Last month I shared that I was participating in National Novel Writing Month for the first time, and promised I’d tell my experience this go round.
[For any unfamiliar, the annual writer’s “contest” — which runs through the thirty days of November — is a push to write 50,000 words toward a new novel. Though also, many will set their own goals and continue with a project already in progress.]
I was anxious and unsure and thrilled and soaring with hope, because I knew I was a slow, meticulous writer, and I knew that I had been struggling to do any fiction writing of significance for months (alright, years), and I also knew I needed force in the right direction.
Choosing to participate in NaNo was a good decision, and I didn’t let myself down. I wrote just over 35,000 words of my new novel’s rough draft.
I never knew I could write so fast, and I certainly never considered that I could write so messy. But I did!
When I realized I wouldn’t make the 50k goal, I decided I was okay with that. More than satisfied. Because by then, given how my story line had evolved and where my characters sat, I knew I needed to step back and assess what I’d accumulated. So then I gave myself permission to do so. If I’d forced words just to count 15,000 more, it would only have dragged me down, confused my process, and placed me where I couldn’t have been sure I’d write myself out of.
I took a break for Thanksgiving, and have since gotten back to it. Starting with page one, I’ve begun fleshing things out. Building scenes and characters, adding narration. It’s a big task, but the work I did through the effort of NaNo gave me an excellent skeleton to work with. And I’m so pleased about that.
My goal is get through rewrites and additions and revisions (however many rounds it takes to satisfy me), compose a full-length novel, and query the book to agents before the end of 2015. We’ll see how it goes.
Will I do NaNo again? I’m not at all opposed to it. And I may need another push for a new project come this time next year. 🙂