The Woes of NaNoWriMo


Once again, it’s that time of year.

The time to forget everyone and everything else in your life and just try to get that damned novel cooking your cerebral hemisphere out on paper so you still have some grey matter left.

When I say everyone and everything, there are exceptions. For mums this may be to make sure that their offspring are still alive, every couple of days. For me, it’s a good dose of Korean or Japanese drama or an anime episode. I find that my creativity gets a boost shot every time I watch Asian dramatic goodness.

For me, NaNoWriMo is more about finishing a novel that I planned while still a teenager and never could get to finish. Since it was already arranged in my head and on random scraps of paper, I cheated my way through the first two weeks of NaNo, writing up a storm, updating my word count and then taking a moment to sit back on my butt and gloat!

And then I hit a large, butt-breaking, literary boulder!

I had written down just up to the first spark of the story, and I knew in my head how it’ll progress on from there… But I had no idea how I was going to finish it, and at the moment, I still have no idea how I am going to finish it. I depend on the squiggly, grammatically tumor-inducing language I had known when I was fourteen as guidelines now, and it takes me hours to just get a satisfying sentence down.

Today, I hit 20K and I was so proud of myself I decided to blog about it! But as I type these words into the post, my eyes drifting up to the gif above, I realise I am wasting precious time, time I should be spending scanning the squiggly work of fourteen year old self who clearly read way too much Enid Blyton than was advised.

If you were expecting a post about how to NaNo more effectively or any other form of scholarly advice, I suggest you click on this link that will take you far away from this rant because frankly all I’m talking about is how NaNoWriMo is driving me insan-er than usual and how I have no idea if I will be able to hit that 50K by the end of this month!

Still here?

Awesome. So the link above is to Writer’s Digest who’s giving away a lot of freebies to keep us wannabe novelists entertained. And come on, who doesn’t like free stuff? 🙂 I haven’t read any of them, but I have dutifully gone there every day there’s a new freeb and then downloaded it to my desktop where they sit and wait for me to unglue my fingers from the keyboard and take some time to take some advice. You should do that too, if you’re Nanoing this year.

Read all the advice you can possibly hoard, every last inch of it. Then throw it all in the sewers and do your own thing because no matter whose advice you follow, you as a writer is unique and only you can write your book. (If someone else wrote your book, it would be someone else’s book! Duh!)

In case you didn’t notice, that was my advice for you NaNoWriMo endeavor this year. And that’s all you gonna get from me!

It will be interesting – for you – to see if I am able to complete this story I am writing, with no planning, no idea of how it’s going to end. Will I make the 50K? Or will I end up on the slush pile of wannabe’s who couldn’t cross that distant finish line? Yeah that’s right, laugh at my dilemma, isn’t that what we human beings do best?

If you really want to place bets on my life then allow me to make it easy for you.

Dash Cooray’s NaNoWriMo

Up there is my page. Go visit it on the 30th and see if I have survived or if I have died for the sake of writing a novel.

But whether you for me or you against me, wish me luck! I’m going back to my fantasy world of fighting high school girls and graveyard of old coffee mugs.

What is Dash Cooray’s NaNoWriMo Novel?

Title: The Amazon Academy

Genre: YA, duh! What else!

Synopsis: Ok, short synopsis.

The story of Duniya the delinquent, the mysterious powers that seem to haunt her and her incredible journey from the guttered slums of Colombo to the hill capital of Kandy, Sri Lanka and the beautiful, mountain school for girls who are just like her.
She will finally fit in, right?

She believes she’s left her old life behind, but will this new life prove to be deadlier and more dangerous than the streetfights in Maradana?

Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka and then in the writer’s hometown Kandy. Filled with tropical beauty and magic. What more d’you need?

Excerpt: Fight scene? Oh you bet!

Duniya struggled, frightened of the images that were forming in her mind than Raga and his threats.

Then she felt it.

Sparks of electricity were winding their way around her face, gently caressing her injured cheeks. She tried to open her eyes and see, try to see and understand.

Stop. What’s going on? Stop!

“Then I’m going to find your bastard brother,” Raga was laughing now. “And I’m going to kill him too!”

“NO!”

Duniya’s head ripped from the fuse-box as she roared in unnatural rage.
The current obeyed her, surging out of the broken fuses into her body, rais
ing her hair on end and crackling through her clothes like they were alive. Duniya clawed the air, her mouth open and her eyes flashing out in two, angry, ocean coloured beams.

Raga was thrown off her and pitched into the air. He hit the ceiling and then the floor, lying very still as a blossom of blood pooled underneath him.

His mates watched the spectacle in typical Sri Lankan curiosity until it occurred to them too late that they should run. They got as far as the end of the corridor when the electric surge overtook them, frying them both in an instant.
Duniya woke up among the charred debris of the third floor corridor without a single sign of burns. A ring of firefighters stood around her, fear colouring their accusing eyes.
She wondered what had happened.
… … …

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