So November is 3 days gone here in Australia, and with it went NaNoWriMo 2013. By the end of November, I had validated my novel WALLS at 60,074 words and was a NaNo winner an extra 10K over the finish line, but my novel is far from finished.
The last 5-10K were difficult to write for a range of reasons. Although I have won NaNo, I don't want to stop writing my novel, but I had reached a part where my reactions to the things I was writing showed how emotionally invested I was - am - in my characters, Mildred and Kovax. The things I was revealing about Kovax's past were making me feel sad, and after a conversation with my boyfriend containing many spoilers, we both agreed that I'm actually a horrible person who secretly enjoys hurting both my characters and myself and just generally fucking with everybody's heads.
Once I'd pushed myself through the sad part and connected it to a scene I'd had the urge to write ahead of myself (screw chronology!), I came to a sudden stand-still. Some would call it the dreaded Writer's Block. I really had to force myself to write the last couple of thousand of words, not because it's making me sad or I'm too emotionally invested... just because the excitement lulled for a bit and I think the last chapter I wrote was just plain old boring in comparison when it shouldn't be, because something very big happened in it.
When I was in my final two years of high-school, I did media studies, in which we did a unit each year on 'Narrative'. One of the things we discussed in class was 'Narrative Intensity'. Most stories, no matter what form they are told in, have periods of low-intensity plot cause and effect development between minor climaxes or narrative triggers which build in intensity until the final climax is reached. The point of having the low-intensity periods between the climaxes and narrative triggers is because the audience is not likely to be able to maintain the emotional energy required for high-intensity shock-upon-shock absolute action-packed stories without the lull periods in between each build-up.
It feels like this is where the low-intensity period should be after what happened in the last few chapters, but I'm worried about two things:
1) Is the reader going to be as bored with the next chapter as I currently am, or will it fulfill the purpose of giving them a moment to gather their wits?
And 2) Consider what happened in this next chapter, should it really be so low-intensity?
Maybe it's just me, because I'm writing it, and I want to go back to being emotionally involved in Mil and Kovax instead of moving along with the story. I suppose it's all just a first draft that isn't even complete yet and I can go back and reassess this situation later. I'm going to stick to the NaNoWriMo mindset of not doubling back to edit until the draft is complete. I'm going to keep pushing myself to write whether I want to or not until WALLS is finished and Kovax and Mildred's story is given an ending (hopefully the one they deserve). Also sticking to NaNoWriMo daily word-goals, I am aiming to have either 90K or a complete first draft (hopefully the latter) by Christmas.
Right now, Kovax is walking Mildred home after a rather hectic and emotional evening.
Must. Keep. Writing.
Also, I wish the weather in Victoria would be a little more consistent, just this once! We're supposed to be three days into an Australian summer. It's been nice and hot the past two days, but tomorrow and the next day will be freezing in comparison.
How did November end for everybody else? Are you emotionally invested in your characters? Do you get bored during the low-intensity periods of your writing? How is winter going for everyone north of the equator?