The post-NaNo blues …

Ant, my fellow Epic Blue Unicorn member asked a question in his blog directed at other NaNo writers. And since I know that there would be no short answer for me I decided that I would make a blog post out of it.

So if any other NaNo people are reading this, please feel free to comment on what you’re doing to keep your writing going? What do you plan on doing with your story? It would be good to hear.

Ant.!

Ant, here is my answer to your question.

I’m not sure yet what I will do with my story. I guess that it’ll kind depend on the finished product. Like you, I never expected that I would ever actually sit down and write a story – a real story. And yet here I am.

A lot of people fall into the post-NaNo blues – which is why I gave this post this particular name. You’ve been writing for a month with 1667 words a day, and that’s a particular task you set for yourself and suddenly you’ve reached that goal of 50 000 words and the end of the month. You’re ecstatic because you’re done and you give yourself the chance to wind down, take a few days off. The downside of doing that is that you might loose the flow of actually writing each day. That is certainly what happened to me last year. But last year was different, I was writing the first version of ‘Mirrorland’ and I hated it. I was so done with that story. I am pretty sure that I didn’t open the actual yWriter file until early October of this year when I wanted to transfer the characters to my new file. I just couldn’t look at the story, I actually think that it is a small miracle that I even still have those files on my computer because I’m pretty sure that I will never use them again. There is not one scene I want to keep and use in this story. Not one. I totally gave up on that story … well that version of the story. Because the base idea of the story wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew that I had to give it another shot. But apart from my main character, the tragic loss of a loved one and the alternative universe and probably some of the names I used nothing is the same. Everything has changed and all bets are off.

Having said and admitted that the post-Nano blues is a common thing, that certainly doesn’t mean that I have them. So far, so good *knocks on wood* I might not have been doing that well word count wise but I’ve been working hard on my new planning. Since the meeting at the 30th, I’ve decided that I want to change the way my story is build. Originally my story would start in this world, build up the storyline and reach a certain plot-point. And that would be the point where my story would become influenced by the science fiction part, I guess. My main character will set her first steps in an alternative universe and that would be where the rest of the story would take place or at least the biggest part of the remaining chapters. I love science fiction but I hate the fact that I have to call my story science fiction because I use alternative universes. I just can’t get over that fact. I really don’t like it because science fiction gives me the idea that there are going to be aliens or people with superpowers or something like that and there’s not going to be any of that stuff.

This however has been bothering me from the beginning basically. It didn’t feel right, but before November started I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about it. It’s been bugging me all along, even in October when I was working on my Nano prep. But last Saturday – once I was  finished with my 50 000 words – I finally took the time to review the scenes which I had already written and the part which I would still have to write. And it was as if I had an epiphany.  Little pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place and I could suddenly see how I could make my story more interesting for the reader. Most of the scenes which I wanted to use in the first part of my novel are done – well as done as a first draft can be anyway – however I have basically only written one scene which takes place in the alternative universe.

The new starting point of my story will be a very crucial discovery my main character makes while she is in the alternative universe. One which she can’t explore at that time and she is forced to go back to our world. My main character needs to know the truth about the discovery and she goes back. During her search for answers the scenes which I have already written will serve as flashbacks triggered by things that happen during the search. That way little by little the reader will find out why it is so important for my main character to figure out the truth.

Figuring out how everything is going to fit together and which event will trigger what flashback is what I have been doing this past week. So I’ve been very active when it comes to my Nano project. I really do feel that this could be an entertaining story and who knows … maybe there is a future for it. I haven’t really set a goal yet, I don’t have a certain amount of words I want to write in a week or something although I have to agree with Ant 5000 words a week sounds like a good goal.

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