Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: Why I Haven't Finished My NaNoWriMo Novel Yet

It's IWSG day...thanks and yellow Skittles to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this first-Wednesday-of-each-month event. 

Quick news: I signed up to do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge again this year.  I did this last year, and it was quite a rewarding experience, even if I had to write a post for almost each day of April. To sign up, click here. 

Today, I'm mulling over the progress of my WIP from last year's NaNoWriMo. Although I completed the challenge by writing 50,000 words, I didn't complete the first draft of the novel. I had planned to finish the last 10,000 words during the holidays, but I didn't. 

Sitting down with my NaNo novel right now is like seeing an old friend, someone I'd gone through an intense experience with, and now that the circumstances of the experience no longer exist (e.g. a deadline to write 50,000 words in a month), I find myself feeling less connected to this friend. 

The insecure part of me wonders if it's too late to rekindle the flame burning hot inside me while I was pounding out this story back in November.

When I think of the time and emotional investment I made during NaNoWriMo, I feel I owe it to myself to complete my novel. I am determined to finish what I started. So I've been sitting down with my story, the way one does when they meet an old friend for tea, to get reacquainted. I re-read stuff I've written. I take in my characters' motivation, their development, and their quirks, and I re-examine my plot and the direction it had been going in.

I know how the next 10,000 words will play out- it's all mapped out in my head. I just need to put it down in words.

My WIP is sitting in my hard drive, faithfully waiting for me.

Have any of you ever struggled to get back into the groove after a writing break? How did you work through it?

For those of you who did NaNoWriMo, how are your novels coming along?

26 comments:

T. Drecker said...

I force myself to sit down and do it. Usually, it runs better after a few hours and then I can't stay away. Congrats on getting so far in Nano! I'm cheering on that last 10,000 ;)

Annalisa Crawford said...

This sounds just like me. As I type this, my NaNo novel is lying beside me, a complete wreck. Worst of all, I've just decided I need to slash a good percentage of the words because they slow down the action. This will leave me with about 30,000 words :-(

Yvonnes Poetry Corner said...

It sometimes is hard to get back into writing after a break yet it can be the opposite one is rearing to go with new ideas etc,

Have a good day.
Yvonne.

Jill Haugh said...

Enforced writing. Less blogging. Just do it. It's like making an appointment with the dentist. I can think about that for months.
I would invite you to stop by the nut-tree but you have things to do Missy! Sit thyself down and begin to type!
~Just Jill

Mark Means said...

Cynthia, I'm in the same boat as you. I "won" NaNo the year before last, but never finished my story. I'm -still- going back and doing editing/revisions as I try to think for a suitable ending.

Don't give up on it if it's a story you want to tell. Keep at it and, remember, writers "finish" as well as write :)

I look forward to hearing about your progress and it's -never- too late.

Julie Luek said...

I actually went through this feeling with an MS I put a lot of time into. I just don't feel the connection to it anymore and for now, for me, that's all right. It is set aside, maybe forever, but I don't regret a minute I spent on it. It was a very personal story, and therefore cathartic to write, and I learned so very much about writing in the process. Maybe someday I'll bring it out again and rework the story. Maybe not.

I hope you find your direction and inspiration again-- no matter the outcome.

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I can totally relate to this! I was so excited about my Nano project, but now it's been sitting since November and I've barely touched it. I've finally started to do a little editing and I hope this get me back in the groove with it.

Great to meet you through the IWSG! :)

Patsy said...

Good luck with your NaNo novel - I gave up on mine (still have it though, just in case)

Nicole said...

Usually after the first couple days, I hit that groove again. It just takes a little time.

Jackie said...

Breaks are good, but delving back in can be tough. Sometimes, I leave it be for a little longer and that's when ideas will start to flow.

10,000 words left... you can do this! And it's great you have it mapped out in your head.

Johana Vera said...

Hi! First of all, your blog's name is awesome. Reading really is the new black.

And about your post.. I have experienced revisiting and trying to re-connect with a long-ago abandonned WIP. The result? I didn't feel like I wrote it. It felt like I was reading some one else's words. Bizarre experience.

Given that I am prone to re-thinking endings of all my favorite series (never actually wrote a fanfic though), this wasn't such a bad thing. In fact, it felt easier to spot problems on said WIP when it wasn't fresh in my head.

Everyone is different, I guess. You just have to find your footing with your project and re-kindling it will be a piece of pie:)

Natasha Hanova said...

NaNo is tough. Congrats on completing 50,000 words. The best way to get back into the groove after a writing break: one word at a time. Also, I find reading a good book encouraging, as well.

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

I was able to finish, but not I am stuck on edits. I can't seem to get into the editing processes. I imagine it will kick in some time soon. I hope. Good luck and get that draft finished. You can do it.

Cynthia said...

T. Drecker: I need to get back to the point where I can't stay away.

Annalisa: Editing can be painful sometimes.

Yvonne: Yes, it's hard to return to a WIP after a break sometimes.

Jill: I just had to swing by earlier to say hi.

Mark: Thanks for the encouragement.

Julie L.: Maybe you can revisit the story again in the future.

Julie F.: Great to meet you too!

Patsy: Definitely hold onto it...you never know!

Nicole: Thanks for the encouragement.

Jackie: I'm grateful I have an idea of where it's going, at least.

Johana: I agree we can edit more effectively when we're not as attached to our work.

Natasha: I love escaping with a good book.

Sydney: Thanks for the encouragement.

Medeia Sharif said...

One of my current WIPs is a combination of two abandoned manuscripts written years ago. I also plan on rekindling a manuscript this summer, when I'm off. I've had manuscripts sit for days, weeks, months, years...the interest can be sparked again, it's possible.

Trisha F said...

Yes, I definitely have experienced this. Which is why I always try to get the whole thing finished in one sitting if I can. Otherwise it can take me a long time to get to that final line. I have a few novels that need finishing off, years after they were started.

Ella said...

It is not too late! You just need a little romance, that is all! YOU can do it~ Open it up at random spots and read. Your embers will start to kindle...
I have a few craft projects, like this. When I go back though, most feel like old friends~ ;D

David P. King said...

You can absolutely do it. Rekindle that love of your story and drive it to the finish. You will not regret it. :)

Tamara said...

I ALWAYS find it hard to get back in the groove after taking any kind of break from writing. It's something I've struggled with to the point where I really try to not take breaks anymore.

Just power through it, and that passion will come back!! Don't give up, you've put way too much work into it to let it go now!!

Patricia Lynne said...

I always struggle to get back into a story after taking a break. Sometimes I think it's because I know there is work to be done, but just for a moment I can pretend the story is perfect. Eventually, I force myself to work and the enjoyment of working on it comes back.

DL Hammons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DL Hammons said...

Been there...done that. It might involve a couple false starts, but eventually you'll get there. And you'll be so glad! :)

Cynthia said...

Medeia: It's all about nailing the spark.

Trisha: It's challenging to do it all in one sitting!

Ella: I like the feeling of working on a WIP as if I'm conversing with an old friend.

David: Thanks for the encouragement.

Tamara: Passion and powering through...a good mantra!

Patricia: I know what you mean.

DL: I look forward to getting there.

Nick Wilford said...

I didn't win NaNo in November, but I'm glad to say I did finish my draft a couple of weeks back. Christmas made for an enforced break and it did get harder towards the end, but you can definitely do it. You know what you need to do, which helps!

Having said that I have just done my first day of editing on it after another mini break and that was hard to get into too... *sigh*. Sometimes you have to sit down and just do it, you might surprise yourself!

Daisy Carter said...

I had this problem last fall. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't figure out how to get back into the groove with a project. I was feeling the "ick" with a lot of projects, which is why I unplugged over the holidays. I'm happy to report the excitement and love for the project(s) came back. It just took longer than I wanted it to. I know you'll find your groove with this story, too.

p.s. You won something in my giveaway! Come by to claim your prize! :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

My novel is still being written in my head, but I haven't had many chances to sit down to it. I can't wait, and I think of it constantly, but I've tried to set it aside so I can finish editing a previous novel in the hopes that I'll have it pitch-ready in April. Good luck to you! I do think you can regain that passion for the story when you sit down to write it. That story is still swirling around in there.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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