The Completion of Julnowrimo

by syaffolee

After passing 50,000 words last week, it felt somewhat anticlimactic when I finally wrapped up the story at approximately 69,000 words.  But at least it’s that–completed.  I think I feel more relieved than excited.  Creating something at a quick pace is mentally exhausting.  I definitely need the week to recover before I tackle next month’s project.

What’s unique about this particular project is that it had been almost entirely written using writing sprints on Twitter.  Sometimes others joined me on the sprints, sometimes no one did.  But I think what the writing sprints really did was to keep my mind focused on writing with minimal time wasted doing something else.  Another thing that kept me on track was planning, particularly the outline.  My outlines, invariably, come in different forms (this time, it was a map with arrows showing the journeys of each character), but they always tell what I should be writing next.  Writing blocks are close to impossible if you already know what’s going to happen in the next scene.

As a result, I find it very difficult to sympathize with people who fall behind because they don’t write.  There is a popular thread on the Julnowrimo forums on lagging behind.  I understand that every writer has their own method to writing.  Some people are just naturally slow writers and getting to the 50k goal in a month might be a little too grueling for them.  Others have very busy lives and something else might have happened to consume all of their time.  Maybe some writers found out about the challenge halfway through the month.  But if you’re spending your free time playing video games or twiddling your thumbs while staring at the ceiling rather than writing–you’re doing it wrong.

There were, of course, some points while writing the novel that I felt it was sort of pointless to go on.  It wasn’t that I had gotten bored with the story or didn’t know what to write next–it was more of the fact that I was writing this without any sort of feedback in the form of unconditional cheerleading.  I guess, after reading about other writers who had a gaggle of fans eagerly clamoring for the next chapter, I felt inadequate.  I’m too much of a control freak to let anyone else, reading audience or not, dictate how I write.  But if my writing was in any way worthwhile, wouldn’t I too have readers impatiently waiting to read on?

In the end, I suppose none of this matters.  The story is finished.  If anyone feels brave enough to wade through all the stuff I’ve churned out for Julnowrimo, you can either read Sign of the Wyrm as the entire novel or as installments.   It’s my take on characters in Norse mythology put in a Victorian-esque setting.  It was fun trying to fit bits of various Norse myths in–like Hel’s consort, how Tyr lost his hand, the raising of the cat, and Loki’s argument with Freyja.  If I were to write a sequel, it would probably involve Fenrir and the witch of the Ironwood.  I’ve hinted at some conflict between the two of them although they never appeared in a scene together.

Meanwhile, it’s time to finalize the outline for Pomegranate + Hellhound.