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A tedious screed on writing

Lately I've been thinking more about writing non-fanficish things.

I went through a period of several years, actually, where I was focused on original stuff. I won NaNo - as in, I hit the 50K mark - for three consecutive years with original concepts and characters. But I never actually finished a story.

Then Avengers and Clint/Natasha sucked me back into fandom - albeit a snug, happy little corner of it - and I ended up writing 170,000+ words in that particular universe. And I feel like my foray into original writing did some good... I'm more comfortable with original characters and complex plots than I was, say, back in my Stargate-fic days.

Now, when Cap 2 comes out in a couple weeks, I might be sucked back in. It's altogether possible. But rereading the ASoIaF books - which I finished today - as well as rereading Sanderson's The Way of Kings - which I started today - has made me think more about constructing my own sandboxes to play in.

The thing is, I know I should start simple. But I've never been good at short stories. I don't even really like reading them, much less writing them. I like long, complicated epics with large (although not Martin-worthy) character lists and maps and timelines and histories and whatnot. Those are the kinds of stories I tackled for NaNo... and I always ended up feeling bogged down and creatively exhausted by the end of November, with little to no desire to take up the pen keyboard again to finish the story. In fact, until 2012's From Fire by Fire (yes, shameless fanfic plug) I had never actually completed a NaNo project.

But at least FFbF proved that it can be done.
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If you started up again, you wouldn't be constrained by writing it all in one month, which would surely help with the bogged down feeling. Go for it! I know you can do it!
I think my first novel took me 9 months (please do not compare it to a baby I was in 8th grade). My second *thinks* a year? I know I started it freshman year, can't remember if I finished it that year or not. My third took me a bit longer because I started it towards the end of senior year of high school, but I'd say a year and a half? or so for that one.

Your novel takes as long as it takes. I don't compete in NaNo. I hate trying to work on one thing for 30 days (hell most of the time I hate trying to work on one thing for 3 days).

So I say try it. I can give you some great sites and ideas for mapping things out (assuming I can find them again myself) and a great writing group online if you want support for original stuff.

Good luck whatever you decide!