Thoughts on Winning, in 50K words or less…

I chose the picture above for today for several reasons. One, it’s just as cold here today as it was when I was standing there on Bamburgh Beach almost two years ago. From what I’m hearing, this sort of cold weather and SNOW is here a bit early this year. I can’t remember, to be honest. My memories of last winter here in the UK are that it was freezing cold and there seemed to be snow from November until about April. I might be exaggerating, but I’m not sure I’d thawed completely before we were hit with the white stuff again.

Two, there’s a castle in the background that reminds me in no small way of the one I just spent the last month writing in and out of in my NaNoWriMo work. I mentioned in a previous post that I was writing a piece of Everquest fan fiction, and I wanted to tell you a little bit about it here so that it doesn’t pass into oblivion. That was a lot of work for nothing.

When I played Everquest my main character was a wood elf druid named Ginolwenye. Years ago I started a blog for her where I recorded the stuff we did in game as though it was an unfolding fantasy novel. Well, that might be tooting my own horn a bit, but I wrote in first person as Ginolwenye and it was a fun little project for awhile. Later on I turned some of that into a few disjointed prose files, which lead to a larger project that I worked on now and then over the past seven years. I started my NaNoWriMo with a totally new idea, and couldn’t get anything going, so on day three I switched back to writing a new chapter for Gin and her friends and BAM, game on. The best part was the day that I discovered I was not writing a continuation of the seven year novel, but a sequel…that happened around day 15 or so.

Three…I’m alone in the photo. NaNoWriMo has fab forums that you can join and talk to others on the insane quest for 50k words in 30 days. You can get help when you’re stuck. You can adopt characters that others have created but can’t use. There are pep talks and commiserations. Beyond cyber-help, there are people setting up Write-Ins and Word Wars where you meet up and interact with others working on the NaNoWriMo quest. I read a lot of stuff and even posted a few things (I’m sure that those following me on Twitter will be glad when this month is over!), but for the most part I finished my 50k (a few days early, I might add!) like I started it. Alone. Just like me standing on that beach in the photo.

I’m already looking forward to Script Frenzy in April and next year’s NaNoWriMo. Hopefully I can get together something that I can actually publish next November…and I will have learned how to reach out and join the community that is at the heart of NaNoWriMo. For now, though, I am going to sit back and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Well, until December 1st when I start looking at it with a critical eye and a virtual red pen that would make my English teacher mother proud…

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