The best thing about the Thank God It's Over party is that anyone who took part in Nanowrimo is welcome to come, whether they made the 50,000 level or not. Last night, after we'd finished with the cards and the lights and everything else, we headed off to Sacramento, through the rain, to join the others in the area. One of the participants hosted the party, and very thoughtfully stuck a sign in the window so we'd recognize the place when we drove by.
There were stuffed lemurs swinging gently in a circle, hanging from a ceiling fan. There were marvelously spicy chicken enchiladas, baked Brie with slices of french bread, cookies, and pie. There were also far more bottles of sparkling cider than any party should ever have. We all brought a page from our novels, and a few of us read them out loud to the group. We talked about our experiences – our favorite techniques for procrastinating on the writing; whether or not we thought we'd ever finish what we started in November; whether we would do it again.
To get ready for this, of course, we had to provide that one page from our novels. And as I opened the document I realized that the last time I actually worked on mine was the 25th of November - the weekend before Thanksgiving. I'd managed to get almost to 35,000 words, and I suppose if I'd really tried I could have churned out the remaining 15,000. After all, two years ago when I did Nanowrimo the first time, I finished the word requirement by the end of the month (barely). Of course, by the time I choked out the final few words I was sick of the story, and well aware of how truly horrid the final product was. I sent in my document for the word count and the instant I got back the official response, I deleted every piece of it from my hard drive, and did my best to erase it forever.
This time around this has actually been a story I want to keep. I didn't want to end up hating it so much by the end of the month that I would have no choice but to delete it. And by the time I finally stopped writing the story had become seriously flawed. My main character may have to drop in age up to 20 years. The main premise of the story started to splinter into at least three different scenarios, none of which worked with most of what I'd come up with so far. And for a novel based on a series of letters, I was having a rather difficult time with the fact that I couldn't seem to write any more than the first one.
It was fun though – more fun this time around than the first. . I imagine that it will most likely be quite a while before I pick it up again and try to fix some of those problems I mentioned, or even give it a good preliminary editing. But I'm not really worried about that. Early in the month I decided that it wasn't so important any more to finish. What was more important was to try to at least get started on this story that's been lurking in my head for quite a long time. And now that it's down on paper (or at the very least, in a file on my computer), maybe I'll be able to get the next part done with a bit more ease.