I don't know what hit me last year, but I couldn't write more than a paragraph or two at a time for the first eight months or so of '08. I finally fought my way through and finished something in September, but the first huge chunk of the year was awful and I hope that never happens again. [crossed fingers]
Crushed Roses -- 15,349 words; Actorslash. I wrote this one for msilverstar, who bought me in the Sweet Charity auction. She was wonderfully patient and I was and am incredibly grateful. This is what I was working on for most of the year, and it came out in very short fits and starts. I don't know why, either. I've certainly written stories before which were just as twisty (Family Obligations comes to mind right off) and I wasn't doing anything incredibly weird from a technical or stylistic POV. I've written the characters before, I've written the setting before. I don't know. And it wasn't just this story; I couldn't write anything else, either, during this time. Whatever it was, I finally broke through it and finished this and got it posted. That made it my favorite story for a while. [wry smile]
Candy Courage -- 5,077 words; Original. This is a Halloween story I wrote for Torquere's Halloween promotion. It was a lot of fun, a sort of urban fantasy-ish piece about a single dad who confiscates some homemade candy from his kid and ends up eating courage, cooked up by the kindly old alchemist down the street and intended for the children. This was the first time I've written a story about two Black characters, and I'll admit I was a bit nervous while working on creating realistic characters and a solid protag without straying into any stereotypes. I'm happy with how it turned out, though, and I haven't gotten any negative feedback, so I guess I succeeded. :)
A Lost Boy -- (43,987 (Oct-Dec) WIP); Actorslash. This is the current Fic That's Eating My Life. :D I read stories by darkrosetiger and telesilla set in poisontaster's slavery AU world, and was completely hooked, as were a number of other people. When she opened the verse up to other writers, I had to dash over and play. This story is currently pushing 55K words and I'm not sure how close the end is. When I started it in mid-October I figured I might be able to finish before November (when I planned to do NaNo), and if not then I planned to pick it up in December and wrap before I went up to my mom's for Christmas. Hah! Although it made sense at the time. For a while there I was posting five days a week, and I was still able to build up a backlog of chapters. Even posting almost every day, when November 1 hit I had five chapters in the bank. I've never written anything this fast, for this extended a period. I cranked out about 20K words per week for two weeks straight. O_O (Note that that included the chunk which became "Turf Battles.") I've done 4-5K days before, but never day after day like that. It was like riding a high, and it was awesome. Then November 1 came and I set A Lost Boy aside to work on NaNo. [cough] Bad move. When I picked up Lost Boy again in December, all the oomph was gone. The story was still there, and I'm still writing, but the days of building of a multi-chapter backlog are gone, and I'm back to my usual pattern of banging out the last few pages of a chapter right before I post. It works, but I'll admit I loved having the extras socked away; it gave me a lot of security, when I could go back a chapter or three and add or change something to make something work in the chapter I was currently writing.
Turf Battles -- 17,496; Actorslash. All right, so I was going along writing A Lost Boy, minding my own business, when this novelette leapt out of the bushes and ambushed me. [laugh/flail] "Turf Battles" began as the opening (backstory) scene of an early-ish Lost Boy chapter, but it kept going and wouldn't stop. I ended up pulling it out of the main story and posting it separately. I like it a lot; it shows an important time in Liam and Orlando's relationship, and an important time in Liam's life even separate from Orlando, although of course the incident can't be separated from Orlando. I know that makes no sense, but it works in my head. [duck]
angienano -- 7,245; Original. I wince just looking at that number; I'm not even bothering to link to the two NaNo posts I did this year, although if you want to go read them you're welcome to do so. I was pretty excited as November got closer. I planned on working on Swords and Shadows, my NaNo story from '07. It's a cool story, I like the setting and the characters, I'd figured out how to get past the speed bump that'd slowed me down last time, and I was all ready to go, yay. Then in mid-October, A Lost Boy hit me. There was so much energy in that story, my writing-fu was mighty as never before, LOL! But it completely occupied my brain. I thought I could set it aside, do S&S for November, and then go back to it. Wrong. Massively wrong. Pulling away from Lost Boy derailed my writing train something awful. I posted one chunk on November 3, while still on a cruise, and then a second on the 9th; it took that long to get anything worth posting put together, and for most of the intervening time I didn't write at all. After that I wrote another page or two -- there's a bit of the story I never did post, because it was such a small chunk it didn't seem worth it. I kept telling myself I'd just do more and post a more significant chunk when I had it, but I never did write more. I just couldn't seem to get my head into S&S; I kept thinking about A Lost Boy. But by the time I admitted NaNo wasn't going to work this year (I kept thinking about that 40K in two weeks and telling myself that I still could win NaNo...) and threw in the towel and turned back to Lost Boy, I'd lost most of that too. Like I said above, I never did get back the original energy and momentum. It took me a while to really get back into producing chapters for that too.
TOTAL: 89,154 words
And that was it for my 2008 fiction output. :/ Pretty awful, although considering it was mostly in the last three months, not bad. If I'd done that throughout the year, I'd have had about 350K words. :P Oh, well.
As always, I learned something from NaNo -- when you're on a roll, don't stop for anything. It seems obvious now, but at the time I literally couldn't imagine not being able to pour out the pages on Lost Boy. I was so secure in how it was flowing, I worried that I might not be able to do well on NaNo itself (although I wanted to try) but it never occurred to me that pausing for NaNo might ruin my grasp of Lost Boy. Now I know better. So, I take that and move on.