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.