Sodaro's Stories

November 29, 2012

Reflection on my first NaNoWriMo…

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 8:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

So I tried it…and I will definintely be back next November to try it again. National Novel Writing Month was a fantastic challenge, and as with every first attempts, I learned a few things.
I only got to about 22000 words out of the 50000 goal…and I have figured out why this happened. I know where I fell short and why I fell short and what I will do to not fall short on my next attempt.
I write every day. It may be crap or it may be fabulous or, as usual, it may fall somewhere between the two, but every single day, I put shiny pen to blank paper. The pressure of getting to 50,000 words though, had me thinking I could only put shiny pen to Redeeming Trust paper…I wouldn’t let myself play with any other story because I was sure I would get distracted and not complete my goal…ah self-fulfilling prophecy…I got distracted by writer’s block and was not able to complete my goal.
My normal way of writing is to stay primarily with one story…to focus mostly on one plot line, but if I get stuck…I allow myself a little play time with something else, a poem or a scene from another novel…just something to break the block and let me continue on with the story. This is the system that works for me…and I didn’t allow myself to do that with the NaNoWriMo challenge. I stayed with one story and one story only and when that story got blocked…I couldn’t break the block because staring at the piece of paper didn’t help at all.
I got unblocked by writing two poems that let me explore what was truly the problem. The scene involved a wedding…and I haven’t given much thought to such things for about 2 1/2 years and evidently…my block was due more to my thinking about the guy I wanted to marry and not about the story at all. I didn’t want to write a wedding because I didn’t get to have that one that I wanted. Two poems written in a booth at Perkins, where the manager pointed out to me that I must be blocked again because I’m ordering pancakes. And I realized the inspiration I could use for the wedding was the video tape I was blessed to watch. I couldn’t marry the man I thought I was going to…but his sister’s wedding was beautiful and full of so much love…and that would be perfect for Chapter 14. Had I allowed myself to write the poems earlier, maybe I would have achieved the word count goal…or at least gotten closer to doing so…or maybe, as I believe with all things, things worked out exactly as they were meant to.

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