This has been my third year as a participant of naplwrimo and my second as forums moderator. It's been a strange year. Not bad, of course, because any month where you give yourself a chance to write a whole play is great. This year was just a lot different from the last two.
First, the play I am writing. I didn't really know until a couple weeks before exactly what I was going to work on. I changed my mind about four times before I finally settled on Mine. I was completely enthralled by the Chilean miner story that happened a month ago or so, and one particular story I read about the families and people living in Camp Hope really made me start thinking. And the story just sort of fell together. I was resisting the urge to work again with something Latin or Ancient Greek as far as the structure and such went, since Highway to Hades was so hard on me the first year I did NaPlWriMo, but the more I worked on the play, the more obvious it became that this is where the play wanted to go. I am now on page 71, and I am four days and four pages from the end of the month. I am trying to figure out how to get to the 75th page without padding the play. Doing some research this morning may have really helped, so we will see what happens.
And moderating this year has been very different. The creator of NaPlWriMo, Dorothy, had to step back this year because of graduate school, and a lovely lady named Elizabeth has taken over her role. There were a few things that we weren't up to speed on, but that's okay. There's bound to be a few bumps in a changeover of power, so to say. The thing that has been bothering me a bit this year is how frakking quiet the boards have been this year. During the countdown to November last year, I got a TON of responses, but this year, it was like pulling teeth. And we did pick up with a lot of conversation at the beginning of the month, but things have gotten super quiet and it's kind of hard to deal with in a way. It's more fun when there's a lot of people involved and conversational. I just have to know that every year is not going to be the same, even when a lot of the same people are involved. Life does happen. It's just hard when you feel like you're talking to yourself and when you feel that maybe you said something wrong and everyone hates you. The fiance told me that he feels like this sometimes when he is online teaching and has to do forum responses and hardly anyone talks--it's just part of the game, nothing you did, nothing you can do, you know?
As far the future of NaPlWriMo, I am very excited for a few things that we have thought of. Next year I would like to do more virtual write-ins. We did one this year, and even though there weren't a lot of people, it was fun. Maybe weekly virtual write-ins and then mini ones during the last week. We will see.
In 2011, I believe we are going to do a National Play REWRITING Month, hopefully to get the writers to come back to their work in a couple months to revisit the work and try to shape it up. I like this idea but I have NO IDEA how to make it work. I know my own rewriting process, but I don't have a clue about how to lead a rewriting group. I guess in the end it's not that much different from leading a playwriting group, but still. It's just new so I'm a little like, uh, what am I doing and why do I feel qualified?
I decided I am going to do Script Frenzy in April in order to try and figure out how to make us different from them, which is something Elizabeth had mentioned before. It will be a good challenge for me, but it's mostly for research. It would figure if I finally wrote the play I had always wanted to write through Script Frenzy. :)