I did it. Another 50,000 words in a month, and this time I did it along with thousands of people across the globe instead of by myself.
NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month) couldn’t have happened at a worse time for me. The first half of November was filled with 16+ hour workdays, then that was followed by a week in Aruba and a week in Cincinnati for a long overdue vacation and some Thanksgiving family time. All of these are fun things, but kind of get in the way of having enough time to commit at least 1,600 words a day to virtual paper. After falling about three days behind in the first week, I struggled to make up for lost time for the rest of the month. The little bar graph to track your progress on the official NaNoWriMo website was my constant tormentor.
Luckily the story itself turned out to be very fun to write or I would have never made it. My novel follows a young American teenager who after a premature death finds himself unexpectedly reincarnated as a incubus. However, the teenager is rather unequipped to be a spirit of seduction, as he spent his living days as a sexually frustrated virgin. It’s all a dark comedy/fantasy of sorts; I still haven’t figured out exactly what genre it belongs to.
So what did I learn? I need about an hour to get 1,000 words done if I’m not screwing around. Towards the end, I was barely fazed by writing 4,000 words in a day, which was liberating. I’m scared to reread what I wrote (I still haven’t even read the book I wrote in February). I don’t understand nearly as much about the English language as I thought I did. Charts are fun, but crossing off a list of word count goals is so satisfying. Writing on the beach is very nice.
I hit 50,000 words, but I cheated a little. 50,000 is a rather low word count for a novel, so even though I hit that point I still have some considerable writing left to do before I’m officially finished with the novel. I believe I have approximately 20,000 words to go to wrap this thing up satisfactorily.
Now the hard part comes as I have to see the novel to the bitter end. I also have a novella I’m quite excited about that I need to return to as well. Lots of writing to do. Then lots and lots of re-writing to follow.
Thanks NaNoWriMo, see you next year!