Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Post-NaNoWriMo Thoughts

I've won NaNoWriMo for the third time in three tries. All this means is that I've written 50,000 words or more in 30 days or less. My first two years I wrote complete stories (51,000 words in 2008 and a little over 59,000 in 2009). This year I wrote less than I did in both years and my story's not complete.

That's okay.

I like my story. I'm going to turn it into a novel and hope to have a draft of it done by the end of March. It's about four amnesiacs battling the aggressive and mysterious Sovereignty Board for the fate of our Earth. That's all I'll say about it for now except that I love some of the character names a lot. I was highly influenced by Lev Grossman's THE MAGICIANS (which you should read if you haven't; it's not a Harry Potter clone, not by a longshot) even though I had no idea that book had had any effect on me prior to starting. I also felt the influence of Ray Bradbury as I was writing, too.

This doesn't mean that the book's anything like those two authors' works. I don't know what it's like. Only that I felt them both looking over my shoulder as I was banging out words day after day.

My daily pace was less than last year and the year before, and I finished on the 27th, like I did last year. The important difference from 2008 and 2009 is that I did not exercise during November and I gained weight. I spent so much time just sitting at the computer writing that I didn't take care of my body the way I should have.  I vowed that this year would be different.

Not only did I not gain weight (and with Thanksgiving in the month that's a major accomplishment!) I actually lost a pound. I feel very proud.

So even though I didn't write as many words and I didn't finish my story like I had the previous two years, I feel like I did even better than I had previously. If, once I've finished the manuscript, I feel like the book is still good I'll keep going with it. I'll let you know at the end of March on that.

I'm curious how many of you tried NaNo, and if you did -- what was your experience this year? If you haven't, why not? There's a terrific amount of support from your local NaNo group and from the Office of Letter & Light, too. Plus there are cool opportunities and goodies at the end if you win (a free proof copy of your novel from CreateSpace, great deals on writing software, etc...) and the sense of having done something you've always wanted to do, too. It's not too early to begin thinking about next year...


K. L. Kerr said...

This was my second NaNo attempt, and I had about the same experience as I did last year, which was my first go.

I bashed out the word count, but in both instances, I ended up with an unfinished draft.

Like yourself, I'm hoping to continue on with this draft until it's finished, although I said that about the first one, and I'm still not done with it yet ;)

Jason Arnett said...

K.L. - Thanks for commenting! Good luck with finishing your story. I hope it comes out well.