When stuff isn’t working

Regular readers of this blog know I put myself down the Super Happy Fun Slide that is NaNoWriMo pretty much every year, and I’ve never been able to actually finish a NaNoWriMo project by November 30. I’ve written 50,000 words in a month before; just not when I was supposed to. And November 2013 was not an exception.

I did make headway on a novel, however; between November 1st and around the middle of January I’d managed to produce around 150 pages of the most difficult words I’ve ever written (I occasionally alternate between handwriting on lined paper, using Open Office, and typing on a typewriter, because I like to mix things up and I find the computer can be quite distracting. Anyway, the huge jumble of papers made me unsure of the word count).
Dudes, it was brutal. I had this great idea! I made lots of notes! World-building! Yet I hated the process of writing the damn thing, but I was stuck in this mindset of it being a great idea and I’d made lots of notes, and I was so excited about the world I was building, so I was obligated to finish it. And the effing thing just wasn’t working.

It takes a lot for me to throw in the towel on an unfinished project. But I set the miserable book aside and gave it some serious thought, and sketched out a new plan and outline. Even though it pained me to do so, I started over from scratch. The central theme and time period remained the same, as did the hero. Everything else was revamped. In seven weeks, I had a workable first draft of a novel, which is currently sitting on my hard drive and in hard copy form in a binder, waiting for revisions. I’ll be getting to those in the next couple of weeks, as I’d like to finish the novella I’ve been writing for Camp NaNo first (because I never learn).

I hate it when I have to give up on something—I did invest a lot of time into the original version of this book and it sucks to have to throw something away. I thought things might be going south around the 75-page mark but I was loathe to chuck it, and I should have; I probably would’ve had a completed draft of Invisible People (working title) in my hands a lot sooner.

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