Hello everyone! I’ve been planning my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project all month…well, trying to, anyways. As regular readers may know, I am the Queen of Procrastination. I got through high school riding that Procrastination Wave, and now that I’m not in school anymore, I still consistently complete most deadlines the night before.
In order to get somewhat ahead of the curve when it comes to worldbuilding for NaNo, I forced myself to work on “Years Apart” last night. It’s fun to worldbuild and get to know a story, but I usually have to make myself do things I enjoy instead of procrastinating by doing other, less productive things I also enjoy (I’m looking at you, Animal Crossing!). I blame the ADHD.
I enjoy writing a lot, and I always want to make whatever I’m writing perfect. The whole point of NaNo prep is to ensure once you get started, you’ll be able to dive into that elusive Flow State much easier because you have that road map you’ve created the month or two before. So procrastinating like I always do and mixing in some casual perfectionism is a very dangerous combination.
That combination prevented me from finishing out NaNo the last two times I took on the challenge, and prevented me from even attempting it last year. To try and combat it this time around, I have been casually working on the meat and potatoes of the plot line for a month or so. It was just yesterday that I decided to split the story into half: One protagonist will share his half of the story and then the other will fill in the blanks. I figured this would be the most effective way to tell the story in the 30 days NaNo allows.
Of course, there’s always post-NaNo. I’m not sure if I’ll work on the story long-term, mostly because I haven’t tried telling it yet. I’ve only drafted up the basic outline so far! However, I do enjoy these new characters. Luke, Stefan, Mishi, and Devin all have great personalities that are admittedly kind of similar, but different enough to be interesting. As the protagonists, Luke and Stefan have a huge story to tell. It’ll be my first story that spans further than a few years, all in one book.
The only thing I guess I’m really having trouble with is creating an official title. “Years Apart” has been the placeholder name since the story’s creation, and as I develop it more and more, I’m realizing that the title is slightly misleading. Though the story does take place over 8 years, that’s not really the huge focus. It’s a coming of age story that focuses more on high highs and low lows, grief and ecstasy, and all the good stuff that comes with maturing and growing as people. The focus is definitely on the characters, not driven by the flow of time but the flow of their own interactions with each other.
I wanted to get away from my usual fantasy-driven plot lines as well, mostly because while I love writing about magic and superheroes, I feel like it’s become sort of a crutch. I want Luke and Stefan to have to confront their problems head on with their own mental fortitude, without having to worry about the state of the world with the choices they make (and without being able to just fly away or teleport to another, less confusing and problematic area).
So, I guess my NaNo prep is going well, considering I’ve only really started getting serious about it over the past 24 hours. I’m hoping that I’ll have a full 50,000 word story at the end of November, but if not I think I’ll be alright. “Years Apart” is going to be a challenge, but I think I’m up for the fight!
Thanks for reading, as always! I figured a little update into how story building is going for me would be interesting to read about. Hopefully if you’re doing NaNoWriMo as well, you’ll feel less guilty for procrastinating, since I’m sure everyone is much further along in their prep process than I am!!
If you’re not doing NaNo this year, or have no idea what I’ve been talking about, please consider checking out their website and looking around! There are TONS of resources and links on their site to help you get started on a challenge of your own, and a full explanation of what NaNo really is as well. If anything, consider donating to their non-profit, as that is one of the only ways they are able to keep offering great resources for their consumers and keep the lights on for themselves! Plus, you can write it off on your taxes, like I do every year.
If you’re interested in seeing my daily musings and shenanigans, feel free to follow me on Twitter! In the meantime, I hope you all are having a great, spooky October! I’ll see you back here next week!