NaNoWriMo Winner 2011

I suppose it comes as no surprise that I won NaNo again. (Once again, for the record, anyone who writes a 50,000 word novel is a winner, so it’s not like I’m THE winner. I’m one of many!) I started with 8,000 words on the first day and that gave me enough of a cushion that I finished a little early, on November 26.

I started out loving the story — about the brother of a school shooting victim, who gets a text message from his brother (victim) during the shooting — and ended up not loving it so much after a while. Last year’s story was mostly exposition, very little action, so this year, on the advice of My Chemical Romance, I tried to keep the story very short on exposition. And even though I did that, 50,000 words isn’t really that much for a novel, and I didn’t get in nearly the amount of story I’d planned. For instance, I never really touched on why the shooter did it, nor did I give a lot of information about the victim brother’s recovery. I had planned to include those things, but I ran out of time. On one hand, if I’d written 100,000 words, I probably would have gone through every plot sequence I wanted to hit, but on the other hand I don’t think I could have actually written 100,000 words. If I were planning to edit this novel — which, at this point, I’m not — I could see adding at least another 30,000 words in character development and action.

I had a dream last night that NaNo had a new requirement: after you finish your 50,000 word novel for November, you have another 24 hours to write ANOTHER 50,000 word novel. Then you REALLY win. I woke up covered in sweat.

I think that because of the time/word crunch, NaNo writers end up making really plot-driven novels. Wii and I discussed it, and personally I’m more drawn to character-driven stories than plot-driven. We talked about “Lost,” which was, after the first episode plane crash and polar bears, mostly character-driven, in my opinion. In fact, I felt like the season or two where “Lost” was, uh, LOST was when they did a lot of plot based stuff, like finding the “tailies” and such. I think “Lost” did its best work when it delved into the heart of the characters, in the flashbacks (or flashforwards. Or flash-sideways.) However, it was also a really nice balance of plot-driven (aforementioned polar bears and mercenaries and crazy French women).

I miss “Lost.” I don’t watch much TV anymore. When we had U-Verse, I had like 17 episodes of Rosie O’Donnell’s new show, plus a zillion other shows that looked good (“Revenge,” “Suburgatory,” “Modern Family,” “2 Broke Girls,” “The New Girl,”) except I never found time to watch any of them. We purposely have only two TVs, one downstairs in the living room and one upstairs in the guest room/Porcelain’s room/Bubbie’s room/The Room Where We Store Boxes, and the only time the upstairs TV is on is when Bubbie is visiting. We actually have another TV in our bedroom that isn’t plugged in, as well as a TV in the garage. Anyway, if I have free time, I tend to waste it by browsing Wikipedia and random gossip sites and on Facebook making fun of people I didn’t like in high school who want to friend me now. (I accept their friend request, look at pictures of them, note that they’re total freaks, feel superior and then unfriend.) I also read occasionally. Anyway, my mother told me that this isn’t my season for television watching, and then maybe in 10 or 15 years I’ll get a chance to watch again. I asked what if there are no good shows in 10 or 15 years?!?!?! She promised shows will be even better then. I’ll never know, since I doubt I’ll have a chance to watch before then!

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2 Responses

  1. Ah, so you’re a facebook meanie, eh? What fun. I like skulking around a bit myself, sending messages to old boyfriends to make them freak out a bit that I’m stalking them.
    All grist for the writer’s mill.
    Congrats on finishing, and hey, why not put the novel away for a bit and then come back in January or something and see if it’s worth finishing? Often there are good ideas there…

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