Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

NaNoWriMo 2012: Before and After Part 2: After

Does not work. No matter how much I try it, being social, even e-social is not my thing. I keep getting the impression that the famous NaNo-cheering-mood only works for people with a lower wordcount than oneself. If you have a high wordcount you can’t have problems in your writing, you can’t get stuck. Comments regarding high wordcounts put me off about sharing my numbers or mention that I have trouble.

I think that’s part of why I don’t really think I love NaNoWriMo. I think I enjoy it and use it as an excuse to write more than other times, but my non-social nature kicks in more often than not. While through NaNo I’ve met a few people who are fun and all, I am still more a lurker than a participant.

There’s also guilt. I am terribly prone to guilt and having higher wordcounts than my friends makes me feel bad and not wanting to bother them when I run into trouble. Which is stupid, but it’s the way I am, I guess.

That said, let’s analyse this year. I’m around 20k lower than I would have liked, but life got unmanageable and my body gave me a warning I could not ignore – something had to give, and NaNo it was. Being somewhat depressed did not help productivity either. I wrote two stories. Axis 95/11, a yakuza novel, and The last night of Obon (A Kyoto Tale), a Japanese fantasy short story.

I am a bit torn about Axis 95/11 (67025 words). I think it is quite good, to be honest, and not giving into the self bashing. The characters are very grey, most have their good and their bad, they are heroes and villains in the same person, which is good when you’re writing a story about gangsters. As expected, is much less romantised – while at the same time much more heroic – than the Osaka Shikigami. Maybe after lots of work and in 10 years it’s shareable XD

The last night of Obon (A Kyoto Tale) (13740 words) is a rather silly story regarding the four guardian beasts of Kyoto and the Festival of Obon, but was fun to write. Won’t rant about it now as I expect to post about it soon – it’s about half-written, but needs some organisation.

I started a new short story, but I decided not to count that for NaNo, thus the final count is 80765 words. I would have wanted it to be higher, and I do feel a bit defeated, but I had to choose my priorities and after all NaNo was the only thing that I could reasonably quit. As you can see (click for bigger), the last days I wrote were hard:

As last year, the first and second columns are really straightforward, day of the week and date; the third is the Office of Letters and Light’s official wordcount; the fourth is the cumulative wordcount that I need in my 1500/2500 scheme (column five); column six is the actual cumulative wordcount and column seven is the daily wordcount. Finally the eight column is ‘words missing to 50k’. The graphs to the right are my cumulative count (green) vs the OLL cumulative (pink) on the first row, along with sector percentage to the upper leftmost (halfway through the month is in red for missing, green for done), and my actual cumulative vs my own cumulative count on the bottom left.

And speaking of last year, here you can see the comparison between this NaNo and the previous ones (again, click to make bigger). You can see that it was a strong beginning but that the rhythm fell throughout the month:

I am proud of the 14k mark on day one though, and I think it is a mark I can beat. However, in general I can’t say I am satisfied, I’m a little bit disappointed I did not reach the mark I wanted – by far, but I try to remind myself that priorities are that, priorities. Then again, with everything going on in my life I am probably just down in general. I asked a friend who is good with numbers to guest-post here and make an analysis of what and how I do during NaNo, but I never got a reply from her.

Anyway, that was NaNoWriMo 2012. Congrats to any one who tried, whether they got their mark or not.

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