Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Did The Thing

I finished NaNo, guys. o.o I have finished Clockwork Apprentice, coming in at 50,137 words. My word document's word counter would say more, but NaNoWriMo's website says this is the official count. But whatever. I win either way, right? ^_^

I'm really, really glad I finally did NaNo this year. I thought it would be fairly easy. I didn't have a busy schedule, and I thought I wrote a decent amount of words in one sitting when I'm not distracted.

Note the word distracted.

But I was able to get ahead of the average word goal NaNo suggests each day. I got super excited the first few days, and that got me ahead, but then I caught a nasty cold and writing slowed down a little. But I was still able to keep ahead, and some days pull even further. There was a day when I cut it pretty close to not updating the little counter on the website, so I was basically this late that night:

I was also that last night, trying to finish the plot of my novel and win then. But it got really late, and words and my brain said goodnight to each other and that was that.

But this adventure has been fantastic. I decided to do NaNo about a week before the month of November began, but it took me a while to settle on a story to pursue.

Writers are crazy. Just nod and smile. ;)

Then I began research. Clockwork Apprentice is a steampunk novel, and as I've never written steampunk I needed a bit of background information on all things 1800s. I stored up an impressive bank of resources, people. Even a site for clock parts, and temporarily regency period things because I debated doing regency steampunk.

But guess what I didn't do? Use any of it. I used none of the sources! November 1, I started writing and used no time to consult the sources. I'll probably go back and use them a little during editing, but I think it did give me a good idea what that time period was like, so I could transfer the atmosphere into my novel.

Then it began.

I began to write. I had my plot, I had a decent idea of characters, and I realized quickly how this novel was gonna need a LOT of editing afterward. Characters weren't developed, and that become evident quickly. My MCs are probably going to go from being amiable and getting along to starting out rough and rubbing each other in all the wrong ways. The plot, bless it, decided to return to the idea of being a mystery story too. This was decided when I was already well into the novel.

My first reaction.

So, it was back to the drawing board for a really fast plot development session.

But! I'm really glad it became what it did. It provided lots to write, filling out the middle and working to provide foreshadowing and little details to set things up for the mystery. I squealed with pleasure when I found ways to set up the mystery and foreshadow all the things.

Later I hit my first big snag. I wrote a scene, in which my villainess makes her first appearance and kidnaps my main character's friend as leverage to get her to stop investigating the murders. I liked the idea of the scene, because feels and the adorable character gets kidnapped, but then it started to not work. It was making the following scene not like I envisioned, and I really wanted that scene to have the mood it really was not having with the current situation.

I didn't want to delete it all and try to gain back the words, but I also felt like keeping it there and rewriting would be almost cheating (newbie NaNo-er, here!). But a friend told me to not touch backspace. In all caps. So I let the offending piece be and simply rewrote it. Everything was better, and I was happy. Plus more words.

Like a lot of my stories, things happened I didn't previously account for. Like the change of plot. Also, my villainess had a character shot. I hadn't planned that, but I rolled with it. It probably worked to help the plot in some way, I'm sure.

My characters are all darlings. I love them all, even if they're a bit of a mess in this first draft. My toymaker character is feelsy and I love him, and I love the kid that came along with the mystery plot package. As I wrote and got further into the story I learned more about them. Their roles and personalities developed as I went along, giving me a better idea of how everyone interacted.

This is me getting excited over characters interacting.

And then there was my villainess. People, let me tell you, I didn't expect her to become what she became. She was a woman with a plan for revenge against the man who jilted her on her wedding day. Simple enough. And then she became a truly insane person. For a long while we only hear about her as the MC investigates. She's mysterious, and quite possibly a murderer. But then when she made her first appearance, she was terrifying.

This is me writing my villainess and watching her manipulate my darling toymaker.

Then there was a scene I did from her POV. I got inside her head. It's a scary place, y'all. o.o I didn't realize how insane she was until I got up close. It was fascinating, but also scary that she's my creation. I get that feeling a lot with characters. <_>_>

Yes. Do that. It works.

Then things began to wind down. The climax came, and along with it the scene I had been looking forward to most, because hypnotism and violins and feels (I like feels). Unfortunately that scene didn't play out like it did in my mind, and the climax seemed a bit messy and everywhere. But I think part of that was me trying to finish quickly, so I was rushing.

The music that inspired the beginning of the climax. :3

But it began to come together at the end of the climax. Because why come together at the start when you can do it at the end? And I think, once I get it cleaned up and more like how I imagined (or at least not like it is now), it will be a lot better and lot more intense.

So I wrote the climax and the winding down scenes. That's when I realized the word counter on the doc and the word validation counter on NaNo's site disagree, so I had another 1500-some words to go. I was adding scenes here and there, embellishing a scene other there, and finally titling chapters to officially reach 50,000 words.

And then...

I won.

This is me displaying the chaos that is my climax/novel.

It's been really, really awesome doing NaNoWriMo. It was a lot of fun setting up a NaNo account, it was fun researching, it was fun anticipating scenes, writing scenes, and having feels when my babies were sad. I loved even the unexpected twists. I like how the villainess turned out, too. I've never had a villain as insane as she is. It was fascinating to write her, and hopefully she'll be even better when editing comes around. :D

But we won't talk about editing now because that is a scary thing and I don't want to look at it.

I'm glad I tried NaNo. It was a definitely a learning experience (I learned the importance of backing up your work. o.o).  God willing, I might have another go in 2016. I have lots more stories to try out. B)

Are you doing NaNo? How is it going for you? If not, what are you working on right now? Tell me the things!

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