As I move ever closer to twenty-five thousand words, I’ve come to realize more and more that I am moving farther and farther away from being finished. Not with NaNoWriMo, of course, but with my novel itself. At over twenty-three thousand words, I’ve yet to finish my second chapter. That -of course- seems like a relatively arbitrary measure on its own, but in the framework I’d worked out for this novel, I’d already split it up into nearly twenty chapters. What’s worse, my framework is -at best- only about two-thirds of the way finished. I’ve yet to even sketch out the last third of this particular ‘chapter’ of the total story I am planning on telling.
The wonderful thing is, I honestly am not scared of this. I’m thrilled! It does force me to re-evaluate my plans for this novel and subsequent novels. I’m somewhat torn in that respect because I’ve no illusion I’m writing War and Peace here, so I can’t justify a six-hundred and ninety thousand word magnum opus here. Ah, but if I could!
The experience so far has been amazing, yet somewhat disheartening as well. Amazing in the way that my characters and my story are evolving so much, even though I had already written an extensive ‘encyclopedia’ of people and events and their relative importance to base everything upon. I love that as I start to write about a character, even a minor one, I feel them start to push their way onto the paper (well, screen), ripping apart my conceits about them and showing me who and what they truly are. I can now see their strengths and flaws, where they will go in my story, how they will rise or fall. I now see how events of unrelated characters can enmesh with one another, creating a continuity I previously did not perceive. I’m addicted now to my creations and I both exalt and grieve in what I will soon be inflicting upon them.
The process is disheartening only in that it took me so very long to reach this point, to truly see that I can do this, at least this, just writing. Published or not, this is wonderful. Satisfying and fulfilling in a way I’ve only recently learned could be possible. But I suppose that was the ignorance and blindness of my previous life. I like to imagine that this wasn’t possible before now, before meeting and falling back in love with Jennifer, before marrying such a wonderful woman.
To be honest with myself though, I have to recognize that this was always possible; it was just too hard with too many obstacles for me. I didn’t want it enough. I didn’t believe in myself enough, wasn’t willing to suffer for this. Wasn’t brave enough or believe in myself enough.
Jennifer has removed all those obstacles, except for a keen editorial mind (which I of course cherish), and has left me with only two requirements: imagination and willpower. Thankfully, I feel I have both in abundance at this time. I am creating worlds. It is better than I ever imagined. I suppose my reality check will come when I try to convince others that this is something special, something worth their support.
For now though? I see NaNoWriMo not as a self-contained event. I previously though of it as a catalyst to begin my writing. It’s not. It’s an education in giving my inner storyteller his voice back. NaNoWriMo 2012 will be long finished before I close my first draft. It’s not an end, but a humble beginning. So, back to work.
I’ve so much to do, I’m only half-started!
P.S. I’d like to take just a few minutes more and encourage my readers to consider sponsoring me. I won’t explained it all here again. You can read about it and/or donate by clicking on the NaNoWriMo like under Related Articles below or click on the Sponsor Me link to the right. Suffice it to say, this all goes to the Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit organization that provides writing classes and contests for children. In a world filled with reality TV shows and console gaming, we need to encourage literacy and the written word whenever we can. Sponsoring me and donating to the literary education of children is an excellent way to do that!