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November 30, 2010

It’s November the 30th. I just uploaded the final wordcount on my NaNoWriMo novel. 70,439 words. – Was that really it?

It’s an odd feeling for someone who’s used to … shall we say, write at a more pedestrian pace to manage 70K in 30 days (yes, the official goal is 50K, but I got there a while ago, and the story was nowhere near the conclusion). A month like that, and you really feel that you get somewhere. What was just a sketch or a vague idea or a few pages of notes has turned into a more or less complete story.
It’s the first time in a long time that I have written the conclusion of a story of substantial length, and it is an amazing feeling. And very, very strange. (I will spare you the long-winded analogies about journeys for now.)
I have enjoyed putting on my special NaNoWriMo hat (thinking cap) now and then, I have gotten myself into a few wonderful “word wars” with fellow writers to see who could write a certain number of words fastest, I have had fun including as minor characters who actually star in other writing projects of mine, and the idea that some of my friends and I had to make small notes with “writing prompts” for each others’ stories was great to work with.
I managed to do most of the things I set out to do. I had a day of writing more than 5K, I got to the climax and the conclusion of the tale, and a few other goals that I had set for myself. And thank you, muse(s), for making this project possible.

But no, to answer my initial question, that was not really it at all. Though right now, I have a feeling of near disbelief and need to let it sink in that this year’s NaNoWriMo is over, I have the first draft of a novel that didn’t exist just 30 days ago. It has a beginning and a middle and an ending and more or less all the important scenes. But it needs revision before I show it to anyone. It needs a lot of work. And that’s fine. I think I will leave it to set (do novels set?) for a while, perhaps until January, and then I will read it through and see where to go from there. Actually, I’m quite looking forward to it.
In the meantime, I will be working on other writing projects (such as my part of the annual Christmas calender for the writing group of which I am a member).

To my fellow NaNoWriMoers: I hope you had a great time. If you reached the 50K, congratulations! If you didn’t, don’t worry – you started writing a novel. That’s something most people never do.

For those of you who are into this sort of thing, here is a graph that shows on which days I may have neglected doing the dishes, or maybe on which days I enjoyed several cups of coffee in November 2010.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 9:02 pm

    Congratulations! That’s a beautiful chart. Mine looks like someone took a chomp out of the middle of the month. It was a struggle catching up (but I did).


  2. November 30, 2010 9:11 pm

    Thank you very much! I always find it really impressive when people manage to catch up. Congratulations to you too!


  3. December 1, 2010 3:49 am

    Wow you really throttled it at 70,000+ words, congratulations (again)!

    Do you get the graphs at the NaNo site? I wouldn’t dare look at my graph, I’m sure it wouldn’t look as lineal as yours does.

    I used this NaNo experience to finally make a hole in my self-edit-as-I-write ceiling. I thought the core of my writing would suffer, but it didn’t. I mistakenly switched a couple names, left out some important details, and put several major scenes out of sequence, but all that can be fixed.

    Thanks for your encouragement and good luck with your other writing projects this winter.


    • December 1, 2010 11:41 am

      Thank you!
      Yes, the graphs are at the site. If you’ve uploaded your wordcount every day, then it’s accurate. If you have only uploaded on the last day, it will be at 0 words until that final day.
      NaNoWriMo is great for that sort of thing – getting rid of that “inner editor”, as they call it. You simply don’t have the time to think about every single sentence.
      Thank you again! And good luck to you, too!


      • December 1, 2010 4:00 pm

        Now that I’ve recovered from yesterday’s brain fry, I understand the graph thing. I went ahead and looked at my graph, and it’s like you explained- 0 until the final day. So it’s perfectly lineal.


      • December 1, 2010 5:28 pm

        Yes, I uploaded my wordcount every day because I thought it would be fun to keep track all the way.


  4. Cecil permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:31 am

    I can’t wait to read it, luv!
    I’m just as impressed as I was last year, and hopefully I’ll join you guys next year. :3


    • December 1, 2010 12:59 pm

      Thank you! We will see how long time it is going to take before I dare let anyone read it. – Revision, here I come. 😉
      The more the merrier. I hope you’re joining in next year!


  5. December 6, 2010 12:58 am

    Congrats on finishing M. Howalt! That must feel so great. What an accomplishment! 🙂



  1. Looking back, looking forward « Howalt: A Writer's Blog

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