hogglestock: Untitled Historical FictionYour Nweb and NaNoWriMo usernames, were they inspired by anything?
I used the same username, hogglestock. It was my Narniaweb username first. I picked it because I love hedgehogs and that’s the only named hedgehog character I know of in the Chronicles of Narnia. (It’s in Prince Caspian.) It’s also just a cool word.
Who are you?
I’ve always loved to read and make things. I was an English major in college and have always enjoyed writing, although I don’t tend to do much without some kind of deadline. I work as a teacher’s assistant (lots of PowerPoint!) for a K-12th grade distance learning group under a Christian textbook publisher. Right now we’re doing video lessons for 5th grade math, but the subject I work on changes every year or so.
How were you sucked into NaNoWriMo? Did someone person brainwash you into joining?
I actually found out about NaNoWriMo on the Narniaweb forums about the middle of October a year ago. I was too unprepared (or chicken) to participate last year, but this year I had an idea ready to go.
I almost convinced a friend of mine to join me, but at the last minute she had something come up and couldn’t spare the time.
Was this your first, second, tenth time participating?
What was your novel synopsis (or original idea) at the beginning of nano? Genre?
I had watched the movie The Eagle, in which a character asked why the Romans had to invade and conquer Briton. A few days later, I was reminded of the Scripture passage that talks about people from every language, tribe, people, etc. all worshiping God together one day in heaven. It struck me very strongly that that the tribes mentioned include not only different tribes in our day but also people groups throughout history that have come to know God. So I decided to write a story illustrating how the Roman conquest was one of the means God used to spread His gospel throughout the world on an individual level. So I’m aiming for historical fiction at a teen-age level.
Was your synopsis the same or different at the end? Or did you end up writing something completely different?
My story pretty much kept to my original idea, although I intended to conclude it much sooner. I ended up fleshing out another whole section of the story that I had intended to simply suggest at the end. I think it ended up being a much stronger story this way.
Did you finish? What superpowers enabled you to write 50k in one month?
Yes! I finished with just over 53,000 words. I was actually surprised at how easy I found it to finish.
What method of writing proved to be the most effective?
I basically just sat down every evening and aimed for 2,000 words. Most Saturday afternoons I did go to a write-in nearby. The interaction with others and the word wars helped a lot, as did the chunk of time where I couldn’t really do anything but write.
Did this method involve glue, ropes, caffeine or some other forceful inducement?
No, just some friendly competition and lots of staying up late. I didn’t even need that much caffeine, surprisingly.
What lesson(s) did NaNoWriMo teach you this past November?
I learned that maybe I am capable of writing fiction after all! (I’ve always found poetry easier to accomplish than good plots.) I also saw that writing something of that size is entirely possible, although it was far more than I had ever tried to do before. I also got into the habit of writing every day, and I’ve been able to continue that so far. I read somewhere about 750words.com, and that site has been nice for giving me an incentive to write every day and a goal to shoot for.