Over the past 7+ years, I’ve NaNo’d 6 times. Some times I’ve been successful, some times I haven’t, and one time I failed so spectacularly that I’m almost proud.
Below are some observations I’ve made & lessons I’ve learned:
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Year 1 – 2010
Project Type: New Novel
Project Info: A werewolf-type story
Final Word Count: 52,000
For this one, I started a brand new story on November 1. I think I did a rough outline beforehand, but mostly just character sketches and a very loose plot. After 2 weeks I hit the wall hard, but a few days later I managed to push past it. I ended up reaching a conclusion around the 40,000 mark and thought I was going to fail this task, but then I thought of a way to make the story longer and managed to get over 50,000 words. I also wrote a really cool back-story scene that I’m super happy with.
This was my first year, and I consider it my most successful so far. I was working 2 jobs and rehearsing 2 plays, so I have no idea how I managed to do it. (Actually, that’s a lie – I’m editing that story now and there’s a lot of nonsensical rambling that needs to be cut down – but there’s also some great stuff that I got from the aforementioned rambling. Swings and roundabouts, my friends.)
Aside from being super determined to rock my first year, I learned how to push myself and that I could actually finish a story. It taught me that I could write a full-length novel in less than 3 years. As someone who had trouble focusing on one single project, it was a great confidence boost. Continue reading NaNoWriMo Round 6!→
Confession time: I have never participated in NaNoWriMo.
There’s no singular reason I have never taken on the task of writing a complete novel in the month of November. It’s just the way things worked out for me. Early on, before I was published, I was developing a regular routine and NaNo wasn’t part of that. More recently, I’ve been in the middle of editing or redrafting projects so the timing was off.
But this year it all changes.
Why is this year so different? Is it because I found a NaNo community that I think will inspire me? Is it because I really want the experience of throwing myself into my art for a month?
Is is because I have a deadline coming up and I am contractually obligated to finish a draft by December?
It’s all those things.
So once the trick-or-treaters are done this evening, I am taking the left-over candy and going into full writer mode. If anyone needs to talk to me about anything else, it’ll have to wait for December.
Good luck fellow writers. Happy writing!
If you too are jumping into the NaNoWriMo pool, find me online at nanowrimo.org/participants/amlabonte.
As announced previously, Engen is going to be kicking things up a notch with an all-new twice-monthly podcast starring Amanda Labonté, Ellen Curtis, and Matthew LeDrew! Each 60 minute episode will have three topics / segments: Writing Chat, Publishing Chat, and General/Reviews Chat!
The Write Project Podcast starts in November as a part of the Engen Books / The Tutoring Center’s NaNoWriMo 2017 celebration! Subscribe to the Engen Books YouTube channel and make sure and hit the bell icon when you do, and you’ll be notified when we upload new episodes! ❤