As the days approach toward the end of November – 6 days left until one must reach that 50k deadline – I realize that once again I will not mark myself as a NaNoWriMo Winner this year. To play upon a familiar adage: Always a NaNo contestant, but never a NaNo Winner. That is how I feel at this exact moment. I won’t put my word count here as it’s pitiful and I have a small hope I might increase it before December 1st arrives; though I suspect that won’t be the case. I think the reason for my lack of success this year is of my making, honestly.
My story this year was the same concept that I had last year, and as I didn’t much like what I had then I decided to scrap; just starting completely over this year; only using my former plot research to prep for NaNo, and enhancing upon it – greatly. The problem is that while I did quite a bit of researching it turned out to be not enough. While I want more than anything to write this story, its characters banging around inside my head for attention, I realize that doing it during NaNo is potentially what’s making it not happen, and bringing about my not being able to get any further than I did. The sheer amount of research was something I didn’t count on and even what planning I did ahead wasn’t enough; something that left me feeling more than a bit overwhelmed. In order to write this story as a NaNo novel I’d have to start my research and outlining at least six months to a year in advance.
Choosing a genre that I love, and read often, and even have written for in certain roleplaying groups, was something I thought was smart until I began to do the outlining more thoroughly in September. Sci-fi is a genre that’s meant to suspend belief while also keeping a foot in reality; the bit of reality helping to enhance the reader’s mind even more into believing the possibilities being presented to them as the story unfolds. The only thing is I’ve never been particularly great with certain things that would involve writing a sci-fi story that has to do with space travel and exploration; like math, science, and astronomy which are kind of big elements in the genre, and for that reason I need to put a ton of researching in before, and perhaps during, before I can just write.
I think the best thing for me to do is throw in the towel about doing this as a NaNo story and just continue on with it beyond the end of November, and hopefully have more success with this story than I have before. While I might have formerly been sad about having given up on a NaNo that isn’t the case this time though. In the end I hope to just write a story that I want to make really great, and I can do that whether it’s NaNo or not.
Plus there’s always next year.