Reflecting on NaNoWriMo 2016

I wrote on 28 of the 30 days, missing only two days while traveling for Thanksgiving. I will make up for them by continuing to write for at least the first 2 days of December. It’s still my most consistent showing yet in the four years I have attempted NaNoWriMo. My final word count was roughly 13,016 words, covering just over 80 handwritten pages. My goal was never 50k words; it was to write first drafts for final 6 chapters of Dream Crasher.  I completed 2 chapters and did a detailed outline of a third.

It was refreshing to be fully immersed in story again, and not distracted by raising money, digital edits, selling books, shipping books, and social media. I learned a lot of unexpected things about my characters. I was really worried about parts of these chapters coming out contrived. I spent as much time meditating on the story as I did putting words to the page. I always do some form of this, but consistently writing helped me focus on the problem points. As I figured out the characters and what motivates them, I found ways through my plot without it feeling contrived.

It takes me roughly 2 weeks to complete a first draft of a chapter. This will make it easier to budget time in the coming year to continue writing the final 4 chapters. This metric might also help me dedicate some more time to short stories and other scripts I have wanted to work on. Typically I read during my subway commute to and from work. During NaNoWriMo, I read on the morning commute in and wrote on the way home. The advantage is I write a lot more; the disadvantage is I read a lot less. Writing on the subway can be tricky and it will only work for writing first drafts, so I don’t think it will or should become my new normal. However, if I dedicate myself to doing this in 2 week spurts for first drafts, this method works really well.

This was good for me creatively. I feel reinvigorated. I feel less like a salesman and more like a writer again. I still have to be both but I can’t have one without the other. We’re releasing Chapter 3 this month (it’s been pretty much done but the release was delayed). I’m tabling at Winter Con in Queens this weekend. Chapter 4 is underway for a Spring 2017 release.  Chapter 6 is undergoing its first script edits. Reed and I just spoke for an hour last night plotting out conventions in the coming year and how Stealing Fire Comics can be our vehicle for resistance in Drumpf’s America. I’m feeling really good about where I’m at even though I’m scared for society as whole.