NaNoWriMo post-month analysis

December 2, 2008

This is my fourth year doing NaNoWriMo, and my second year winning. Unfortunately, much like last year, I failed to actually complete the novel in the allotted number of words. I also failed to finish outlining the novel for future completion; I have only the vaguest notion of how I want it to end, and no idea how to get from where I stopped to that point. In short, I may be a winner, but I am still sort of a loser.

My problem does not extend solely to NaNo, however. I find it extremely difficult to finish video games, for example. There is something so final about it; sure, I could play it again, but it won’t be the same. By not finishing them, they exist in sort of a perpetual stasis in which I COULD finish them if I wanted to, but I don’t, and so they are always waiting for me.

Ironically, I have no such issue with books. I tend to read at a breakneck pace, eager to find out what happens to the characters. If there are sequels, I try to read everything at the same time. God forbid I have to wait for the next book in a series.

So what have I learned? Clearly, I need to work on endings. Next year I will be sure to have a solid ending in mind while I am outlining, so that I don’t end up in the same position. I also need to stop being an idiot and actually finish the two books that are sitting on my hard drive right now. It does me no good to write part of a novel every year; nobody is ever going to publish an unfinished book.

And no, The Aeneid doesn’t count. That’s an exception.

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