Winning NaNoWrimo 2014

Another year of National Novel Writing Month has happened in my little world of writing, and I’m happy to say that I validated my novel today for another win. I’m pretty happy about this, moreso because not only did I win, but I also reached my personal goal, which was to write three novels and/or 150,000 words.

I had a few different ideas that I wanted to write about, and I thought a month of binge writing would set me up to revise the rest of the year. Because while I can type like crazy, I suck at revising. If there was a NaNoRevMo, I’d fail miserably.

Winner-2014-Web-Banner Putting in this many words ended up being a fairly daunting task. The first novel went quickly. I had it done by day seven and I was feeling pretty good about it. My second novel was about the same. I didn’t outline that one, so I ended adding some unexpected elements and it came together quite nicely. The third one started out strong, but by the time I got to the end, I was burnt out and my characters weren’t doing what I thought they should be doing, and I was frustrated with them.

I finished their story, but I came up short by about 20,000 words, so I decided to start parts of the next novels I had in mind. I ended up writing the first couple chapters of each of them and calling it good at a little over 150,000 words. By then, I was ready to call it a month.

I don’t think I’m going to be setting this goal for myself again for 2015. I might change my mind by next November, but right now, I think instead of going for quantity in a genre I’m comfortable writing in, I might go outside my comfort zone and try to write in a different genre. I have so many story ideas in my notes, and I think it would be just as much of a challenge to try to write a science fiction, mystery, or horror novel. I’ve also thought about finishing up the several stories I started and never finished.

Beyond the writing, NaNoWriMo 2014 resulted in some really good times with really good people. This was the first year I engaged in actual “write-ins” with the people from our Writer’s Group, many of which took place at my apartment. Since moving back to MHK, I’ve found that I love having people over. Most of our write-ins turned into TV watching or chat sessions, but we were still able to get things accomplished and crank out some good word counts.

I’m debating applying to be a municipal liasion next year. In the meantime, NaNoWriMo has inspired me to try to be more active in our Writer’s Group and in trying to organize regular “write-ins” as well as writer workshops and discussions. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going. I also plan on taking the pledge to revise my novels, because even though I know they’re really rough right now, I think there’s some good stuff hidden among all those words.

Congratulations to all those who won, good luck and keep going to all those still pushing through until the end, and don’t sweat it if you decided not to finish….just keep writing and doing your thing! It’s a process. Just make it yours and make it fun.

A.

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