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I just won NaNoWriMo 2013

So, for those who have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a challenge to write a novel in one month. The National Novel Writing Month is held each year in November with the goal to write 50000 words. With 450 to 700 words per page (depending on style and white lines), that means writing 71 to 110 in a single month. For me, the required 1667 words per day take about two hours to write.

I have been participating in this competition since 2009, getting as close to 10000 words at most. This year, I made it.

It has been one trying month, but it has also been easier than previous years. I wrote a fanfic of Naruto. This gave me a large cast of characters and settings, as well as a plot to loosely follow. Not to mention that I am a huge Naruto fan so it was very easy to get me enthusiastic about writing my story and thinking about it.

Still, the last month I’ve barely had any free time to do anything other than write. In the train and bus I wrote on my iPod. On trainstations where it was too cold to write, I was thinking about my plot. When I got home I turned on my laptop and started writing. When I watched television or played a game, it made me feel guilty that I had not written as much as I had.

On Friday evening I got home just before midnight. Boyfrien01 was amazing and provided me everything I needed. He made sure there was a red bull in my hand whenever I needed, snacks within reach, and no distractions to keep me from writing. We went on until 5 am. He had dosed off on the couch and I woke him up so he could see me push the 50 thousand words. It was exhausting and there were times when I thought I would not make it.

But yeah, it has been worth it.

I have almost a novel now. It actually is not finished and I am not at all satisfied with the quality most of the time. But the groundwork is there. Finishing it does not seem like the impossible task that it seemed a month ago. Especially now that I know that when I really want to, I can force myself to write in bulk.

My fanfic is classified as a Peggy Sue fanfic. It means that I have one of the main characters go back in time to the start of the story, having the skills and strength they have at the end of it. I had read a few of them recently and wanted to try my hand at it.

Naruto is the story of a boy called Naruto who gets a demon trapped inside of him, lives in a village of ninja, and wants nothing more than to become the leader of the village so that everyone will acknowledge him. He becomes a ninja in the first episode and gets placed in a team with a boy called Sasuke and a girl called Sakura. Sasuke’s family got killed while he was little and all he cares about is getting revenge. Sakura is a girl, whom we get told is kind of good at some things, possibly.

In my story, thirty years after the bad guy gets defeated, all has gone to hell. In an apocalypse-like world, both Naruto and Sakura have died and Sasuke is the only one who remains. Sasuke uses this forbidden jutsu (read: magic) to go back in time. He makes sure to become friends with his team mates much more quickly and makes them train a whole lot harder.

For those interested. I have a small excerpt under the fold.


None of them had any trouble falling asleep.

Not that Sasuke had any trouble waking up either, when Kakashi entered the Uchiha’s bedroom. “You are holding back on us.”

Kakashi said it as a statement. There was no point denying it then. “I learned how to walk on water some time ago, yes.”

“Why the deception?”

Sasuke raised his eye brow. “I thought we already discussed my trust issues previously.”

“Sasuke,” Kakashi frowned, slumping a little in the doorframe. “You are holding yourself back. If you had shown me you had mastered water walking already, I would have taught you something else.”

“You know why I did not do that.” Sasuke said.

Kakashi looked away. “Naruto could survive you knowing one more skill than him.”

“Maybe, but he would not have pushed himself as hard as he would have today. He can accomplish quite a bit with the right motivational tools helping him along. He hates it when I am learning something more quickly than he is, but he also tends to give up when his rival is much better.”

“Is that why you also held back in our more serious fights today?”

Sasuke could not help but laugh at that one. “Are you attempting to claim you did not hold back against those chunin mercenaries as well? You could have easily dodged their first blow and killed them before they had any chance of hurting us. You wanted to give all three of us experience in combat. To give us the chance to show you how we can handle ourselves in those kinds of situations. You would have learned nothing if I had taken both of the ninja out myself.”

“And with Zabuza?”

“I used as much strength as I needed to accomplish what needed to be done. If Naruto had been in any real danger, I would have unleashed everything I had. If the client was even in danger of getting in danger, I would have stepped in fully. Unless you think I could have taken on the jonin myself, I am sure you agree all that was needed was enough force and tactics for him to release you.”

Kakashi closed his eye and let himself fall against the doorframe, until he was sitting on the floor. “How much are you holding back?”

“What do you have under your mask?”

Kakashi chuckled. “You want to keep it a secret that badly?”

“It is common knowledge what happened to me when I was eight years old. People say that I did not display much emotion in the Academy and thought it was because I liked hiding them. The truth is that I displayed every single emotion I felt. It is just that I did not feel anything.”

“You seem to be much more cheerful around Sakura and Naruto.”

“My brother…” Sasuke hesitated for a few seconds, since that is how long he would be expected to hesitate if he was telling the truth with the appropriate emotions, “when he did what he did, he told me to get filled up with hate. To use that hate to come after him. For many years I listened to him. But then everything changed. Isn’t it weird how you can just wake up some mornings and feel like a completely different person?”

“Not often, no.”

“It was very inspiring. I ran into Naruto that morning and realized just how much we had in common. I had suspected he would be on my team for a few weeks previous to that, but it was that moment that it really connected for me. He would become my team mate and we would be ninja together with Sakura. The three of us together always. Risking our lives together, working together, possibly dying together with our naïve dreams being laughed at by ninja who were better only in the one area that matters least.”

Sasuke settled into his bed, looking up at the ceiling. “What I mean to say, is that I do not have many secrets. I do not have much privacy because everyone knows my story and ANBU are with me most of the time as well. They protect me, but they also tell on me. Training was one place where I could work alone and that felt great. There will be a time, probably, when I will feel comfortable letting the three of you know that side of me. But it is not something I am eager to share.”

“And that is why you compared it to my mask?”

“Yes. I teased about pulling it off this afternoon, but I hereby vow to never push the issue again. You want your privacy, you can have it. Sakura has some bad relationship with her parents, I could tell. She will tell us when she is ready to share. Until then, I am not entitled to pry. There is also something going on between Naruto and you. I do not know what it is, but I picked up on the fact that it was important and something Naruto did not want to share. He seemed more worried than you. It is his secret then?”

Kakashi remained silent, which was answer enough.

“It is a common misconception that relationships need honesty to function well. Secrets, if well kept, can be essential. Respecting secrets can build a great deal of trust.”

“That is fine then.” Kakashi stood back up. “Do not mention Naruto having a secret to anyone. He has enough trouble as it is.”

Sasuke nodded and then tried to fall asleep. His heart was beating a little faster. He hated to admit it, but Kakashi was a problem. Dealing with him every day was going to be tough. It was good it would be over in just a few more months.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC)
I only just found this out right now :-) Congratulations, little lion man!
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Hm.
Thank you! =D Didn't quite make 2014 though. Better luck for 2015 again ^^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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