my nanowrimo experience

My one week of nanowrimo can be compared easily to the flu: lots of word-vomiting, delusional thoughts (from lack of sleep), and general sluggishness. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying nanowrimo was bad…essentially this is a “it’s not you, it’s me,” situation. Clearly I wasn’t cut out for speed-writing. I’m the type of person who runs a 12-minute mile and is dying after two minutes and ends up being nearly the last person (shoutout to all of the last place people running the mile; you guys boost my ego so much). I will stop complaining that Sarah J. Maas releases new books only twice a year now.

I’ll put you through the thought process of the plot of my book. So, there are a ton of apocalypse books out. They’re like the challenges on YouTube (100 layers challenge, I’m talking to you!) that seem so clever until they’re so overdone that I won’t even bother to watch. Now you’re wondering why I’m mentioning this. Well, I was writing an apocalyptic book. Ew, I know, but wait! My thought was that there are so many of them and they’re all related to natural disasters and aliens. Sounds like we are just blaming the future destruction of the world on other things. But really, isn’t it 10x more likely (woah math) that we will be the ones to do it? I mean, look at the election… 😉 Also, I thought of the mass suicide that happened years ago when a cult leader persuaded hundreds of people to kill themselves together. It’s so sad, which is part of what made the plot of my book even more depressing.

The apocalypse is coming, they say. The world will destroy itself: Acid rains, a meteor, volcanic eruptions. All along, though, hasn’t it been the humans destroying the world?

Eli wished he had never been born.

Brit lost eveyone.

Raven lost her way in life.

Lucille has no home.

What more is there to lose? What if all the people they loved were meant to die? And what if they were meant to be the hands of the Reaper? These questions were all planted in their heads by a therapist with issues of his own. The end of the world has come and a cult is rising that will be the end of the humans.

I started a few days late, so I had to do some major writing to catch up. It felt like when I procrastinate before a huge essay and have to spew words out of my butt to get to the deadline on time. Graphic, but it’s true because those words always stink. Sometimes an entire page would be spent describing the trees; you know it’s bad when you start describing the most random things to get your word count up. I also kept describing the characters’ eyes, which got to be a little repetitive, because you can only use a few adjectives to describe them. “Her eyes were an inferno,” was a favorite of mine, but since when do people’s eyes become infernos? That would be really concerning and calling the fire department would be advised.
The plot of my book was that last person crawling along at 1mph and finishing last at the mile run. I’m just standing at the sidelines, yelling, “RUN RUN!” and the plot doesn’t even move .1 mph faster. I spent more time staring at the page than actually writing. On what turned out to be the last day of my writing, I spent two hours, two hours, I’m not exaggerating, on two paragraphs. That would be when I realized I wasn’t cut out for this and stopped writing. Calling in sick on the day of the mile is always an option, you know.
My characters were also a challenge. I actually hated the main main character. He was a total bumhole and my inner feminist came out when he tried messing with another main character.

“You don’t really mean that,” he purred, leaning in closer until their faces were inches apart. She stood her ground, an unknown emotion flickering across her eyes. He might have labeled it as fear, but he knew she was the fearless type. Her eyes were twin green flames, stubborn and furious. He leaned in until their lips were inches apart and as she began to back away, he pulled her against him and latched his mouth on hers roughly. Brit’s hands pushed away so fast that he fell back, managing to catch himself before he fell in a graceless heap. Her eyes were now an inferno, her body trembling and her hands held out before her. Staring at him, she spat disgustedly, “You’re drunk, aren’t you?”
She was gone before the guilt set in.

She was honestly too good for him.

She couldn’t help but feel concerned for Eli. She had only just met him, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t feel protective of him. It was overshadowed, though, by the way his breath had sung of champagne and his lips had tasted of bitter alcohol and his hands had buzzed its dirty energy.

Though, his personality made sense. He had anger problems (hence the use of curse words, which I usually avoid) from his mother.

The blankets shifted again and a matted head rose slowly from beneath them. “You stink of cheap beer.” Her voice was gravelly from disuse and long hours spent inhaling smoke.
“Are you sure you aren’t smelling your own reek?” he answered, kicking aside crates and empty bottles, not bothering to be quiet now that she was awake.
She ignored his remark. “Give me the money.”
He paused. “I don’t have any money.”
The blankets crackled with static as she sat up more. “Give me the money. I know you have it.”
“I don’t, okay?” his voice rose as color rose to his face. “I don’t have any money! I didn’t get the job, Mom.”
“Useless piece of ungrateful shit,” she hissed. “You’ll just leave your poor mother to die after she carried you for nine months—”
“You’re right. I’m not grateful.”
“You fucki—”
“I’m not grateful because maybe you shouldn’t’ve carried me for nine months. I shouldn’t’ve been born. It wasn’t worth it.”
She hissed in a breath and he met the murkiness of her blue eyes as rage flickered there. For just a moment, he caught a flash of sadness, as if the mother who had carried him for nine months was truly there beneath the pallid skin and popping veins.
Then she sank back under the blankets like a sea monster slipping beneath the waves of a raging sea after crushing a ship between its jaws.
Eli stood for a moment, his body trembling uncontrollably as he dug his fingernails into the soft skin of his wrists. By the time he had stop shaking like a leaf in the wind, her snoring filled the room. He loosed a breath, his head pounding and aching between his eyes. Dragging a hand through his hair, he winced at the greasiness of alcohol and sweat coating it. He had fallen asleep in front of the stack of glasses, his head sitting in a puddle of spilled beer from when his fingers had been shaking too much and slopped beer over the side of the glass.

The two girl main characters were actually well developed, but their personalities were a little too similar when they were supposed to be polar opposites (notice the potential love triangle? Though I was going to have the boy fall in love with one of them and it be unrequited because hello inner feminist).

Her sensuous lips quirked up and he focused on their rich pink as she repeated herself. “What are you doing in the middle of a graveyard?”
“I could ask the same of you.”
“I heard the sounds of a party and clearly I wasn’t invited. A girl’s gotta have her fun, so I’ve just been following the sound.” She shrugged, a rippling movement that was far more elegant that a shrug should logically be.
Eli didn’t want to explain, so he told her the same. They fell into step, her taking two for each of his, her head at the exact right height that he could easily rest his chin on it. Brit was curvy next to his lean, her hips swishing elegantly with each step. Eli could easily imagine her on a dance floor, twirling, her skirt rising up to her chest and defying gravity. He didn’t realize he was staring until she glanced back at him, her green eyes bright and her blond waves gleaming in the moonlight.

The point of this post isn’t only to explain my failure. It’s also to encourage those of you still going, especially the ones who went past 8,000 words, since I am acting as that final person in the mile for you. I want you to keep going because I want to read your books someday. They may just be words vomited onto a page right now, but that’s what editing is for. At the beginning, I was frustrated because I kept comparing my writing to amazing authors, and that is something you never should do. Just keep writing! All good writers have to edit.

“We already have a JK Rowling. The world needs a You” -commented by kendrawrites on Instagram

I’m going to finish the mile eventually; I’m still in it, but my running has turned into very slow walking. I may have stopped writing this week, but next week or a week after, I’ll pick it up again. This time, I will plot out every chapter of the book so I don’t describe the trees for an entire chapter. This book wants to be written and it’s now my baby; I’m responsible for it and it will be written!
Good luck to you all of you writing right now and if you need any advice or thoughts on your writing, DM me on Instagram or comment below!


9 thoughts on “my nanowrimo experience

  1. TBH I love your writing!!! I live for good writing and I think yours is pretty awesome. I totally understand about apocalypse ideas being ‘ew’ but the twist you’re putting on it is quite intriguing… however it’s just a very hard idea to pitch since it seems that most agents are vehemently opposed to dystopian.
    My personal experience is that it’s just REALLY hard to do Nano without a pretty clear idea of the plot… as in, scene-by-scene action planned out, characters fleshed out, etc… which was why my 2014 nano attempt was horrible. But I think that the word-vomiting, while non-contributory to the first draft (I deleted my first-first draft completely), really helped get my mind working and produced all sorts of ideas that DID make it into the second-first draft.
    So basically — good luck and I can’t wait to see more writing from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve gotten a few positive responses to my writing and honestly I’m so surprised! 😂 there is so much word vomiting that went into that! And I agree, it would be hard to get it published because the agents are juuust as tired as I am of the apocalypse. It’s just like how every year some group decides it’s “the end of the world”. 😂 I’m really hoping that if I can get some idea of the plot, it might be possible, and if not I’ll ditch it and wait for inspiration!
      Your nano experience gives me so much hope. I might even do it next year and blog about my struggles! But until then, I’d be plotting it out step by step because I have learned from my mistakes
      Good luck to you with your writing! We should keep talking to each other about it for motivation and advice!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I think that word vomiting is no problem as long as the writing is good! Of course, in an actual book, if it ties up the pace, that might be a problem. I’m an incessantly wordy person lolll. Not exactly word vomiting, I just like to describe things in a lot of detail.
        Is your long-term goal to get published or is this just a project for fun right now? Dystopian novels really have it hard now… I’m not tired of them exactly, but I find it hard to discover a dystopian read that stands out! My novel is part fantasy and part sci fi and part dystopia, but now I’m querying agents, I don’t even mention that it’s got a bit of dystopia.
        Plotting is really fun; I love building new worlds! And tbh sometimes things just fall into place when you’re not thinking too hard about it, so don’t worry about it 🙂
        Good luck to you too, whether you continue with this project or not! And yes! Let’s. Writing is such stressful work sometimes, and it’s hard to find someone in the same predicament!


  2. I absolutely love the way way you write!! 💕 Although I understand why you stopped writing your novel, I’m totally rooting for you to take up another one or… you know, just casually become a published author. 😉 I would buy 10000 copies of this; I can really feel the emotion in it! 😍


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