Twenty Two Days Into My First NaNoWriMo I Found Out
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and no story outline survives contact with developing characters.
So, it turns out writing a first draft of a novel is nothing at all like writing a really long short-story. Who knew, right? (Yes, that’s dripping sarcasm, watch your footing.) But the thing is, even though I thought I was aware a novel is nothing like a short story, I had no idea. I thought I had given myself enough room to end up somewhere completely different from where I expected to end up. I wasn’t really prepared for how far from my original plan my characters would take me.
If I am absolutely adamant I’m going to stay clear of a thing, that thing is a very likely place I’ll end up.
I went into this month with a mission: scary, but natural. Because, humans man, they creep me out. I didn’t think I would need anything else but human nature. Of course, at the start of this month, it felt like I was living in a completely different world. And as things changed, so did my story. And now I’m writing not just a story with supernatural elements, but religious supernatural elements. Two things I don’t believe in at all. Don’t ask me how that happened, it just happened. They say there are no atheists in foxholes. So far I’ve dismissed that saying, but you know, there might be something to it.
I am my own most inconsistent critic.
I’m cringing at paragraphs I was so proud of two days ago, and those pieces I thought “meh, it will do for now” are actually pretty good. Those opinions are subject to change from day to day. That’s probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far. Not going back to edit until the first draft is done is a good thing. If I were to start editing now, I’d be editing the same page for 30 days — and then I’d probably revert back to what I had originally written.
I can be much more cynical than I thought
My intention was making my protagonist the hero, who would struggle with ethical and moral dilemmas, in the end justice and empathy would prevail, she would save the day and redeem people worthy of redemption. I like Layla a lot, she’s a great person to spend time with, but will good prevail? No, no it looks extremely unlikely. I never would have thought I would write a worse case scenario ending to anything, I am a optimist at heart. I’m kind of shocked at the turn the story took. Then again, there are religious supernatural elements, so miracles can happen…