I've always, always wanted to do Nanowrimo. My first memory of hearing about it was in middle school, I believe, but I had no idea about the young writers program. I've had Chris Baty's No Plot, No Problem for years and years and years (and years. Seriously that poor book is so beat up by now). However, November was always met with a bunch of school stuff, whether that be tests, oral interp competitions or play rehearsals. I did try to do nano my junior year of high school, but I only got maybe 5K into it.
Flash forward to my traumatic freshman fall semester of college, from where I took a break from school. I suddenly have vast, open amounts of time. I used the first 6 months of that time recovering from my traumatic time at school, but I still wasn't healthy enough for a job or to go back to school. Hence the vlogging. However I still had tons of times on my hands so I decided I was going to brainstorm a novel. I had a list of ideas and finally decided on the one that said "Online couple that’s like a mix between lucy and kae and essie and aslan and that one thing about charlie a ALSO CHARLIE AND BRYARLY FANFICTION (possibly meet through blogging)WRITTEN ENTIERLY THOUGH BLOG POSTS." That should show you how coherent my ideas are, as well as any pre-writing, because it all looked like that.
That was in April. I realized that I had something (i.e. about 20 pages of brainstorming) that could actually be turned into a novel. It was then that I realized I had to do this for Camp NanoWriMo which I heard plenty about because, well, it was April. I, of course, only finished the 20 pages of brain storming about two weeks AFTER April 1st, so I knew I had to wait until July. This was about the time that I uploaded this video, as I was incredibly impatient and wanted to share that impatience.
(Don't read the comments on this, they're ridiculous)
So then I waited for July, writing things from my characters perspective and really getting to know the characters I was going to be spending all of July with. It made my writing so much better. Even though it was nanowrimo, I was writing the kind of prose I wanted to write. To this day I am blown away with what I managed to write in a month. I'm a very, very humble person but holy crap, you guys, I wrote some beautiful stuff.
My camp nanowrimo novel was definitely quality over quantity. I decided since this would be my first fictional work over 5K I would aim for 25K. I did win camp nanowrimo, technically, hitting about 26K for the month.
My Camp Nanowrimo story, tentatively titled Love Lily, ended up being a story of Lily, a girl who had just been released from a mental hospital for trying to kill herself, and Garfield, a boy who blamed myself for his best friend's death. They both begin writing a blog about their journey through recovery and joining a depression online community. They comment on each other's post and eventually start emailing and IMing each other, with Lily helping Garfield through his struggles. It was told entirely though blog posts, emails and instant messaging, except for the epilogue where it finally switches to third person.
It definitely helped my through my own recovery. Not just the story line, but the act of writing everyday. I was being productive and it made me feel great. Which meant that I decided right then, July 31st, to participate in Nanowrimo. All 50,000 words of Nanowrimo.
Which meant, of course, that I had multiple months to do the same kind of pre-writing I did with Love Lily. Can you see where this is going? Yep. I did zero pre-writing before Halloween. I had an idea, which I had done 2 or 3 pages of brainstorming for, but I was running around for character names about thirty minutes before nano started. I still don't have a concrete ending for this story and I'm currently at 45K. You can listen to me talk about how unprepared I was for week one, but how much fun I had anyway down there.
This time I was much more concerned with getting to 50K so it's been quantity over quality. This time around I'm playing with third person point of view and actually including action and dialog. I've learned that I'm definitely better at writing long streams of pretty, angsty prose than writing action sequences. It's all a big mess, with me not knowing what the hell I'm doing, but I'm pretty sure that's the point of nanowrimo.
This currently untitled novel is about an almost 18 year old foster kid that essentially gets kidnapped by a ~secret government agency~ that fights against an ancient evil warlock and his army of other evil supernatural creatures, because she is a witch. The organization is pretty shifty, with them following her around for years and not letting her leave, but the people who work for them take her in as family. There's a lot of magic and technology working hand in hand, as well as a lot of talk about "what is evil and what is good?" Not to mention, a beautiful cast of diverse characters including but not limited to a gender-neutral librarian who enjoys Disney, a large gay African American weapons specialist, a tiny hispanic asexual healer/kindgergarden teacher, and a super confident bi-sexual vampire. i also might have made the main cishet dude really terrible but let's not talk about that.
Right now I'm set to win Nanowrimo and I'm honestly shocked. This is something I've always thought about doing (TEN YEARS give or take) and now I'm actually doing it and soon I can say I did it. I can stop saying that I've only written a novella. I get to stop tacking on the -ella! When people ask me what I did during my semesters off I can say I wrote a novel (and a novella). I can't wait to be done and print out this beast so I can hit my father in the face with it--I mean wait what (he deserves it let's be honest and he keeps yelling at me for not doing anything with myself).
Be on the lookout for my very emotional 'NaNoWriMo: The End' video where I will be more in shock and probably more tired.