Lager NaNoWriMo2015

NaNoWriMo Debrief: Now what?

3 days early, 27 days of writing, a very sore hand (just one for some reason), over 50,000 words and my first NaNoWriMo is done. I’m a winner, for the first time since I was 4 and beat 3 boys to win a tricycle in K-mart. This was my one and only athletic achievement, which, like Nano, proves with enough motivation (a tricycle or a word count) you can achieve more than you think.

So what have I learned? You get a lot more done when you’re not talking yourself out of it before, during and any other stage, except after because it doesn’t usually get that far. I reached 50,000 by just making some time for it and doing it. I set about an hour or so, after dinner when I was too full to move anyway. (The Scot won’t use the scale to measure rice or pasta so just dumps the whole lot in the pan. This may be a slight exaggeration, but not much.) During that hour or so, I wrote. I didn’t delete. I didn’t read back over it and judge my poor literary skills and discourage myself. I didn’t filter myself to try to write well, which takes me to my second lesson.

I wrote 50,000 words of, as the Scot would say, pure pish. It’s awful. It makes absolutely no sense. There’s probably 200,000 commas and that’s the only punctuation of note. It’s like I wrote a terrible plot on index cards in order, and then dropped them and filed them in no order whatsoever. There’s plot holes and just holes in general, big black ones where I questioned my sanity a little bit. I’m still not sure my main character has a motivation or is believable or even likeable. I think it might have permanently harmed my ability to write coherently. However, I have a draft of a novel and that’s pretty amazing. The key concept here is draft. It’s something to work with, a foundation to build something I might eventually be happy to show someone.

So now what? I want to get it to a point that I’m happy with by next November. I also need a break. I’ve developed a twitch in my eye brow (same side as the sore hand). The flat is an absolute pig pen and I’ve neglected a few other things in my life. So for now, the next steps are 1. clean 2. rest my hand 3. Christmas! 4. Edit, edit, edit, edit.

Congrats to my writing buddies whether you won or not –  I think you’re all stars!


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