So another National Novel Writing Month has come to an end, and I managed to scrape out my second win in two years. This year was a lot harder, though, and I am not entirely sure why. Last year, I wrote Meet Me at the Graveyard, a realistic YA novel about two very different boys thrown together by circumstance (still in revision stage, and may be there for quite a while yet). I not only easily managed to hit the 50,000 word goal, but reached 74K by the end of the month. This year, I wrote Kadrigor (title may be changing), also YA, but science fiction this time. I hit "the end" at 45.5K words, and had to scramble to fill in additional bits and pieces (and a couple of full scenes) to barely scrape by with 50K words to claim my win.
I did a lot more planning this year than last year. In 2011, I created a very basic list of scenes that I wanted to include and sort of put them in order, which of course changed in writing. This year, I had a much more complete outline and synopsis tracing out my entire plot and knew exactly where I was going. Kadrigor is meant to be the first in a short series, so I already knew exactly
where it needed to end up so the second book could start at the right
spot. And of course, I had more experience coming into this year, too. So why was it harder to write?
The first obvious possibility is the genre, realistic versus science fiction. I have a lot more experience on this planet and in this time than on a different planet in the future, so it was easier to visualize everything that was going on around my characters. I think less planning actually helped me last year, too. I had no problem throwing extra scenes as they occurred to me, even if they had nothing directly to do with the plot. I do plan on adding a few more vignettes to Kadrigor, mostly in the form of flashbacks, but did not put any in this month during the mad rush of hitting the goal. Perhaps most importantly, I do not think I had as much focus this year. There were more distractions, but not that many more. Mainly, I just did not block out chunks of time to write, but tried to squeeze it in between everything else instead.
Still, hard as it was, I'm feeling pretty good about winning. Now back to reality and a large pile of long overdue household chores.