Good afternoon, Cyberspace, and welcome to yet another session of Kenzie Rants at The World, featuring a very angry chipmunk Kenzie.
Or maybe just a puddle of tears chipmunk Kenzie. I’m really not sure which at this precise moment.
“Wait!” you gasp in utter astonishment. “K-Kenzie?!?!?? Art mine eyes deceiving me? I thought you weren’t supposed to come back from Hiatus until August!”
Why, yes, dear bean, you are quite correct. Thank you for
being such a lovely stalker remembering. and also where did the strange accent come from because you did not have that when I abandoned you
But alas! I am back early! Four days early, to be exact, and what could possibly have happened to awaken me so suddenly from my peaceful hibernation/intense boredom/plotting my Arch Rival’s demise but a complete devastation to my writerly soul.
[OR IS IT????])
See, I’ve been working on something super secretive and exciting this past month.
Something so super secretive and exciting that I have only enclosed this most prestigious of classified information to a select few of my bestest friends.
And what is this super secretive project that I have been working on, you might ask?
I wrote a blog post for the NaNoWriMo Blog.
Ah, yes. I–the Smudgiest Thought–was chosen to write a piece for all you lovely NaNoers out there to feast your starving eyes and writerly souls upon.
Suffice to say I was ecstatic. Jubilant. Overjoyed. So uber excited that I couldn’t even eat cookies for a solid week.
(that is a lie [of course I ate cookies])
But I was excited!
Right up until about three hours ago.
Because today–if you could not already guess–was the day that the post was actually uploaded onto the site.
Now, before I get too deep into this, I’ll be honest: I knew beforehand that there was going to be some minor edits to the post itself. I knew this. I was okay with this! I was more than okay with this!
But the keyword that we must remember here is minor.
Any large edits were supposed to be previewed by me. The writer.
At least, that’s what I–in my delusional state of mind–thought was happening.
I woke up this morning with anxious jitters. I–I–was going to be featured on my absolute favorite program’s blog. It was–quite literally–a dream come true. This has been something I’ve wanted to do basically ever since I found out that NaNoWriMo had a blog, okay? I’ve wanted to do this for a looooooong time.
A LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.
I was EXCITED!!!!!
(can you feel my excitement???[CAN YOU????])
And then I actually read the post.
Ah, yes. The post.
You know, I really don’t even know how to describe my feelings towards this one, guys. (And this in itself is saying something, because I always have words. Always.)
In fact, I am trying exceedingly hard to keep from bursting into flames like a phoenix and screaming into the void as I simultaneously set the world to flames and burn it all to a withered crisp with the lazer beams of my lazy eye right about now.
I also happen to be failing at this quite miserably.
(this is probably painfully obvious)
So here’s the deal: I am going to try my absolute best to describe this as kindly, neatly, and sincerely as I possibly can.
Here it is in a nutshell:
Reading that post on NaNoWriMo’s site was like looking at the decadent, three-tiered chocolate cake you had slaved away at for hours so that it was the absolute perfect size and shape and texture for your best friend’s wedding, and then suddenly being slapped in the face with a brick and also the realization that someone had taken your beautiful cake and smashed it and mashed it and
(put ’em in a stew [wait no]) ate it and vomited it up again until finally just magically transforming it into a vanilla sheetcake with the Jedi powers of the waning blood moon.
It might be a beautiful vanilla sheetcake, to be sure. It might even taste delicious!
But it is a VANILLA. SHEETCAKE.
There is no chocolate. None at all. The entire flavor of the entire
post cake has changed.
And this really, really irks me.
And not only did they change the entire meaning of the post (cake????), they also changed things in my bio.
I physically wrote an 80 word bio ABOUT MYSELF, and they…changed it…?
I am so confused! My entire world feels like a pancake that just got flipped over for the first time and is wondering why it’s suddenly sprouting bubbles. I’m honestly not sure whether to laugh or to cry right now.
But you know what? This actually turned out to be a very good learning experience for me. I mean, what doesn’t kill you but instead brutally murders your spirit and will to survive makes you stronger, right?
Of course it does.
And so I am going to make the conscious effort to laugh about this today, rather than burst into a puddle of tears.
So instead of continuing to rant until I give you all a grey hair, I’m just going to let you guys compare the two versions! I’ll post the original below, and then I’ll leave a link to the NaNoWriMo blog so that you can pop on over and read that one, too.
I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this, guys. Really. And if it turns out that you happen to love the edited version much more than the original, please don’t be afraid to tell me. I’d love your honest thoughts, and I’ll even
stab you with a pitchfork give you cookies for your honesty.
So, without further ado, allow me to present to thee–
— The Original —
Good afternoon, Cyberspace, and welcome to the FINAL WEEK OF CAMP!!!
With only 6 days left, there are two potential scenarios as to how this month shall end. Either you (A) fail miserably
(like me) and cry a single tear of shame before diving right back into your novel because you ain’t no quitter or (B) you are about to miraculously pull off a win as you type so furiously that your gnarled bones are beginning to burst through your fingertips.
And for those of us who are failing miserably, there is only one thing I can say:
Don’t give up.
The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to help us break through the sludge of procrastination that we often find ourselves trapped within during every other month of the year. NaNo isn’t about whether we win or lose, but whether we actually played the game. So don’t let the pressure of meeting a goal–or the severe disappointment of not reaching that goal–stop you from doing what you love.
Which is writing. In case you needed the reminder because your brain is a fried slug right now.
But what about all you writerly peeps out there who are nearing the 50k line (or the 100k or whateverk) and are unsure how to wrap your novels up? How are you supposed to tie every single loose thread up into one neat little package with a cherry on top so that your readers are left satisfied? How dost one make a story just…end?
Well, now, dear bean, never you fear, for I–the Cookie Queen–am here.
And my advice to those of you who are hastily trying to write the perfect ending before the clock strikes 12 on August 1st is this–
The absolute worst thing you can possibly do to your story is rush the ending. Not only will this make editing a nightmare, but it won’t make a satisfying end for your novel. Not for you, and most certainly not for your readers.
So if you find yourself staring at your wordcount and thinking, “Golly gee whiz, I’m nearing 50k! Better start wrapping this puppy up!” STOP IT RIGHT THERE, SIR, BEFORE I SLAP YOU WITH A COOKIE.
Your story does not have to end on July 31st. The world will not spontaneously combust around you if you are still writing your first draft after NaNoWriMo.
Endings are delicate matters. It’s taking a world you have created out of nothing and refusing to breathe more life into it, choosing to let it die away with a single word. Don’t rush it, and I promise that your story will have a much deeper and rewarding ending.
But perhaps you’re squinting at your screen, saying, “But, Kenzie! My ending is coming along as smoothly as a butterscotch milkshake on a hot summer’s day! Am I–*GASP*–rushing it?”
If your ending is clicking into place already, then by all means write it! The fact that you’re able to write an ending at the end of the month is magnificent, and I tip my hat to you, sir.
What I’m trying to say is this–
Make your ending count. Do something unexpected, something your readers would never guess. Something you would never guess. You are your story’s first reader. If you are not shocked or surprised or in love with your ending, then why should your readers be?
The end of NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and we are quickly losing time. But before I go, there is one thing I must ask of you. Whoever you are, whatever stage you are at in the writing process–whether it be first-drafting or editing or giving it a break before diving back in–I need you to do one thing for me:
Do not give up on your story.
This story needs you. Without you, it is nothing. You are its creator, and though it may seem terrible right now, with a little love and a sledge-hammer to that disastrous plot-hole, it has the potential to become something absolutely beautiful.
Don’t give up on your story. I believe in you.
*flings cookies in your face and disappears*
And here is the link to the edited version.
So there you go, Cyberspace! Read both versions (if you dare) and let’s discuss it all in the comments below. Which version is your favorite? Do you have a preference? Have you ever felt like a bubbly pancake? Come chat with me. I could really use the cheering up, to be honest.
And to all my fellow writers out there doing Camp NaNoWriMo, good luck to all of you on your writerly adventures.
And hey–I believe in you.
*flings cookies in your face and disappears*
P.S. I am so extremely sorry if I come across as rude, mean, arrogant, snotty, or anything of the like in this post. This whole thing just really threw me for a loop today. So yeah… I’M SORRY, PEEPS! *offers cookies in apology*