I submitted my work-in-progress to the NaNoWriMo validator and I'm proud to share I passed. The award proves it.
A couple things about this award make me melancholy however. One is that it's over. The community aspects have been very motivating. Another is that I'm not actually finished. I didn't end the month with a novel. I ended it with scraps of scenes and a lot of nonsense. It's like a Frankenstein monster is hiding in all those pages. And I'm afraid to go in unarmed.
While it's still fresh, let me tell you about my process. I started by expanding a short story I wrote a few months ago. I put together a basic outline in October and started fresh on November 1. I followed the trail of that story for most of November, without ever really understanding the characters. But not for lack of trying. I engaged in the writerly equivalent of improv. I threw characters into loosely linked and dire situations with one thought only: maybe I can salvage something. I manufactured some really weird situations, by the way. Some of them stuck.
I flailed a lot this month. I daydreamed. I got drunk. I wrote some terrible sentences such as last night's "A round flat robot in the shape of a triangle..." I met cool people, and I successfully shut off my inner editor for whole minutes at a time.
The real success of November was in my ability to produce consistently. (I wrote as much in my last post and I still believe it.) I saw results due to keeping up with my milestones. And maybe I feel melancholy for the same reasons Weight Watchers made me feel melancholy. I realized that I will never be done, not even on an arbitrary last day of the month. By subscribing to this program, I've just created a lifestyle that will dictate all the rest of my days.
Enough of that. I'm off to draft a plan to bring Frankenstein to his bruised and borrowed knees.