I’m participating in NaNoWrimo for the 4th time this year. I went over the 50K words goal twice, snuck out with a guilty conscience at 30something K last year, and here I am again. On day 7, at a little over 27K, I’m still doing okay, and hopeful.
I realized what didn’t work out for me last time--writing the 3rd part in a 4-part-series, where the pieces have to start coming together, working towards the finale. For me, that didn’t go together well with the manic ways of NaNoWriMo. It lends itself much more to a new project. Unless you cheat a little and simply start counting at a certain place in your current story, and go from there.
The first time I gave it a try, I was almost certain it couldn’t work. I was still working in two different jobs, and a lot of my writing was done on evenings and weekends. Then again, the same is true for many other people who participate every year. The challenge was out there.
A bit of fun trivia: There person who inspired me to go for my first NaNoWriMo, doesn’t know it, and is pretty unlikely to find out anytime soon. Unfortunately, this person never finished her novel, or, at least, never updated her word count.
I wrote the first draft of Autumn Leaves, my debut novel that was published by Eternal Press a year ago today.
Of course, I didn’t have a novel after 50,000 words. I let it simmer for a while. I got back to it and finished it the next year. Whatever you can’t do in one month--at you can do is come up with a rough first draft, or a substantial part thereof. You will come up with twists you’ve never expected.
To succeed, you need passion, discipline and to keep that looming deadline in mind. Once it’s December 1st and you made it, have some eggnog, hot chocolate or champagne, and then get back to work on editing, rewriting, shaping your story. Get it ready for the submission process.
We’ve all seen some more critical voices, about how NaNoWriMo is seen as somehow less professional and producing low quality, which is surprising to me, because--
-Professional writers who have considerably success often have a daily word count, on average about 2,000 words.
-They are obviously passionate about their work.
-They observe deadlines.
NaNoWriMo is an excellent test for the passionate discipline you need to get a story out in the first place. It’s as much fun as stress can possibly get.
That first time though is still special to me, considering everything that came out of it. November 2010 I had no idea that the story of Callie and Rebecca would be become a series, of which part three will be released early next year. Number 1, Autumn Leaves, also became the #1 Top Seller for Eternal Press. Winter Storm made it into the Top Ten as well.
November 16th will see the release of my third book, Secrets, unrelated to the characters and stories in the small town of Autumn Leaves. However, today, I emerge for a bit from the NaNoWriMo craziness to celebrate one year of Autumn Leaves.
Have you visited yet?