It’s November 30, so I can officially say that National Novel Writing Month is almost done. For me, it ended a week ago when I got to my 50,000 words. Or maybe it ended four days ago when I finished the rough draft of my novel. Or maybe it ends tomorrow because that’s what the calendar says. Regardless, it’s over. When I first heard of NaNoWriMo (years ago this was), I thought it was a crazy thing to try to do. When I first started 30 days ago, I didn’t think that I’d finish. I figured that between kids, work, and…well…a national pandemic, things would come up and it wouldn’t happen. I figured I’d be writing this blog post (or not) reflecting on why it didn’t work for me. Instead, I wanted to think back on what I learned and got out of this experience. Which I get, isn’t that much different, except that I won NaNo — so I’m a bit more upbeat about the whole thing.
- I learned that having a goal, no matter how crazy, works for me. When I was trying to get to the 50,000 words, I was motivated enough to blast through more than 2,000 each day. Once I finished though, getting the last 5,000 words to finish my novel was slow going.
- I learned that I REALLY like writing sprints. I know I said that in my last blog post, but I am surprised at how much I like them. As I sit down for writing sessions in the future, I’m probably going to do a lot of 15-20 minute sprints.
- I learned that I am definitely not a plotter or a pantser, but somewhere in between (I know that it’s often called a plantser, but being Jewish, I prefer a plotzer). But I’ll also say that planning things out a little bit was useful, but also a bit stressful because I kept being afraid that that the well had run dry. It hadn’t. I was always about 2-3 scenes ahead of myself.
- I learned that the biggest challenge is going to be in the editing. As I was writing, I changed things here and there because (as a plotzer) I figured things out about my story along the way. To go back and fix those things is going to take some time.
I also found that I really liked this story. A story about a golem at a New England boarding school had been on my mind since the summer, but I held off on writing it because I knew it was an MG book and I wanted to try it out for NaNoWriMo. So I thought about the story since early in the Summer. And I thought about it and thought about it. I thought I knew my MC pretty well. I found out as I was writing the story that there was more to learn and I liked him and the supporting characters. I even liked the villain of the story. It all played out nicely. When I finished the story last week, I kind of wanted to start the editing right away.
But I won’t. Instead, I’m going to spend December doing more revisions on my first story (Seeing the Voice) and drafting parts of its sequel. When January rolls around, I’ll pick up this one (current title: Cryptid Academy) and start editing it. I think I’ll be happy to get back to Emmett and Khalil and Kymberly and Lyndsay. I think it’ll be good to polish up their story and see where it goes from there. My next blog post will probably come sometime then. Hopefully I can be as positive in that one as I am now.
Thanks for reading!