National Novel Writing Month is over. And for the first time since I’ve started participating, I DID IT! 50,045 words. 32 scenes (plus a blog post). 24 days with words on the page. Fewest words – 0 (6 days of no writing). Most words – 5,307 (on November 30). Fortunately (or unfortunately) I ended up with a severe case of insomnia for the last week of NaNo so I was up at three or four a.m. making up word count from the previous weeks/days of missing the mark.
How did I do it? I wrote. A lot. I didn’t stop and go back and edit. One day, I wrote, ‘she grudgingly pushed the cell phone across the table to him’. I started to think of what that would look like instead of using the word grudgingly. How does one ‘grudgingly’ push a phone? Then I told myself to stop that nonsense and just keep writing. I could fix that later. Every line of dialogue had a tag. There are lots of adjectives, adverbs, filler words, inane conversation, and side bars.
In one scene, one of the longer ones, the main character goes over all that’s happened throughout the first 60 percent of the story with a college friend of his who is new in the story. The scene, generally speaking, should be in the book. The entire scene won’t because the reader has read all that’s happened, but in writing the whole thing out like my character was telling the story, it made me realize a lot of things. Some scenes were out of order. Some needed certain details in them in order to tie them to the other pertinent scenes and to other clues. And this character needed to somehow be informed of what happened in scenes that he’s not a part of.
I also wrote some scenes for the next story in the series. That book was a bunch of vague ideas on November 1. In writing random scenes related to those vague ideas, my fingers told me some things about the story I’m not sure I would have come up with. And they’re good. A little gruesome, but fun to write, and very motivating.
I wasn’t able to validate my 50,045 words on the NaNo website. You need one document with all the words and my words are in 32 different files. At 8 p.m. on November 30, I didn’t care to combine them all into one document and I didn’t care to random generate words just to prove I did it to the online world (NaNo’s suggestion if you hand write). I did if for me and I know I hit the mark.
Is it good? No. Is it usable? I think a lot of it is. Right now, I’m inserting the scenes I wrote into the big manuscript (that’s how I roll), fixing the order of some, and noting the missing scenes so that I can work on those.
National Novel Writing Month success for me! How did you folks do? Or what other successes did you have in November?