A Brief NANOWRIMO Debriefing

(Wait, what?)

Well, I can tell you right off the bat that my attempt at this years National Novel Writing Month has been vastly more successful than the crash-and-burn, crawl-yourself-across-the-embers attempt of 2010. Main improvement? I had a story to write, a real one, not one I’d made up on the fly that seemed like a good idea at the time but had no backbone to it. The story I picked for this year’s NANO was one I have over-cooked in my head for nearly a decade. It was more than well-aged, it was getting gamey. That helped: I knew the characters with ease, knew their goals and ambitions pretty well, knew how they interacted with each other, and with a revamped plot line, it actually came somewhat together.

I hit the 50,000 word count. Easily. Hit it on the 20th of November, actually, and kept on with my goal of 3k a weekday since. So that was nice. Bad news? There’s still a whole hell of a lot left to go. This is my first official attempt at an original novel, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s a little long in the tooth. I can already sense some places where I’ll be going back to hack out sections, but for now, I’m pressing on. 3k/weekday until it’s finished–really, truly, totally a finished draft.

Number one lesson learned during this year’s NANO? I can actually write pretty fast. 3k is not an unreasonable daily word count goal for me. It’s not always easy, but once I get my shoulders into the day’s work, it can move along at a pretty brisk pace. This was a surprise to me. I’d always assumed, from my short story work, that I was a pretty slow writer. Apparently, I can really crank out the words when I need to, without much crying of blood, either! A rather pleasant surprise.

Granted, I don’t know if what I’ve got yet will be any good, or if it will be anything I can work with in the future, but it’s convinced me that perhaps it’s not so crazy to conceive of writing a novel a year (maybe more?<–WHA-?! Heresy!). Maybe I can even write another one before THE BIG DAY arrives in June. That’d be three novel rough drafts finished in one year.

And that might just be a miracle. 



I could apologize for it being so ridiculously long since I’ve posted here, profoundly promise to keep it up with dedication for the coming weeks, and all that, OR I could totally just waltz in here like I’ve never been gone and be all like, “What’s up?” and pretend like nothing happened, and you’re all just staring at me for no reason. I choose option #2!

Right? Right!

NANOWRIMO is back (of course it is, you’ve probably been seeing it all over Facebook for the past 24 hours), and I’ve decided, perhaps against my better instinct, to give it another go. I participated in NANO back in 2010 and managed to eek out a terrible 50,000 words somehow, after a significant amount of whining and keyboard pounding. I learned some good lessons from that first year, however, some of which I’ve come to understand the *actual* meaning of in these last few years while working on the practice novel (which is finished now, by the way! Last chapter went up at the end of September, just in time for my 28th birthday). At any rate, I *won’t* be reading any how-to-write books by Delany, so that should help. :)

So I’m going to refrain from writing much about NANO here, because really, there’s not much to say other than: OMGEEEE WHY IS THIS SO HARD?! *CRIES* <–sums up most of my whining in various shades and tones. Look for some fresh posts either this month or next once I get things a little more under control. Lots of things are changing, or have changed, in the past year, some frustrating, some very exciting/terrifying, so should be some interesting stuff here eventually. 

Until then, to all you NANO’ers out there: Good Luck! To all those non-NANO-ers, bear with us. It’s only a month. :)