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The other side

December 2, 2011

November is over and with it NaNoWriMo. Here’s a short summary of how mine went.

I hope that those of you who participated had a great time whether it means getting the novel started that you’ve been wanting to work on for years, completing a first draft, experiencing the rush of making the 50K on the last day of November, writing a book of 100K in one month, getting some writing done despite all the unforeseen disasters that rained down on you this fall, or having fun at a number of write-ins.

According to the NaNoWriMo site, my month looked like this:

It is not entirely accurate. Notice that point where the wordcount falls (day 11)? I didn’t actually delete anything from my script that day. For a few days after that, the wordcount on the graph differed from the one on top of the page, but then that was fixed. And of course, my word processor’s count claims that I have a few more words (but it’s only a difference of 1,360 words this year).

What is true are the facts that I reached the 50K on day 23, and that I have 65,421 words of a story written in November 2011.

– And what no fancy graph can tell you is that I had a great month. I didn’t get to the end of the storyline that I had vaguely imagined, but I don’t mind since it was mostly due to the fact that a lot of unforeseen things Β happened on the way and that my characters turned out to be more interesting and have a better chemistry than I had hoped.
My wordcount was a little higher last year and I didn’t have days when I wrote more than 3,000 or 4,000 words this time, but I didn’t take time off from work (and had to make sure that typing didn’t upset my wrist – which it didn’t, so I’m happy with that). I also think that I learnt to stop the “right” places (for me) in the story every day. By that I mean no squeezing the proverbial lemon to get a few more words in and not really enjoying it (or writing filler scenes) as well as calling it a day when I knew what was going to happen next so that I could easily pick up the following day.
I Β tried something new and wrote in a different genre, with only a very vague plot or plan, and using a narrative style that I hadn’t done for years. And it turned out that instead of having problems with these things, I quite enjoyed the ride.

Now it’s December. I plan to start writing the second part of the story right away so that I have a complete first draft (or two complete first drafts depending on your point of view). I just need to type up my part of my writing group’s annual Christmas story first. And go to the NaNoWriMo wrap up party (TGIO) tomorrow.

How did your NaNoWriMo go (if you participated)? Are you taking a break from your story or editing right away? And do you have “right” places to stop when you write?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 12:10 pm

    That’s quite an impressive chart, and again, congratulations! πŸ™‚

    My own NaNo went smoother than it did last year, no doubt because this time I had an outline and I made sure I wrote every day (except the last day). The write places to stop? When I’ve reached my daily word count goal and the scene is resolved. This month I’m taking a break from “Mark + Dot” to edit (yet again) last year’s NaNo. I finally got a beta reader for my first few chapters and I’m buffing and polishing like crazy.

    Going to the TGIO party on Sunday. It appears to be in the same location as last year. So I should be taking a more direct route there and back. (Last year’s route was way too long and scrambled.)

    Have fun at your party!

    Now I’m 2 for 2. Next year I’ll be 3 for 3. πŸ™‚


    • December 2, 2011 9:03 pm

      Thank you – and congratulations to you too! πŸ™‚
      I found myself stopping before a scene was resolved several times this November. Somehow that worked for me (never thought it would).
      I hope you have fun at your TGIO as well! πŸ™‚


      • December 6, 2011 12:53 am

        Happy to report I had fun at my TGIO party. πŸ™‚ Not nearly as much trouble getting there as last year, and I left before the readings / photos / signings so I could see the street signs getting back to the subway. It will probably be my last TGIO party, though. It’s an all-day event getting there and back.

        Hope your TGIO party was fun!


        • December 14, 2011 3:23 pm

          Glad to hear it! πŸ™‚
          Luckily I only live 20 minutes away from the city centre where TGIOs and the like usually are held. – And thank you, it was really neat. πŸ™‚


  2. Maggie permalink
    December 2, 2011 2:31 pm

    Congratulations on winning! My NaNo went really well – I was surprised because I didn’t even expect to finish.


    • December 2, 2011 9:04 pm

      Thanks! And great job yourself. πŸ™‚ That must have been a wonderful surprise.


  3. December 2, 2011 3:21 pm

    My, the winner’s circle is crowded this year. Feels good, doesn’t it? This was my best NaNo yet, in terms of how well it went, and how I feel about the completed novel. Of course, it isn’t really complete, since even at 74k since it needs some more meat on its bones. But that’s for later next year. Like CMStewart, I’m still working on last year’s novel. In a couple of months, it will be time to start thinking about NaNo 2012.
    Congratulations to everybody.


    • December 2, 2011 9:05 pm

      It seems to be, yes. I’ve been stalking your wordcount and been really, really impressed! So congratulations to you too. πŸ™‚ I’m glad to hear that you feel good bout yours as well. It is indeed a good feeling.


  4. Ben permalink
    December 2, 2011 3:29 pm

    Congrats! That’s an awesome word count. I finished, but only barely– but hey, a win is a win, I guess. I’m going to keep working on mine as well. I don’t really feel the need to take a break, because there was a significant space of time during November where I was traveling to an academic conference and thus had no time to work on it. That was enough of a break for me not to get too burned out. Good luck with revisions!


    • December 2, 2011 9:07 pm

      Thank you! And to you as well. – Finishing even though you had days of not writing, that is definitely doing a great job!
      I am not taking a break from the story right now, but I think I will when I have actually finished writing it.


  5. December 2, 2011 5:34 pm

    Good job on finishing, and with such a healthy word count as well. I am delighted to hear how well it went for you, and rather thrilled to hear the same from so many people. Only those who have tried this can truly appreciate what goes into it.


    • December 2, 2011 9:09 pm

      Thank you – and great job yourself! πŸ™‚
      Yeah, it’s a special feeling. A rush, really, or a certain state of mind.


  6. December 2, 2011 8:11 pm

    Well I went into NaNo thinking that it should be pretty easy to repeat the wins of the last two years and planning to continue editing the first in the series at the same time. This plan lasted… maybe a week and by the end of week two I wasn’t even sure I could finish 50k of new material, or if I wanted to. And it wasn’t that I hated what I’d written, (although I did have some worries about the fact that my plot appeared to have got completely unbalanced, but a brainstorming session or two fixed that issue) it was just that I’d added a character who was just emerging from a decade of abuse and I identified way too strongly. This made from some pretty awesome writing, but also completely drained me, I had one day when I just slept for about twenty hours while my brain dealt with all the emotional fall out. in the end the solution was to back off from that plot thread and write less stressful subplots for a few days to get my word count back on track. Anyway somehow or other I managed to keep it together and passed 50k at around half two in the morning on the thirtieth. Not as much as I was hoping, but I ended up pretty happy with what I achieved anyway.


    • December 2, 2011 9:12 pm

      Editing and writing at the same time must be really hard. But nothing compared to how writing can drain you. I had a little bit of that in 2009, the emotional draining, but this year was different in many aspects.
      Congratulations on making it despite all the obstacles! I think it’s great that you ended up happy with it! πŸ™‚


  7. December 5, 2011 5:18 am

    Congrats! It looks like you had a terrific month!


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