I passed 50,000 words on my NaNo novel today, on the last day of November. It was 50,070 according to NaNo’s word count validator, or 50,319 if you want to believe Microsoft Word. Either way, pretty exciting! After my big push a few days ago, I’ve been able to keep ahead of the goal, so I actually didn’t need to write too much on this last day–which made for a more relaxed end to the month.
Of course, it’s all rather artificial too–I’m already making plans for how I’m going to write 25,000 words in December, which should take me to the actual end of my first draft. I’ve only just reached the final section; as I’ve mentioned, this story is actually a companion piece to my other main project right now, and I just introduced my main characters from that story into this one, literally in the last two paragraphs as I passed the 50,000 word goal. So there are still fun writing times ahead! And after this, writing only half as much each day should be easy…right?
Well, we’ll see! I have to actually get back to the rest of my life now. I kept up with my job and my social life in November, but anything else creative went on the backburner (any non-NaNo blog posts you read this month? Wrote those in October). There are penpals to email, blog posts to write, Challenge books to read, neglected blogs to follow…
But it’s definitely been worth it for the past month. I have so enjoyed NaNo, and barring major life circumstance changes, I’m doing this again next year! I loved the community aspect of it the most. It was so much fun to know there were many other people writing this month too, and to interact with them on the NaNo forums.
And I loved spending so much time on my writing. There were ups and downs to writing this quickly. I don’t think I know Lyra and Dastan as well as I know, say, Julie and Jasper, who I’ve spent the last year and half with. But by this point, I do know them, and I think I can work some of the thin bits out in the revision. I found that I wrote much less description and with far less detail when I was writing quickly–another thing to deal with in revision. But I also found out that I actually can keep coming up with plot and scenes, and that those lightning bolt moments of realization about how a story ought to go really will come when needed, even if I don’t give them a lot of time to arrive. I think that by the time I finish this, it will be something of reasonable quality–but it’s going to need those revisions!
I’ll see where I am with my other writing projects by November of next year, but I might decide to do something unpublishable and therefore low-pressure: like a fanfiction novel, or a sequel to one of my other books. Something that I’d write just for the fun of writing, but that I wouldn’t normally want to spend long lengths of time on (see above: unpublishable). That would make it perfect for the whirlwind writing month of NaNo–I wouldn’t need to spend a lot of time, and I’d come in already knowing my characters.
But that’s a plan for next October. For now, I am so glad I finally gave NaNo a go, and thank you all for coming along for the ride!
And now Lyra and Dastan are still awaiting their remaining 25,000 words…back to the trenches!