I’m going to assume that I meant something more exciting by this in October…

| pirates |

Honestly, I forgot my old man was going to be an ex-pirate. He ended up just being a retired sailor with a tragic backstory.

| locked sea chests and riddles |

HA.

Nothing even close.

| angry mobs |

They weren’t angry.

Just silent and still. And kinda frightened.

| a quest (to what though I have yet to discover) |

Yeah sure. There were a couple quests.

But the main one I thought of in the first week (and the best one) fizzled out. 😛

| magical ship with no crew |

AH ha. Finally. Yes. There was a magical ship with no crew. Well. Depends on your definition.

Which brings us to what random things my characters did behind my back…

| ghosts |

I’m not even sure where these guys came from, but once the first showed up, the rest followed.

Including a whole host that haunts my poor, old (not pirate) man and the host that is rumored to run the magical ship.

Yeah.

But it gets worse.

| lost mc |

I’m not even joking. I legitimately have no idea what happened to my main character.

Is she on the boat? Or not? Because if she’s on the boat then there is no way back and she’s lost forever (not to mention maybe stuck with a bunch of ghosts), and if she isn’t, then where in the world is she? Because the other alternatives aren’t that pretty either.

Please someone help. I’ve lost a character, and this time it’s not on purpose.

(And now that a certain person will see this, she is not going to be super happy sooo)

ANYWAYS

On to the things I do have under control.

Right.


Other November Writings

Beyond my NaNoWriMo project, I did not write much. No poetry. No plot bunny attacks. No partially baked stories stuck back in the microwave.

Again, unlike last year when this big furry time-traveling monster wearing a trench coat and sunglasses kidnapped me for a couple days and held me at gun point until I wrote something for him.

The main thing beyond NaNoWriMo was compiling a list for 51 of

  1. major edits to enforce like filling in major plot holes, general renovations, character development, etc.
  2. minor things such as particular scenes I want to fix the feel of or things I need to research, and then
  3. people I hope will read it and give feedback.

In fact for a month dedicated for writing, there was a extremely small amount of time I actually wrote, but at the same time it felt very productive. I had been needing to compile that list for a while and will probably continue to add to it.


Random other achievements of November:

  1. Watched BBC Pride and Prejudice my sixth(?) time and wrote half a post on why it’s obviously better than the Keira Knightly version.
  2. Helped my family put on a English Country dance.
  3. Watched one of my older sisters die twice in Frankenstein the New Musical. (Was there an older musical?)
  4. Celebrated Thanksgiving twice.
  5. Made some earrings to sell at a craft fair.
  6. Baked some cookies with my little sister. Because. Christmas cookies.
  7. Listened to the This Beautiful Fantastic soundtrack non-stop. Except now Christmas music too.
  8. Watched The Matrix for the first time. (It’s amazing guys. Amazing.)
  9. Reorganized my bookshelf for the 50th time. (Yeah, I’m slightly obsessed with doing that.)
  10. Raked leaves.
  11. Lost at the strategy game I am renowned for winning. 😔 (Any Seven Wonder Duel fans out there?)

And now I’m wondering how to present the title of a game. Italicized? In quotation marks?

Anywho.

In conclusion, writing a book is a fun and crazy experience, and I had an amazing break that thoroughly enjoyed.

And oh.

Did you do NaNoWriMo? How did it go? What’s your next step with your novel?

22 thoughts on “November & NaNoWriMo | 2019

  1. EVELYNNNNN!!! Ahhhhh, there so many things I wanna say but I don’t even know what! Well, I should start with “CONGRATULATIONS FOR WINNING NANO YOU IMMORTAL YOU! Because seriously, if I were doing it, I wouldn’t even meet my goal *and* it would be trash. xD But c’mon, it can’t be that bad right? YOUR VICTORY SPEECH THOUGH. If your writing is like that then your story can’t be half as bad as you say. 😀 *gets out MC detector* Uh oh. We better gather a search party so you can find your (EPIC) MC before she is eaten by some horrible monster, probably the fog monsters. BUT WAIT YES!! *high five* The BBC version is so incredibly muchly better than Keira Knightly’s that it’s ridiculous. I really don’t like her. PLUS, Mr. Darcy in the short version is uuuuugggglllllyyyyyy. *turns green* You should definitely go through with that post. 😂 Seven Wonders! I’m not the best at that game, and it’s not even my favorite, but I’m glad someone else knows about it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KENECHI
      THANK YOU SO MUCH
      Your comment literally made my day. 😀
      Yeah, well, I’m sure yours would be better than mine. Seriously though… random characters that pop in and out just to exist long enough to prove they are cardboard cut outs? A story were a “uniquely wingless girl” ends up in your ever day medieval country and is just hanging out over there like it’s nothing? And one moment she’s dying of melodramatic emotions, and the next she doesn’t care? 😆
      And that’s not even the start. Believe me, if you ever want something to gag over, you know who to contact. *nods*
      Ahhhh a MC detector?? Where did you find such a thing? I need to locate my local Writer’s Outlet store. Tsk tsk, ever since I moved just over a year, I haven’t seen one around. Hmm. I’ll be on the look out, but in the meantime, I guess I’ll borrow yours. 😛
      We’ll make a field trip out of it. I’ll bring coffee and coffee cake for breakfast and then the tea and scones for second breakfast, etc. 😉
      Yesssss. BBC all the way.
      Though to be fair, I have more trouble with the tweaking the Keira Knightly version took the liberty of enforcing, in both plot and character. Like come on. THEY LIVED MILES AWAY and they just happened to come upon each other in field in their night gowns…??? *rolls eyes* And that’s only one of the many many points. *sniffs and pats tome of rant*
      But I guess it’s was made by em Hollywood writers. They’ve got to go for sappy unrealistic dramatic flair. *sighs* 😛
      Hahaha, Seven Wonders is a great game. Maybe we should play against each other some time. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’re back to blogging, Evelyn! I missed you! ❤️
    And…
    You DID it.
    You won NaNo.
    *loud indistinct screaming*
    YOU ARE AMAZING, GIRL!!!!!!! 🤩 (and I thought I had determination! Well you just took it to a whole NEW level. 😂)
    Okay, so your novel is trash, I get that. So is mine. But you’re still a winner. *hugs you*
    Also, that victory speech…IT’S PERFECT. 😄
    “(And now that a certain person will see this, she is not going to be super happy sooo)”
    *arches an eyebrow* Were you referring to…ME? Because if so, you have nothing to worry about, on the contrary I am quite happy. 😉 I mean, I’m sorry that the story didn’t work out, that’s always really frustrating, but I’m so happy that you did NaNo and you WON! ❤️
    Do I get to read 51? Do I??! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!! 🥺
    When I read that you just watched the BBC P&P for the sixth time my little, 1995-version-only heart swelled to immense proportions. 😜 Also, now I want to read that post you wrote. Sounds fascinating! 😂
    Seriously though, your November sounds like it was so fun! (although losing a game that you usually win is an especially devastating experience. Trust me, I know. 😢)
    Wonderful post, Evelyn! (the gifs were all perfect choices 😄) And again, GREAT JOB ON NANO!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU. ❤️🎉🤩
      *screams*
      *runs around in circles*
      Yeah. My determination can get out of hand sometimes. 😆
      No, actually that comment was about someone else but said person hasn’t mentioned anything yet sooo *shrugs*
      Though maybe it’s because she just killed off my favorite character in her book (a magical talking mushroom with sunglasses for goodness sake HoW cOuLd ShE?? *weeps*). But to be fair that was after I *coughs* kinda… maybe… might have. *coughs* Maybeee… done something cruel to her favorite character…
      So I guess we’re kinda even now…?
      Still.
      *sniffs*
      A magical mushroom with sass and sunglasses.
      YES. I am sooo glad I did NaNo too! Thanks for all the support and virtual chocolate you showered upon me. 😀
      Ahhh, may your heart swell to know, I will probably finish that post at some point and carry through with it. Once I get the energy to finish the rant. XDXD
      Ahhh yes my friend! YOU ARE ON THE LIST. 😁 It will be a while, I have plans of great reconstruction, of knocking down this and that, and smashing this bit to smithereens etc, and sticking in the timebus idea. (*jumps up and down* I CAN’ WAIT. *squeals*)
      And who knows. The title might change in the meantime, though I’m quite fond of it. *pats it on the head* Whose a good boy?? Whose a good boy? That’s right! You! *hands it yet another mock cover treat* *scratches it’s ears* Such a cute pet of mine, but I might have to work on it. *sighs* Or maybe make it more obvious what it means in the story. I don’t know… something maybe you can give feedback on when the day comes (*coughs* IF it comes.) But also don’t feel like you’re signing up for something. It will be a while if it ever happens and I don’t want to make people sign up for things they can’t really promise.
      It’s just a list of people who I respect and think would be able to help my greatly with my story. 🙂 (And then like two or so people I’m just curious what they would think of it and how they would react. 😆 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, so it wasn’t me. That’s good. 🙃 WHAT?! A magical talking mushroom with sunglasses…she killed it?? Even though I don’t know anything about this story I want to cry. 😢 You have every right to be sad. These types of characters are far and few between. 😔
        Aw, of course! It was SO MUCH FUN!!
        YASS! *fist-pump* I’m sure it will be a fantastic post. *sends you chocolate to energize the rest of your rant* 😂
        I AM? *screams* YAY!! I am so honored! AND THRILLED!!! 🤩❤️ Absolutely, take all the time you need. I shall do my best to wait patiently. 😉 I can’t wait to read it!!!
        To be honest, I love the title you already have but if you choose to change it, I’m sure the second one shall be fantastic as well. 😊

        Like

  3. Yayayayay, you won!!! Congratulations! Sure, it might not be the most stellar thing you’ve ever written, but you did it!! You accomplished a daunting goal! Despite not writing for a whole week! I’m still not over that. How on EARTH did you catch up? *stares at you in admiring awe* And maybe if we look together, you’ll find your MC, because I strongly suspect she’s hanging out with mine. 😛

    Looks like, despite school and Nano, your November was quite lovely! English Country dances sound fun. Did you get to dress up? And high-five! Because I also reorganized my bookshelf. There is absolutely no limit to how many times you can do that. None.

    Oh, and I’d better be one of those people who get to read 51. Or else…if I find your MC, I won’t tell you where she is. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Which, at the point I came back in, was all lil ole me cared about. 😆

      It’s called DETERMINATION. Which is (if you were wondering) my superhero name. *flexes* 😉
      If only I had determined to win AND make something good at the same time. *laughs pitifully*

      Yes, I dressed up and so did a lot of other people! I actually made my own dress. 🙂 It was a lot of fun.

      Of course. Bookshelf-organizing is an art, and one can never get too much practice in it.

      Oh dear. Threats now? Heh… heh… heh.
      *gulps*

      Like

  4. YAY!!!! Congrats on finishing!! That’s the most amazing catch-up I ever heard of. AND your victory speech was hilarious…actually pretty much the whole post was hilarious 😀 :D. You seem to have recovered quite well *pats you on the back*. Glad you’re back!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you!
      I’m glad my ramblings at midnight are entertaining. XD
      Maybe I should keep this in mind for next time I need to write a speech…. 😉
      I’m glad to be back. 😀

      Like

  5. I did not participate in NaNo, but CONGRATULATIONS on winning! I wrote probably 10,000 words this month. At most. Probably not even that. I don’t have the faintest idea actually because I did all my writing on notebook paper. And who counts words on notebook paper? Anyway. I enjoyed your speech. I love how you embraced the victory of it all instead of focusing on the fact that you want the story to go hide in a corner of your google drive. Because as I always say, NO writing, no matter how awful, is a failure because the fact that you are WRITING is getting you somewhere. I was recently looking back at some of my writing from years ago and CRINGING so BADLY because it was the worst thing ever, but it’s all part of the building blocks that got me to…well…wherever it is I am at the moment. And who knows where that is.
    HA! The thing about writing half a post about Pride and Prejudice made me laugh out loud. And I quite agree.
    And watching your sister die twice in a musical sounds pretty great. I love musicals and my sisters.
    Congratulations again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU.
      Hey that’s really good! You write on paper? I find when I write on paper, my hand can hardly keep up with how fast my brain is going. 😛
      Except for poetry! I have to write poetry by hand. If I type it, it never is worth anything.
      Yes! That is the spirit of the first draft and the only mindset that truly lets me get things done. I really like that idea for drafts…. going somewhere, not arriving. I love looking back at my old writings. It’s both entertaining and encouraging at the same time. Except for writing written in the past year or so. Too close to home I guess. 😆
      I love musicals and my sisters too! And she did an amazing job dying. Everyone said it was their favorite part haha! (And it apparently gave some people nightmares… 😳)

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Long time no see! I’ve been busy with work and all but have been keeping an eye on your blog (#proudsubscriber).

    Many sweeping congratulations and exultations on Winning NaNoWriMo 2019!! I shall endeavor to express that myself, like almost all the others here, enjoyed reading your Victory Speech/draft farewell very much. 🙂 [When you said you may scrap your draft because you think its rubbish it reminded me so much of my own fears that stopped me from participating NaNoWriMo – mostly because my outline is full of holes and unknowns that I did not possess the courage in me to go on a lark and write 50k words without knowning exactly where the story’s heading.]

    Yes! I do like longer miniseries versions of classics much more than the highly condense Hollywood adaptations. And reading your post, it’s high time I re-watched BBC’s P&P again (I actually have the Blu-Ray restored version which is supposed to be High Def). Not a hater of the Kiera Knightley version but I think the 1996 one would be so much better if Lizzie looks/acts more like she’s twenty.

    The Matrix trilogy is awesome. No doubt about it. Oh and the fight scenes are Perfection Itself.

    Would it be much if I asked you to maybe post a photo of your newly rearranged bookshelf in the very near future, Madame Evelyn?

    I’ve never heard of or played Seven Wonder Duel – how does it work? (I don’t have enough time/people to play games in general but am always on the lookout for cool games to keep in mind for the future…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thank you! 😀
      Yes, I think I have temporarily scared myself out of pants-ing a novel so completely and absolutely. At least for now….
      Hm. That’s fair. Though to be honest, I’m not sure what standards you have about what acting like a 20 year old is. 😆
      Oh neat! We have the Blu-ray now too (we got it for like $5 off amazon for some sale or something) and it was great!
      Interesting. I’ve only heard the first Matrix movie is good. All I’ve heard is that they should not have made the other ones, and from what I can tell, I would concur. The first one was sooo incredibly good… how could they hold that up from there?? I’d be scared to watch the next ones.
      Hahaha, yes! Perhaps I shall grace you with a vision of my bookshelf arrangement. 😉 The only thing is that I have a fear of sharing a picture of books and then people assuming it to be a endorsement of the books. XD So any time I do, I always try to make sure people know that not all the books on my shelf have I read or enjoyed. 😛
      Seven Wonders Duel has a lot of rules to keep in mind (its one of THOSE complex strategy games) but once you get it, it all clicks and makes sense. The basic idea is that there are two players, one for Rome, one for Egypt, and they’re trying to beat each other. There are three ways to do that, 1. through victory points 2. through military 3. through technology and science. Throughout the game you’re building buildings and mines and resources and wonders and armies and competing. “Seven Wonders” was made first and can have up to about six(?) players, but I prefer the two-person version. (:

      Like

  7. Congratulations Evelyn!! Welcome back from the other dimension of NaNoWriMo! I’m sure your story was great ( you always are your own worst critic ) . I love your victory speech. Glad your back on blogging ! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s