What I learned about writing from NaNoWriMo

So, it’s been a little over a week since NaNoWriMo’s end, and I’ve had a little time to relax and digest. I’m happy to report that I did indeed win NaNoWriMo this year (Finally!). Haven’t quite finished my first draft though, so I have something to do over the holidays.

It was hard. Especially with school throwing finals and essays at me. More than once I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but man it feels good. A shout-out to I.K. Lore as well, since she pretty much won in my book =)

I knew that doing this was going to put everything I have learned about writing to the test, and I was certain to learn more throughout the month as well. And I did. What surprised me a little though, was how much I learned about the flaws in my writing. NaNoWriMo essentially pointed out to me where my weaknesses lie.

Of course, I’m sure everyone who has attempted NaNoWriMo knows that the quality of writing produced varies. Mine is most certainly atrocious, but looking back I can see where I struggled most, and where I’ve repeated my mistakes. It gives me something of a guide for where to start when I edit, where to improve first instead of trying to tackle everything at once. I won’t bother going over them here (There are just too many to list!). Maybe in another post, haha.

So there you have it. Despite the insanity that is National Novel Writing Month,  it is such a rewarding experience in so many ways. I encourage all of you reading this post to try it at least once. You won’t regret it, I promise.

– A. R.

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NaNoWriMo – To Plan or Not to Plan

This year marks my fourth attempt at Nano, and for all previous years I decided to plan my novel before writing. Hasn’t worked for me yet though, as I have yet to make it to the 50k (Can’t seem to turn off that inner editor!). I considered winging it this year, and I even had a potential plot waiting in the wings. I wound up going with a somewhat planned story though. So far so good. I’m considering ‘pantsing’ it next year and I’m curious to hear peoples experiences with the whole plan-no plan debate for nano. Did you plan your story or did you wing it? Maybe both? What worked for you or what didn’t?

Taking the Plunge: NaNoWriMo 2011

As I have already mentioned, this year I am in fact attempting NaNoWriMo for what will be the third or fourth time. I was on the fence for a while for this year’s event. I wanted to finish another story I’ve been working on, which I’ve discussed in an earlier post as well, and I have yet to succeed in making that 50k mark. I thought it might be best to take a breather this year as I certainly didn’t want this November to end in failure too. Obviously I have changed my mind (and I’m not going to lie – when I.K. Lore told me she was participating I was quite easily swayed). At first I was going to go to wing it, as planning obviously didn’t help me in previous years. But, once again, I had a change of heart. This season is certainly a season of heart changing, at least for me. So yes, I am taking the plunge, with a novel I am so unbelievably eager to write I can hardly contain myself. Less than an hour until I begin, so wish me luck~

I love hearing about the experiences of my fellow nanoers, so tell me, are YOU taking the plunge this November?

Website reloaded and some pictures

Hullo, all~

Been absent of late as I have been working hard revamping my website. It wasn’t due for a change, I’d only updated it about a year ago, but it was inefficient and dull, so hopefully the changes I’ve made make the website more inviting and interesting.

I can now be found at: http://vespertinephantasy.atspace.eu

Also, I.K. Lore reminded me to share some of my art, so here it is:

A bust of Lucien Esselnor. A character of mine who is also in the story I am writing with I.K. It’s not complete but I.K. was eager to see it, so here he is~

A masquerade plays a major role in the story, and among our characters, some disguise themselves as waiters or servers at the masquerade. My character, Arika, is one of them, and that’s her face in the corner there.

I’ve also put my current novel-in-progress on a temporary hiatus. It was rather foolish of me to attempt my word count tracking endeavor before NaNoWriMo, which I will be joining in again this year. Hopefully with some success. I’ve changed usernames, and am now participating under the user ‘A R Flynn’. Feel free to add me if you’d like to be writing buddies~

Anyway. Now that the new site is up, I’ll be more active on this blog again.

– A.R.