Thursday, December 31, 2015

From 2015 into 2016

Firstly, concerning my 2015 resolution

So there's this novel I've been working on since my last semester of college when a bunch of girls in my writing workshop class told me that they loved one of my short stories and wanted more. At the end of last year, I made the resolution to finally finish the first draft of that novel in 2015.

Today is the last day of 2015, and while I did finish the first draft of a novel this year (for the first time), it was for a completely unrelated story that I started and finished during the month of November for NaNoWriMo.

While I admit it's a huge bummer to not have a draft done of that college story yet, I'm proud of what I have accomplished in writing this year. I've written a 50,000 word novel from beginning to end, gotten a freelance job writing for a video game that I truly believe in, and am so incredibly close to finishing that college story that I can taste it!

And now, everything else 2015

This year, I've also been making more friends of coworkers than I thought I would, purchased a house along with my lovely wife, adopted the most adorable and fun dog on the planet, and continued to try eating more vegetables.

As far as my hobbies go, I've read several books (The Girl on the Train, Orange is the New Black, The Black Echo, The Girl with All The Gifts, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Survivor, etc.), seen countless movies (Mad Max, Star Wars, Ex Machina, Nightcrawler, Inside Out, Brooklyn, It Follows, Whiplash, The Guest, John Wick, and so many more), listened to a hell of a lot of music (Halsey, Grimes, The Weeknd, Panic! At The Disco, Melody Gardot, Purity Ring, Nero, and holy crap so much more), but played mostly one video game (Xcom: Enemy Unknown).

So, what about next year?

More. More of everything. More novel drafts, more freelance opportunities, more fun at work, more projects on the house, more playtime with my dog, more books to read, more movies to watch, more music to thrive on, more Xcom (the sequel comes out soon), and - of course - much more time with my amazing, caring, fun, can't-survive-without-her wife!
Maybe not as many more vegetables, though. We're starting to get down to the really weird ones.

Oh yeah, and a million times more Tactical Laser Tag. It has seriously been too long since I did that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 - A Recap

You see that up there? That's the tentative cover for the first novel I've ever finished writing. Somehow, I did it. Somehow, I wrote over 50,000 words in thirty days. Somehow, I won NaNoWriMo 2015.

How difficult was it?

It's weird to think about, because on one hand, the entire process was incredibly hard for me, especially when I would have a moment (and there were many) where I knew in the marrow of my bones that the novel wasn't good enough, and that everything I had written so far just wasn't living up to my expectations. On the other hand, though, the entire month's worth of writing seemed to fly by at the speed of light; I'd be writing one day, then look back in the novel to clarify some previously-established information only to be amazed at how far back I had to go to find it because I'd written so much!

Again, I owe it all to my hour-long lunch break at work, the uncomfortable cold weather which encouraged me to stay inside and write rather than going out for some fresh air, and most importantly my own discipline. You can see on the official word count charts below that I kept a pretty steady pace to stay on target every day while always compensating for a missed goal due to a busy weekend.

Is it any good?

The easy question to be asked when telling people that I've finished writing a novel in thirty days is, "is the novel good?" but I stand firm in my answer that whether or not the novel is good isn't the point, the point is that I worked hard at something I love to do. By writing an average of 1,697 words per day, I was practicing and (hopefully) slowly improving at my beloved craft. Creative writing isn't something you just can or cannot do, like any other skill it takes practice and determination to improve. That all being true, I consider myself to be my harshest critic, and let's just say that there will be revisions.

What now?

So where do I go from here? Well, I've still got to finish my years-in-the-making novel about a college-aged girl who winds up in a scandalous romance. It was my last new years' resolution to finish my first draft of that novel by the end of 2015, so I suppose I'll take this discipline I've developed and point it in that direction while I let The Dream House sit in the back of my mind for a month until I'm ready to re-open it and get to the revisions.

For those interested, you can read the current synopsis for The Dream House and even take a peek at a small synopsis here, just bear in mind this is a rough first draft.

Check out these related blog posts:
My First NaNoWriMo - 2013
My NaNoWriMo 2014 Recap
Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2015
Final Preparations for NaNoWriMo 2015