So, in between a weekend festival, a week-long trip to Europe, Thanksgiving weekend and all the commitments that entailed, I managed to hit my (private, drop-dead-with-embarassment-if-you-don’t-make-it) goal of 25K words, plus a little before the month ended. I didn’t make it to 50K, but I’m still really pleased with what I learned from the whole process, and with the fact that I now have 25K words I didn’t have written at the beginning of the month.
What I took away from my first NaNoWriMo experience:
- It is possible to turn off my inner editor and just run with what I’ve been writing, and worry about tightening it up later.
- 1500 words a day is definitely do-able, especially if I keep that inner editor turned off and both limit my distractions and make sure I have a cup of tea nearby.
- The one write-in I made it to was really great. It was fabulous to meet other writers, and I got a lot written (though next time I’m bothering to bring my laptop, because transcribing all the stuff I wrote in my binder was a lengthy process. Happily, I did end up having written more than I estimated, though). I should definitely try to do more of those next time, and meanwhile, I’m going to make a concerted effort to find a local writing group to join.
- Keeping a log of my word count was actually really good motivation. (Which I should have known already, given how much I like using stickers on my calendar to mark things like playing my flute or going to the gym)
- It is okay to go in and ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ –but more outlining would probably help next time, as there were points where I got stuck until I made a more fleshed-out plot arc summary.
Things I learned about Schola Ariolos as I’ve been writing:
- This is not actually several separate but interconnected short stories, it’s actually 1 novel using 3 of the main characters, and 1 novel using 1 character. The fifth character hasn’t got a story yet, but he probably will eventually, just not part of either of these two.
- I hate damaging my characters but they’re more interesting when I do.
- The character I did not intend to be much like me is; the character I thought was more me isn’t, the longer I write them both. Fascinating.
- I’m actually more excited about this story now than I was when I started, even though I’m now getting into the thick of plotting and complications, which is when my inner editor starts snarling at me.
- I can finish this.
2 thoughts on “The Nanowrimo Wrap”
Keep it up, Meg! I have still yet to manage the art of turning off my inner editor. I usually end up forgetting the story I was trying to tell or the point I was hoping to make. You can finish this! (I like that one.)
I think that last one is my favorite too.
Inner editors are awful–it takes a lot of work for me to say ‘write now, fix it later’ and really stick to it. I’ve never liked writing in drafts, I’m always trying to get it right the first time. Makes for very little progress!
I’d love to hear about what you’re working on sometime!