Monday, November 1, 2010

My first Nanowrimo

For every Nanowrimo participant, the inevitable moment must come, that moment where you think, "Oh God, why am I doing this?" It's a little disheartening when that particular moment hits you over the head on the first day of the National Novel Writing Month.

This is my first Nanowrimo; better late than never, right? I'm too quirky to be a follower, and too stubborn to allow anyone else to dictate my pace (or at least, not be incredibly resentful of it). It's certainly not as if I'm bored at work; convention season every November at my job makes that highly unlikely. It's also not as if I don't have other things to do. There's a birthday to celebrate, a trip to California wine country, and Thanksgiving dinner to plan. So, why have I decided to do this? I promise you it's not because I lost my mind. I lost a manuscript, my fourth, The Burning Candle, which I had finished this summer. It's the story of Isabel de Vermandois, a medieval countess, wife and mistress to two of the most powerful Anglo-Norman earls in England. She was a remarkable woman, one whom I researched for a year before writing about her. Two of my dear friends managed to salvage four of the later chapters for me. That leaves twenty-six chapters to go.

There's nothing like having to start over again to make you question whether writing is your life or a hobby. As I began chapter one of this new story today, I wondered whether I could do Isabel's life justice. All the familiar worries and fears are there, but lots of hope also. I hope it will be a better story than the first draft, but mostly, I'm striving just to keep at it during the month. It would be nice to reach that 50,000-word mark too. Nanowrimo must mean something different to all the writers who undertake the challenge. For me, it's a fresh start, where I get to pick up the pieces of a story I loved and lost, and begin again. Wish me luck.

My nano name is lyarde11751. Are you doing Nanowrimo too? Good luck in reaching the 50,000-word count!


Michelle Gregory said...

oh yes, but i think you already know that if you've been reading my blog. i'll look you up on nano's site when it's not glitching.

Anita Davison said...

Bravo Lisa, and I stand by my pep talk to you this weekend. The discipline of having to move forward and commit your work to paper [sorry,screen] on word count criteria only is great discipline. When you aren't allowed to tweak,re-work, add, polish etc to what you have already done, your focus is on getting the story down. I have faith you'll finish and Burning Candle will be better than ever.

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