Archives for posts with tag: novel
I won Nanowrimo 2010!

I won Nanowrimo 2010!

I won Nanowrimo again this year!  My 50,000 words were done and dusted by November 28th this year – mostly because I’d learned from last year’s experience of leaving it until the last minute to finish nearly half of my novel.  In case you don’t know, Nanowrimo is a month-long global novel-writing fest that happens every November.  I’ve been doing it for the past three years and have managed to get my requisite 50,000 words done on time each year.  Three for three!

I did have a horrible day in the middle of the month where I was a few thousand words behind my target, hating my novel, not knowing where it was going, and feeling like tossing it all in the garbage, but giving myself a whole day on a weekend to catch up made me feel all right again.  And the characters suddenly perked up and seemed much more likeable.  I’ve never divulged the plots of any of my novels before, but I’ll reveal a little about this one: it’s a murder mystery set in a small-town museum.  I may even try to revise it and show it to some gentle editor-friends.

Every year I get very excited about doing this project, but every year I seem to have a few bad (read: horrible, hair-pulling-out) days on the way, where I beg my husband to remind me not to do this again next year.  But the excitement and satisfaction of winning wipes all those bad feelings out and I can’t remember them… until the next time.  This must be what it feels like to write all the time.  Which I would like to be doing.  So now my challenge is to keep on writing after Nanowrimo ends, and not just do it in November!

Nanowrimo 2009 winner

Nanowrimo 2009 winner!

Yeahhhh!!!  I know this post is a few days later, but I think I was too much in shock for the first couple of days of December at the fact that I actually succeeded in doing the 50,000 words required to win NaNoWriMo.  I won last year, but I timed my sessions better and did a bit of writing onalmost every day of November that year, so I knew I would be able to do it.  This year I skipped a lot of days and still had 20,000 words to go on my novel with 5 days left.  I really didn’t think I could do it and I nearly quit.  Thanks to my lovely husband, who gave up his thesis time on our shared laptop, I managed to barricade myself in his office and write the last huge chunk in the last few days – with half a day to spare!  I’m still dazed from that much screen time, I think.

I won NaNoWriMo!

I won NaNoWriMo!

Wow, does my arthritic finger ever hurt.  I’ve been pounding away at the keyboard for about 2 hours a night for the last 29 days, with a final push of over 6000 words in a single day today.  But it was worth it: I reached the goal of 50,000 words, going over by about 3600 extra words and with one day to spare!  And without coffee.  Awesome.

It has been a month of incredible highs and lows. Mostly the lows were because of lack of sleep.  I’ve had a lot of work to do this month, so all my noveling has been done in the late evenings or early mornings.  (I’m proud to say I didn’t write a single word of my novel at work!)  My eyes are burnt out from looking at the screen, and my shoulders are killing me.  But I slogged through the bad days and got it done, and when I was having a good moment I really felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.  In a good way.

I noticed that when I have a good moment, I’m typing so fast that I’m leaning over to the right, screwing up my face in the same tongue-sticking-out-in-concentration expression that I first remember noting, with some surprise, as I suddenly realized that I could see my reflection in our black lacquered Yamaha piano as I was practicing a piece.  What a revelation.  I hope no one ever watches me while I’m writing!

On days this month when I was having trouble writing, I was convinced that my novel was the worst thing anyone could ever write.  Now I feel like I’ve done a pretty damn good first draft!  I’m so glad I stuck it out.  I feel like I really achieved something.  I’ve never had a full first draft before!

I’ll be doing a little bit of work on it tomorrow, but then I’ll be setting it aside for two weeks so I can concentrate on other stuff, like all the crafts that have gone by the wayside this month.  I’ll pick it up again during the holidays, to start on the first revision.  For now: WOOHOO!

I meant to write this post eight days ago, but I’ve been too busy writing something else: a novel.  Well, a first draft, anyway.  It’s part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), an endeavour that’s been going on for the past ten years.  During the month of November, participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.  That’s 1667 words a day.  50,000 words is rather short for a novel, but it’s not peanuts!

Writing has always been my first and most beloved craft.  Unfortunately, it’s the one that scares me the most.  I can do all sorts of sewing, art, and craft projects, but when it comes to writing I balk.  My laptop is home to half-novels and half-stories that have petered out when I’ve taken too long of a break and then not had the nerve to return to finish my work.  Not this time.  I’m in it for the 50,000 words, even if I don’t sleep all month.  I’m going to get a full draft down, no matter how crappy it might be.

Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, wrote a book called No Plot? No Problem!, which I picked up a few months ago at the wonderful Willesden Bookshop.  After reading it I decided I’d be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.  Getting to 50,000 words is going to be a tough challenge, but having to concentrate on writing for most of the days this month will make me focus and get it done.  Some people have been participating for all 10 years, and some have ‘won’ every year (you’re a winner if you get to the 50,000 word mark). This year I’m going to win.

By the way, I’m not telling what my novel’s about.  That’s classified for now!