NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 13

My outlook on NaNoWriMo hasn’t really improved in week two — which doesn’t surprise me, really. I finally had a bit of an aha! moment in the chatroom the other night, which gives the story some direction. I can see it hitting 50K, maybe even my lofty (impossible) goal of 70K overall.

That said, my stats look like this:

Ashley Word Count - Day 13

Par? What’s par?


This is pretty atypical for me. On an average year I tend to hit par within a couple of days and then stay on top of it. My writing tends toward large bursts, so I keep up alright, and usually give myself a safe buffer to work with. In years past, I’ve been done before Thanksgiving so that I could focus on creating awesome food — which I do much better than writing, apparently.

Some of my reticence with the writing is still feels and bullshit, which I’ve already mentioned. I even had a friend give me permission to stop writing for a while longer if I wasn’t ready. I wanted to yell, “But I haven’t in months! How much longer is that supposed to take‽” I’m really rather tired of myself at this point, but I still feel small and angry in the time between when I start to type and when I finally get involved in the writing.

I’ve also developed this nagging fear that I’m rewriting the same story over and over and over again with tweaks to the setting.

  • There’s always a character at the cusp of making a large decision that affects other people more than it does them.
  • There’s always a character who has dual identities that are sometimes at odds.
  • There’s always some sort of social class dichotomy in the setting that keeps characters at odds.
  • There’s always some sort of dystopian/social unrest element that moves the story.

It seems like no matter how many changes I make, I keep coming back to these things. I like writing them, but if I’m just rehashing the same shit over and over again — is there a point to pursuing this? I generally believe that there’s nothing truly unique to be told — we’re all writing Star Wars, guys — but I could at least tell slightly different stories from the ones I’ve already told.

I’m not engaged in my main character. I’m literally plotting a climax that kills every single main character.

I recognize that the purpose of NaNo is do something rather than to complete something, which is 10% of why I opted to do it this year. But it’s hard to write this while thinking, There’s nothing of value in this narrative. I don’t know when I got like that.

That said, I’ll keep plugging at it because I really can’t fail at this too. I also want to beat my nemesis. He hates his story too and is slightly more prone to apathy than I am, so I think I can pull ahead of him soon. The stats have my back; he had a 3K lead at one point, but as of this writing he’s only about 1200 ahead of me:

Ashley M. Hill found her voice in science fiction when her curiosity about technology coupled with the lifelong urge to tell stories. Her interest in social and feminist issues shapes how she approaches the genre. She's pursuing computer and network repair for her day job.


  • Honey, we all tell the same stories over and over. Just look at Stephen King! I think you are doing an awesome thing this year, challenging yourself to write outside of your normal genre. If you discover it’s not for you, at least it only took a month-ish and 50-70k words. Just use this month as a writing exercise and an excuse to hang out with all of your writing friends more often! I’m with you on the apathy, but we can do this!

    • Ashes says:


      It seems like apathy is the name of the game this year, lol. There are elements of this novel that I like, but I don't know that I'll do anything with it when I'm done.

      We're gonna get through this!

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