Too late for a NaNo postmortem, you say? No, I’d say it’s just about right. This time last week I was sleeping in the glory of winning. Just hours before that, I was planted at a Denny’s with a delicious breakfast of french toast and unlimited refills of coffee at my side, charging through those last 1,600 or so words to the goal for my novel, “Enter Sma Man.” I was accompanied by the late night Denny’s wait staff, and a raucous, well-inebriated group seated on the other side of the dining room who swore “they were getting ready for church.” I think at one point they mistook me for a Hispanic friend of there’s. That was fun.
But after I got my manuscript verified, then typed in a hundred more words since it didn’t count my chapter headings for some reason, I took a break. All week. There was a whole lot I had been putting off in November that I had to catch up on. I also felt myself getting dangerously close to burning out on the story, which is never a good thing. If you’ll recall my last post just before November began, I said I couldn’t wait to begin “Enter Sma Man.” By that last week or so of NaNo, I couldn’t wait to be over and done with it.
It’s very different to how last year went. I cruised right through on an idea that had been blossoming in my head for the past year. I did fall behind the par (1,666 words per day) a few times, but after really pushing myself late-night on the weekends, I got myself caught back up.
This year, I stayed with par until day 3. Then, due to numerous prior commitments, days 3 thru 5 went by with only about 300 more words. That put me roughly 4,500 behind. But I carried on. Slowly but surely I regained ground all month long… until I finally caught back up with par on day 28.
Lessons learned? Don’t schedule anything in November! Well maybe not anything, but be prepared to put in more time on the ol’ word processor when those things are done. Also, over the course of the month, I felt like I was beginning to type a whole lot faster. @NaNoWordSprints was a great kick in the pants, and also gave me an opportunity to track my rate of progress. I was going at about 15 words per minute at the beginning, but soon averaged about 20. I also saw a lot of people going well past that. Good for them.
Perhaps that’s one reason why I eventually abandoned WordSprints and just started free writing as fast as I could. In those days where the end of the month was ominously approaching, (I saw it less and less as a light at the end of a tunnel.) I began to cut loose any distracting cargo. I became a little reclusive, and stopped posting about my novel to Facebook and Twitter as much. (Sorry all you awesome followers!)
But rest assured, though I have taken a week off, I am far from through with this novel. I’m not going to give an estimation on when I’ll finish it. I did that last time with last year’s novel. (Long story short, I’m still not done.) I will say this, I’m a lot further along with this story than Canon right now. I feel like if I keep at it a bit longer, I could finish this story easily, then hop forthrightly on the editing trail.
As you’ve seen on my posts or heard me muse about it in person, I’m really excited about this world I’ve created. I’ve met some new characters I didn’t plan on meeting. My female supporting character surprised me with a little sister, for example. And surprising things happened that I didn’t initially plan for, but probably should’ve seen coming. An assassin from Sma Man’s homeworld comes in. One minor character got killed. A major character got… well, let’s just say his life status is “It’s Complicated” for now.
Just like last year, I met a lot of awesome people who were all slogging through this with me. This time, with last year’s victory on my belt, it felt awesome to cheer them all on. I was very proud to see these people in particular push through their hardships and claim victory!
So yeah, I’m very excited to get back into this awesome story that I know many of you can’t wait to hear. I know I didn’t give you too many details about my actual story today. I’ll save that for another time. Maybe we can all sit down for Chinese food at “Chao’s” one evening and get to know everybody.
To all my friends and followers I may have blown off lately, thank you for your patience and support. I can’t wait to hang out and do whatever it was we normally did, but didn’t do last month.
Today, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a Starbucks, with a sausage and cheddar egg sandwich and more unlimited coffee at my side. I probably won’t get any further on “Enter Sma Man” today, but it’s good to take a deep, week-long breath and see how far you’ve come. I think that’s why I write so slowly, and take a long time to finish books, graphic novels, TV shows, or video games. I like to savor each moment of the story like a really fancy steak that you just spent a fortune on. It’s that good!