NaNoWriMo in July: lessons at the end.

It’s done! The main body of the story is finished at ~21.5k. I still have a little epilogue to write which will probably take me into 22k, but huzzah, at last, it’s over. And I won my first Camp NaNoWriMo! ^_^

The novella is now called Strange Music. Sometime in the midst of writing, the finalized title fell out, and it captures the story perfectly. “The Radio Andromeda” was good when it lasted, but it really wasn’t appropriate. Sometimes you have to write the story, and then in the process discover its proper title.

Lots of lessons this week, mostly about how “pantsing” can be capitalized to the fullest. The outline I made on Day 10 was very helpful: not only was it a signpost to return to when I got lost, it was a jumping off point for deviations. I suppose that’s the balance between pantsing and plotting. Some scenes were initially planned to go here, but they absolutely insisted on going there, and no they can’t go anywhere else, even if it was already planned in the outline. This was particularly the case on Day 21, where I wrote a transition scene, and suddenly realized that the next scene was the climax OH WOW IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. I already had an intervening scene planned, but this was the moment where I had to jettison the outline and just fly with the story. And you know what? It was perfect. It was the right that the climax came at this time; having that intervening scene would’ve just stretched out the narrative unnecessarily. Sometimes you just know, I suppose.

This third week was full of brilliant scenes. One was a major conflagration between the two MCs. The others were the scene before the climax, and the climax itself — I actually teared up while writing those. Some gems amidst some pretty pedestrian writing. I don’t know, but I’ll try not to touch the gems afterward. They can be edited out of recognition, which would be disastrous, because I can’t recapture that exact moment of writing, the emotion I had at the time.
Or maybe I’m still in the high of writing. Surely I’ll come back a few months later and wonder what was so special about it all. And start picking everything apart.

But. It’s finished. Now to consign it to a corner of my harddrive and get on with my studies, which have been languishing terribly while the muse was riding me. Revising, editing, and beta-reading can come later.

Here ends Vega’s foray into writing… for now. Proper NaNoWriMo, and “Killing the Dragon”, still await.

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