Back in November 2014, I tried my hand at Nanowrimo for the first time. I’d always been interested in trying it, but knew for the most part it was out of my grasp. I hadn’t had any of my stories in any sort of shape that I felt comfortable actually writing them. That changed.
The event layout for Hunters was about as good as a plan would get for the narrative accompaniment of it. It outlined every major event that was going to happen, and I was going to wing the rest. Most of the time I do my best writing when I’m winging it with some vague point of destination in the distance, beckoning me with each step, each subtle or not-so-subtle hint I’d drop along the way for future revelations.
Then the first of November came around. And boy did I procrastinate. I must the queen of procrastination. The website not-so-kindly reminded me that in order to complete the 50 000 words for the month, I had to write something like 1666 words a day. Earlier in the year, on HabitRPG, I set myself to write 100 words a day, and even that was too much.
So I procrastinated… and procrastinated… three days went by. On the fourth, after reading numerous tweets and HabitRPG guild updates about people writing, I sat down and practically willed my fingers to move on the keyboard. Miraculously, they did. Once I got going, not much stopped me. I even resisted looking at Facebook and HabitRPG! Must admit I was pretty proud of myself. Normally I don’t write unless the mood takes me – a habit that I need to crack. It took a few hours, but I wrote around 3000 words and was heading towards the first major catastrophe of the narrative.
It was then I hit an unmoveable object. At that moment, I was not a force of nature, willing to grind against the wall and earn every centimetre I moved it. For the rest of the month, my fingers didn’t move. I wrote on my fanfiction, of course, but that was easy writing. Forming everything from scratch took a lot of effort on my part, especially since I was writing in an unfamiliar way. Usually I write third-person but with Hunters, I was trying to write in first person. I wanted to be the main character, as if I was controlling him or her as I would in the game version of this story. That and I endeavoured to keep the gender of the main character as vague as possible. Two major challenges that eventually overwhelmed me.
In the future, I think I’ll participate in Nanowrimo, but at my own pace. My brain can’t handle focusing on one thing for so long. It likes to jump around like a rabbit and visit each hole where each of my stories are stored away, busy itself on that concept for a week or two, then bound to the next one. Not to mention 50 000 words is an intimidating total, even if broken down into that 1666 words daily.
The only triumph I got from this exercise was that I have 3000 more words on the narrative of Hunters than I did before it. And for that, I gave myself a huge pat on the back.