Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: A Recap

Well, I made it all the way to 50,000 words, although my story is not terribly good and far from finished. Let's take a brief moment to look at some of the highlights.

When I realized my main character was essentially just me, and I threw in a not-me detail and was like, "Ta-da! Fixed now!":
English was never my strong point—my vocabulary was just fine, but my letters to my grandparents were riddled with spelling and punctuation errors well into my teens—and I’m not sure I would have been able to get the B I got without my mom’s gentle coaching.
When I named half my characters and locations after New Lifers -- sometimes twice:
And, I realized, with a shock, that was Pastor Beck's voice.
...a couple who had apparently survived together: Jessie and Tim. 
"Listen, Sarah here thinks she knows a back way into town." 
I suddenly remembered his name: it was Ben. [And his character's girlfriend...] The shellshocked girl from earlier, Aly, was another. 
"So how come God would kill a jerk like my roommate Josh Herndon and leave you alone?" [I had a lot of fun making the characters named after my friends awful people] 
He'd introduced himself as Nathan on the way over to the house. 
"Well, THAT'S not comforting," Elizabeth said, laughing a little but she sounded uncertain and scared. 
When I changed my male lead's name from Daniel to Jason because I kept calling him "Jason" in my head anyway:
"Daniel," he said, sitting smoothly down in the chair opposite me. "Are you a freshman?" 
I turned my head to find out who exactly it was, and there was Jason, whose name is now Jason, not Daniel, standing in front of me. 
When I tried to type without looking at the screen to go faster and filled my Word document with red squiggly lines:
"My family isnt' poor but we're defnitely not rivh eacither."
When I made weird typos and then decided to justify them in-text for extra words:
"Dad's a BUILDER," I said, putting empasis on the word builder for some reason I didn't understand. It just felt like the right thing to do. 
When I abruptly switched genres because this one was boring:
I knew she was right. But I was bored of this story.
Let's take a detour.
When I got back to my dorm room, it was empty. In fact, I realized, I hadn't seen another person on the way back from class. That's weird, I thought. On Monday the campus was buzzing all day.
I pulled the curtains back and peeked out my window. Nope, nobody there. I stared at the walkway for almost a full five minutes, but nobody walked past. The ugly gray cloudy sky seemed somehow darker and more oppressive, like it was a sign of something ominous coming.
When all my characters' names apparently began with E before I forgot all their names and changed them anyway:
"So, um, if you don't know me, my name's Erik." 
He looked to one of the boys sitting next to him and said, "Ethan, do you want to tell them what you've been looking up?" 
"That's a really good idea, Emily. Go for it."
When I created a dog in my story... and then forgot about him completely and apparently just left him abandoned in an empty house. Whoops:
Houdini seemed to have indeed calmed down very quickly from yet another stranger in his midst, and instead he went trotting back off into the rest of the house, performing the rounds again in his search for the people who lived here before.
When the character I named after my husband turned out to be a huge jerk that made everyone happy by being punched in the face:
Jacob snorted. "Yeah, right. Tomorrow some more of us will be gone, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after --"
Suddenly there was a loud thump sound, Jacob cried out in pain and bent over sideways, clutching his jaw. Erik stood beside him, shaking his hand, which he had clearly just used to punch him. Jacob stood back up and with a look that could kill, he muttered something under his breath. Most of the people in the room smiled.
When I suddenly got an idea of how to move my plot forward, and my characters caught my sudden enthusiasm:
"I HAVE A GREAT IDEA!" Samantha suddenly yelled. Everybody looked at her, a little startled at her outburst.
When my husband asked me to make his character a murderer and I did but didn't bother to provide any reason for him to be one:
"Now, listen to me," Jacob hissed in my ear. "You think you're fooling everyone with this cute little goody goody act, but I am SICK of it. I thought maybe I could use your it to my advantage. But I thought it might be more fun to just kill you and leave you for the others to find."
OK, he's been set up as creepy and stuff, but now he's just ready to kill people out of nowhere? I might have lost the believability of this story. This is what happens when I agree to name a character after my husband and make him a murderer.
When during that attempted murder scene, I still just couldn't deal with how ridiculous it was:
He grabbed one of the knives off the counter next to us, pinned me down, and had raised his hand to stab me in... the face? Well, that's stupid.
And all the rest of the more entertainingly goofy moments scattered throughout.

Did you guys do NaNoWriMo this year? What was your favorite part of your story?

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