Here’s the thing about NaNoWriMo… I failed. My current word count is 44,643. So close, right? But here’s the thing about the past week – it was bananas. Last weekend my roommate and I were like, “Let’s move.” So on Monday we met with our new landlord (friend of ours) and on Tuesday our lawyer called our old landlord and on Saturday we moved. I was totally committed to finishing, even amidst the chaos of moving (to my very own apartment that is just mine!) until I wasn’t committed to finishing anymore.
Last year was my first time participating in NaNoWriMo. I had a brand new, undeveloped idea. I was excited and determined. And I did it! I wrote 50,000 words. This year I started the Novel Writing challenge a completely different writer. I had spent a year reading about writing, studying authors I enjoyed and respected, and learning a ton about the actual writing process, not to mention I had another year of actual, practical writing under my belt. This month I worked from an outline. This month I finally understood what it means to let the characters do their thing and watch what happens. I had heard writers before talk about just letting things unfold and putting their characters in situations to see how they would react and I would think, But you’re the author! You decide what’s going to happen.
This month I got it. Just the other day I was writing a conversation between Grayson and Finn (who featured in last year’s November Novel and whose story I jacked and condensed for this one) and Grayson, who I fancied as the ideal gal, was being super selfish! I was a little heartbroken. Yes, I am the boss of the book but I know understand the feeling of dreaming up characters, setting the stage, and watching what happens. It’s something I don’t think you can understand until you experience it, until you let the story drive you instead of the other way around.
So I may not have written 50,000 words in one month, but I did write 44,643 words in one month which is still kind of a lot. I also have plans! My goal is to finish this first draft by Christmas and then start work on the next step.
I offer a hearty congratulations to all who did win NaNoWriMo! You are awesome rock star hard working guys and gals and I am so proud of all of your hard work and you should be, too. You did it! Now don’t slow down.