hello! as you can tell from my super clever and not at all cheesy and overdone title, i will be discussing the ups and downs (mostly downs) of my nanowrimo experience. for those of you who aren’t sure what that means (count yourself as lucky, please) nanowrimo stands for ‘national novel writing month’, which takes place throughout november.
upon hearing about nanowrimo, i knew it wouldn’t be super easy for me, but i also didn’t worry too much about it because hey, it’s the beginning of school, november is sooooo far away, right? wrong!! so, so very wrong. i genuinely think that if i had prepared myself better and started brainstorming immediately, i could have had a lot of fun with it, but november hit, and i found that my brain was utterly and absolutely empty. vacant. there were cobwebs.
i eventually got an idea that i thought i could possibly go with. i built this idea solely because i created two characters that i genuinely love and believe in. i was really stumped on what story i wanted to tell, and i scrapped several different plots before i realized that it doesn’t work that way for me because that isn’t how i myself read and consume other media. when i read/watch something, it isn’t normally the plot that interests me- it’s the characters. that’s when i decided that creating characters that i love would provide me with the opportunity to build a world around them that i could grow to love also.
the characters that i created and their dynamic is one that reflects the type of things i like to read. two childhood friends who both want to be more, but something is getting in the way. a loner who has experienced a tragic loss and his only friend in the world, learning to navigate life and love in their teen years.
has it been done before? certainly. will it continue to be done until the end of time? most likely. but since i was embarking on the already heavy task of writing a novel in a single month, i decided to write something that i never have before- a romance. when i thought about the kind of stories that i love, my mind immediately went to the couples in those stories. i’m a self-admitted hopeless romantic, but i’ve never personally explored the genre for fear of being…being… too sappy, i guess. the things that i typically write about are rather dark or solemn, and the idea of writing a conventional love story was somewhat foreign and intimidating. but i went with it, and i can’t say that i regret it.
so, emma, why have you written this blog about your own struggles with an assignment? no one wants to hear about it.
well, maybe not, but i want to talk about it anyway. although the experience wasn’t seamless for me, i’m genuinely grateful to be in an environment where my teacher believes in me enough to say, “write a novel in a month. i know you can do it.” because i certainly didn’t believe that i could. i got out of my comfort zone of unsettling short stories and wrote thousands of words about deep friendship and unrequited love, which wasn’t a breeze for me. it took a lot of brainstorming, playlist making, and favorite-tv-show-rewatching, but i did it, and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t kinda proud. a rare experience for me indeed.
’til next week, enjoy the mini playlist i created for my novel (if you dare) 🙂
novel mini playlist
near you always- jewel
some things last a long time- daniel johnston
iris- the goo goo dolls
american pie- don mclean
wouldn’t it be nice- the beach boys