A Lost WIP, and NaNoWriMo

imageI hadn’t been planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I recently spent a day cruising writing blogs, and NaNoWriMo fever is quite enticing.

Still, I didn’t think I’d do it, mainly because I’ve already started my current WIP, ELEMENTAL, and I’ve always thought of a NaNoWriMo project as a “fresh start” kind of project.

But it did occur to me that I could easily work on ELEMENTAL throughout November and use my word count as my NaNoWriMo word count; there’d be some subtraction involved every day, as I’d have to figure out what my word count for NaNoWriMo itself was, and not the for the project as a whole, so I went to bed trying to figure out whether the extra headache would be worth it (math was actually one of my best subjects in school – the other was English – but I’ve never been good at the basics like adding, subtracting, multiplication and division).

Anyway, I went to bed last night after catching sight of this contest at Dear Editor, where you can win a free edit of a picture book manuscript.

(In case you’re wondering what on earth the previous sentence has to do with NaNoWriMo, I guess all I can say is, this post gives a glimpse into how my mind works …)

Now, I don’t have a picture book WIP lying around, so I fell asleep thinking to myself, “gee, I wish I had a completed picture book manuscript so I could enter”. I do have a few picture book “starts”, but picture books are much harder to write than they appear, and that’s all I have to say about the subject.

This morning, I woke up and remembered a WIP I had last worked on years ago. It had started out as a picture book but around 500 words into it, I did have the sense to realize it was way too long to work as a picture book. I kept writing regardless, because I really liked the idea.

The last time I worked on it, my protagonist had just met this really shy dragon; I can remember their meeting almost word for word.

So as soon as I got out of bed, I made a lunge for my computer, clicked on my Writing folder …

and nothing.

The WIP wasn’t there. I’m pretty sure it resides in the innards of one of my older computers, which I might or might not have anymore. And if I did have it, it might or might not work anymore. There’s also a hard drive on the shelf next to me that might or might not contain it (my husband accidentally dismantled that particular PC, thinking it no longer worked – I managed to save the hard drive).

In other words, I’ve lost the WIP.

(Now I’m finally getting to the point.)

After a moment of grief, I put two and two together, and decided, “Yes! I WILL do NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, I will! And I’ll rewrite my was-a-picture-book-now-a-middle-grade novel as my NaNoWriMo project.”

So here I am.

Any of you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Here I am – I’d love it if you’d buddy me!

11 thoughts on “A Lost WIP, and NaNoWriMo

  1. Janel

    It seems my computers have been dying every few years lately. You have just described my worst nightmare!

    I like your idea for rewriting the book for NaNoWriMo. Sometimes it’s easier to just start over with the plot in mind instead of revising.
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Tick-Tock =-.

    Reply
  2. Molly

    I am so sorry that you had to experience such a devastating loss (I cringe every time I have a minor computer malfunction – as I have hundreds of hours of lesson plans filed here. I do have backup — but I still cringe)

    On the positive side — I am so excited to have someone participate whom I know :) I “buddied” you!
    .-= Molly´s last blog ..Good-bye Perfectionism =-.

    Reply
  3. Memory

    I thought I’d sit NaNoWriMo out this year, but now I’m pretty sure I’ll give it a go. I probably won’t write a novel, though; instead, I want to work through two novella ideas I’ve had.

    Good luck on your new project! I’ve still got you buddied from last year. :)

    Reply
  4. KarenG

    I do it like that too, taking something I’m working on and finishing it, or taking an outline and writing a first draft. That may be cheating but it works for me. This year I have an idea I want to write from scratch but don’t know if I’ll make it. I didn’t officially sign up. It’s contagious though isn’t it?

    Reply
  5. Rural View

    This reminds me of the time years ago when our house was burglarized. When I got home and saw the TV gone, did I go next door to call the cops? No! I ran upstairs to make sure my computer and book notes were there! Then I called 911. You see my priorities. 😀
    .-= Rural View´s last blog ..The Network by Jason Elliott =-.

    Reply

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