I’ve realized it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything on this blog. But at least I do have a good excuse. For those of you who missed my last post, I’ll just sum-up by saying that November was National Novel Writing Month. And like many other authors, I made it my goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
50,000 words on my book that is. Not on my blog. Hence the reason it’s been “all quiet on the blog front” for the past 5 weeks or so.
But it’s over now. Actually, it’s been over for a week and a half. It’s just that I forgot (yes, literally, clean FORGOT) to blog last Saturday. Which just goes to show what getting out of the habit of something will do to you!
Wew! What a month! That last day, the thirtieth, I got up at six o’clock in the morning and wrote right up until 11:59 that night.
So. Did I make it to 50,000 words?
Well…no. I didn’t. *sigh*
But I learned a lot. For one thing, I learned that 50,000 words might be a tad unrealistic for me, because I have a really hard time just “drafting.” Or just getting the story on the page. I’m a hopeless perfectionist, and I constantly edit as I go. It’s hard to rack up the word count all that fast when you will sit there and re-write the same sentence 2 or 3 (or 7) times until you get it on the page the way it sounded in your head. So if I want to actually meet my goal, maybe I should pick a goal that fits more with my writing style.
Second, I learned that if I do want to get 50,000 words finished in one month, I SHOULD NOT pick a month in which I will be working on another project for the first ten days of the month, then go out of town for nine days, and have Thanksgiving to celebrate yet when I get back. Looking over my writing log, I find that I actually only put words to the page eleven days out of thirty. Eleven. That means I would have had to average 4,545 words per day in order to make it to 50,000. Sometimes I can write that much in day. If I write All. Day. Long. But I usually don’t. So yeah, I would need more writing days in the month in order to succeed.
By the way, I did use some material I had already written. As I mentioned awhile back, my original plans for the book were derailed by a certain character with a mind of her own, and I am now re-writing what I’d already written with an entirely different main character. Which means I had to start over at the beginning. But yes, there were bits and pieces I’d already written that I was able to use, they just had to be edited and rearranged a lot. And that took up a fair amount of time too, though maybe not as much as writing it all entirely from scratch would have taken. (That’s another reason I decided not to register my project on the NaNoWriMo website. You aren’t allowed to use any materiel you’ve previously written. Understandable rule of course, but the very nature of my particular project required I use some sections I’d already written.) So, those of you who’ve been reading the chapters as I released them will notice, when you read the book, that there is still a good bit of overlap.
Anyway. The REAL goal, all along, was to get a jump-start on the book and get over that first hurdle of rewriting, which is always a challenge. THAT goal I did accomplish, even without making 50,000 words.
So by that measurement, my NaNoWriMo month wasn’t a failure at all. The final word-count may only have been 35,414, but I still came out re-energized, excited about the book, over the re-writing hump, and ready to dive into the rest of the story.
And thanks to the plotting and outlining I did ahead of time, (based on the book-planning techniques of K.M. Weiland), the story is more cohesive, more thought-out, and layers upon layers deeper than my earlier version. The sections I’ve shared with others got rave reviews.
So. I’d stay November was a smashing success, in the end. And there’s one other thing I learned (or, well, confirmed, anyway). I really DO love deadlines. They’re such fabulous motivators! I’m thinking that setting a word-count goal for other months, not just November, would be a very good idea.
But not for December. Sorry. That’s just not going to work.