Another successful NaNoWriMo

Filed in Writing

Here you go …

The certificate has already appeared online, on my FaceBook profile. My thoughts about this year’s participation are elsewhere online. That’s the reality these days – this blog is not my only online home. I have three other (two public and one private), all of them more immediate and easier to update. Oh dear … but I digress.

Before November started, I had plans to write a non-fiction NaNo this year. Then I found out I won’t be able to submit it for verification to “win” the purple bar. I do love the purple bar, it’s the official acknowledgement that I have indeed written a 50,000-word novel. Why can’t I submit a non-fiction NaNo, I asked online in the NaNo Rebels forum. Someone explained that the “No” in “NaNoWriMo” stands for “Novel”, and “novel” is fiction. Then someone else said the “No” can also stand for “Non-Fiction”. Haha … yes, yes … ok, ok …

But just when I got used to the idea of having a green bar (unofficial acknowledgement for a 50,000-word novel), some “old friends” nudged me and said “you haven’t written our story yet.” Meanwhile, I was having doubts that I would have enough words for a non-fiction NaNo to get the green bar. But I didn’t want to not write it – it is something I had to write before January 2010.

So I decided I’d write a fiction NaNo to keep the non-fiction NaNo company. They became known as my fic NaNo and nonfic NaNo.

In the end, they both crossed the 50K finishing line. And I submitted the fic NaNo to “win” the purple bar for the sixth time in eight years. The word count difference was just 10 words – 50,839 words for the fic NaNo and 50,829 words for the nonfic NaNo. Which surprised me as throughout the month, I was writing more for the non-fiction project (at one point, it pulled ahead by more than 2,000 words), but later, I wrote just enough to pass the 50K line. And I finished one day earlier than planned – 24th instead of 25th.

My personal daily target was 2,000 words for each. Some days, I wrote more, which allowed me to take 2 days off during the month, and also to write below 1K on a few days, too. On the days that I wrote, I would begin with the fic NaNo, write about 1,000 words and switch to the nonfic NaNo. It often felt like I was in a writing relay, and definitely in competition with myself!

Most days, I spent about four hours total on the two projects. It’s a good thing I was using my trusted AlphaSmart Neo. I had thought of doing some on “H”, my ASUS eeePC 1000H netbook, but eventually didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t – the Neo was 100% distraction free, with no Internet, no games, nothing to lure me from my words.

I often had trouble sitting down to start the day’s writing. But when I did, and as soon as I typed the first word, I was off and running. The next word would suggest itself in my head, and the next, and the next … I never said no to these words as long as each followed from the previous word and strung together to make a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, a scene and a chapter.

So what are my two NaNo projects about? You really want to know?

Fiction NaNo 2009

A group of close schoolfriends make a promise to be together on the eve of the new millennium (about 20 years later). I had this idea from a few years ago, and they were the ones who reminded me at the end of October that I had not written their story yet. So I resurrected the story, but with a twist – one of them goes missing and the “leader” goes all out to look for her, as she feels the responsibility to make sure the promise is kept. Yes, it’s a group of female schoolfriends, and yes, the story is set in Malaysia. Quite contemporary, too, right?

Non-fiction NaNo 2009

January 2010 will mark 10 years since I became a giant panda “watcher”. I’d been meaning to write up an account of my various black and white experiences, but haven’t (“procrastinator” is my middle name). If I was going to get it written, November would be the month to write it.

At first, I was worried that I would not have 50,000 words for my non-fic NaNo. After all, it’s just an account of what happened in the last 10 years between Chet and her black and white furries. But I surprised myself. As I laid down the facts and descriptions, I found myself reacting to these facts and descriptions, attempting some rough analysis of certain black and white phenomena, and even, at one point, ranting and raving about a particular recent event.

So, what am I going to do with this year’s two NaNo projects?

The fic NaNo is my sixth complete NaNovel in eight years (I didn’t complete in 2002 and 2006). It’s also the first one I think has some hope of seeing daylight. After a short holiday, I will look at it and start the revising, rewriting, editing, etc.

As for the nonfic NaNo, I think I’ve fulfilled a promise to myself to write up my black and white experiences since January 2000. Some parts may see daylight. As for the entire nonfic NaNo – maybe.