Books,  NaNoWriMo,  Reading,  Work-In-Progress,  Writing Journey

November Reads & Final NaNoWriMo Tally

Hiya! Obviously, I didn’t get much reading done this month because of NaNoWriMo, which is totally okay, because as of this posting, I only have two books left to read for the year to meet my goal, and I’m sure I can manage that. πŸ˜€ I’m honestly surprised I got anything read this month. When I wasn’t writing or working or forcing myself to go to bed at a decent hour, I was binging Gotham on Netflix. ^_^

57: Manga Classics: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker, Adapted by: Stacy King, Illustrated by: Virginia Nitouhei
Genre: Manga, Horror
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed: Yes
So satisfying!! I hadn’t read this in so long, so I didn’t remember the differences between the novel and the movie. Some of the dialogue was hard to read, in it’s old school way, but I loved this so much. The pacing was spot on, and it had a great tense and exciting ending. It’s the original religious-heavy vampire lore. It reminded me of the my early vampire reading days. If you’re unfamiliar, the story is about a group of people who track down and kill a vampire, and the story is told entirely through letters, transcripts, telegrams, journal entries, and the like. Also, the artwork was great.

58: We Still Live (ARC)
Author: Sara Dobie Bauer
Genre: M/M Dark Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed: Yes
Great title for this story. It’s about a guy named Isaac who’s trying to literally run from his past. He takes a position teaching basic composition at a university up north and meets this guy, an award winning writer and creative writing professor, who had a gun pointed at him during a campus shooting the previous semester. They’re both dealing with their issues in various effective and ineffective ways and falling for each other, though they have to hide it since interdepartmental liaisons are against the English department’s code of conduct. Isaac has an ex who’s looking for him, which doesn’t turn out to be such a big deal, and all the mental health stuff was almost too realistic, but everything was well done and handled well, and the story was quite solid and interesting overall.

Final NaNoWriMo Word Count (as of 11:00 p.m. November 29th): 53,560

Unfortunately, though probably fortunately considering how I feel about this story, the draft is also now finished at around 55k, which I just went ahead and knocked out November 30th, making this the shortest first draft since spring 2003. The word count doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that the story sucks. I had a breakdown shortly after my last update and picked myself up only to have another breakdown right before I finished. Yeah, the story is a tad bare bones, so there’s a lot I could add, but I’m moving on. I want to move on. After I ran out of stuff to rewrite, I felt disconnected and like I was just going through the motions (or as my sister put it “phoning it in”), and we’re not getting back on the misery train. I mean, I was at the station to get on, but I had a text chat with a good writing friend who recommended some craft books to help me get my shiz together before I fall apart again. I chose Story Genius by Lisa Cron, and I feel like it’s just what I need, because she seems to understand the exact problem I’ve been having.

The really funny thing is that my quote for November was: Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.Β 

Perfect timing. I do feel wiser. πŸ˜›

Even though “The Puppet Box” left me unhappy, I was also very happy to be writing again at the same time. So I was all prepared to go hunting for a new idea, because I don’t want my writing muscles to get stiff again, but one popped out of the pile on its own, all polite and shiny, so I’m in the early stages of getting that together as of Sunday night. It has a working title of “Tower” and it’s cool and different and exciting. ^_^

I’m not blaming NaNo for this lastest “Puppet Box” fiasco. I’ve obviously been through it with this story, and thankfully, I now feel like I can let it go and move on with my life. But in full disclosure, NaNoWriMo didn’t help. I write 50k in a short span on the regular, so it’s not technically the pace. The problem is the pressure the pace puts on me. Normally when I write, I take breaks, whenever I need/want one. With NaNo, if I take a break, I fall behind, even though I’m not sure why I cared if I won or not, because I’m doing nothing with the winner goodies except collecting my winner’s banner.

At the same time, I’m kind of thankful for doing NaNo, because it got a story finished that I clearly needed to move on from. And because of this, I can focus on my reading goal and see if I can beat it by one book, just because. ^_^

So, I’m feeling pretty good about things, and I have notebooks lined up for the new idea. I’m going to do a workbook and my usual notebook, mostly to elongate the planning process, because I want to, as an experiment.

Happy December! Tell me your good news! πŸ˜€


  • Michelle Athy

    I’m glad you finished and got the story out of your system—it’s like closure, yeah? You must be exhausted. I don’t naturally write at a pace of 1667 words per day so I always felt exhausted at the end.

  • Tonja Drecker

    Congratulations! And I’m glad you finally got yourself through that one. And you read too! Amazing. Seriously, I’m going to sit here and just be awed. (Lol! And not get my own writing done.)

  • Jodi Leigh

    What a beautiful badge and banner! I’d say that’s worth all the blood/sweat/tears in November.

    I’ll miss Puppet Box (though I’m glad you were able to shelve it in peace). I still remember how intrigued I was after reading the first chapter.

    I totally get what you’re saying about the pressure NaNo puts on a person. Back when I had my target meter goal set at 1,000 words a day, I’d feel crippled before I had even started writing. Once I set my meter for 500 words, the words poured onto my keyboard. As a teacher we’re supposed to encourage our students to set MAD goals…Measurable, Attainable, and Deadline driven. I’ve always had the M and the D, so it’s all about getting in the A. Attainability is super important because if the goal is too lofty, you’ll liable to quit before you’ve even started.

    • Krystal Jane

      I was so in love with that idea!! I still hope to do something with the concept and one of the side characters, but everything else has to go.

      I like MAD goals better than SMART goals. It sounds more fun. πŸ˜€ My writing goals get too lofty sometimes, so I’m trying the super low and basic goal next year. Though I wonder if it’ll still work if I’m secretly hoping to do more. Lol!

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