For the second year in a row, I have failed NaNoWriMo and neither I or Oliver Queen isn’t very happy about it.
As you can see below, I ended with 32,033 words. That’s roughly 18,000 below what I’d need to win.
What does this really mean? Does it mean I didn’t write 18,000 words, or does it mean that I actually managed to write 32,000 words?
This is the second year in a row that I failed NaNoWriMo and it’s partially because of how busy I am and partially because I didn’t want to kill myself writing. What it really means is that I decided to take my health and mental health and put it before my writing. It’s something I will always do because my writing is something I love and I’d rather fail a word count than burn out and not write for months.
Last year’s novel was crap. It needs a complete re-write with some serious consideration about what it is. I consider it a failure on every level.
This year’s novel needs polishing and another couple of thousand words and it’ll be done. This was a very personal novel; part memoir and part memory. It might never see the light of day, I’ll get my Weditor and others let me know.
So if you didn’t win at NaNoWriMo then you should still be proud that you wrote something because that’s the goal.
It could mean a lot of things but mostly it means that they believe that it won’t appeal to their core demographic. Which is apparently mostly men between the age of 18 and 49. Which is the demographic that most networks seem to be targeting.
That’s why you get a kickass character like Detective Kate Beckett (Castle) and Doctor Constance Brennan (Bones), but the studio insists that they work with a male lead. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the male is just boring like Body of Proof where the male cops were about as interesting as the corpses. (Mostly less.)
Rarely do you get a mystery show where you have a female lead that isn’t saddled with a male partner to appeal to the “male demographic”. Other than Veronica Mars and Murder She Wrote, the only one I can think of is Rizzoli & Isles.
Does Gender Matter?
From a story perspective; no. You can tell a fantastic story with a male or a female lead.
From a demographics perspective; I don’t know. I’m not your typical man and I can’t speak for all men. I enjoy female leads, and I think a smart intelligent character is awesome. Female led shows have done well in the past; Veronica Mars, Buffy, Xena, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek Voyager, etc.
I have gotten more than one funny look when I’ve mentioned my love for Gilmore Girls or Disney Princess movies, so the stereotype is there.
The one place that it absolutely matters is in representation. I can turn on the tv and press any combination of buttons and there’s a huge chance that I’ll end up on a show with a main character that looks like me. (White male, 18-49) There are good guys that look like me, bad guys, smart, dumb, etc. etc. etc.
We don’t have the same for women. It’s improving but it’s not there yet.
And that’s not mentioning other gender identities, sexual preferences, cultures, ethnicities, etc.
What Can We Do?
Find and Enjoy the #TooFemale shows out there with well written female leads. Share your love on social media, buy the merchandise, go see the movies.
My experience is limited, but the following TV shows have female leads that kick ass (figuratively and literally) and are still on the air. Check them out, and if you love them let the world know:
I will Write 500+ words a day and complete 1 novel
Between blog posts, short stories, FADDS, and the Serial Story; I have certainly written at least 500 words a day. [PASS]
I haven’t finished Everdome unfortunately. As much as I wish I could. I’m only on Chapter 24 of 32. I’m roughly 20,000 words short… Hopefully I can finish it quickly in the new year. [FAIL]
I will continue to read regularly and attempt to read 30 or so books
According to Goodreads I’m currently reading my 31st book of the year. It’s been an extra challenging year for reading since I’ve been reading the first in over 35 series. There have been some amazing books and some horrible ones. [PASS]
I will ensure there is 5 days a week of content on JenEric-Designs.ca
We have been steadily updating content every week day this entire year. With the new addition of the Blush and Fandom Travel articles by my wonderful wife and the pictures of the travelling TARDIS we have more than enough content. I’m even considering adding an extra day. [PASS]
I will submit Parasomnia to at least 3 publishers and 3 agents
I have submitted Parasomnia to 1 agent (No reply) and 3 Publishers. One of the Publishers has said it isn’t for them but they’ll read it and the other two have promised word by February.
This is probably the best thing I’ve ever written and I hope it finds a publisher willing to take it one.
I’m going to give myself a pass on this one. Publishing takes time and it was a lack of it that meant I submitted to publishers first and not agents. [PASS]
I will start a web-show and update regularly
Once again this is a fail… I really want to and I have all the equipment but I’m having trouble finding the time. [FAIL]
I will write a serialized story that I will update every month (Wattpad maybe?)
I went a little overboard with this one. Only Human was updated once a month except for November and December where I wrote 2-3.
The final Instalment updates this Thursday. [PASS]
My mid-year resolutions
I wasn’t satisfied failing my start of the year resolutions so I wrote up some extra ones in June.
Re-Submit A Study in Aether
After 2 years of beta-readers and editing. I finally resubmitted it to the publisher that wanted it. I feel like there’s still a lot of work to do on the book but I still love the characters.
I’ve been planning out, “The Hounds of Baker-ville” Which will see what our heroes are doing for their summer break. [PASS]
Re-Design and keep updating Website
I’ve been making minor changes to the website but it needs a full upgrade and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Sorry. [FAIL]