A novel rough draft is like bread dough; you need to beat the crap out of it for it to rise – Chris Baty


Well, I did it: I finished NaNoWriMo.

At 50 107 words, I surpassed the goal (by 107 words, but still! Yay for being ambitious!).

Winner Certificate

This is the fancy certificate they give you at the end.

I almost feel like I cheated.

Somewhere around 30 000 words, I realized that I was approaching my target word count, but I still had way too many plot points that needed to be fleshed out. So the last 20 000 words make up a bare-bones structure of the second half of the novel: the important moments that had to be written, but not of the connecting tissue (side note: I’ve found that people use the phrase “connecting tissue” a lot when describing novel writing, and it’s a comparison that both disgusts and amuses me).

From the mid-way point to the end, I wrote the main events, the BIG moments in my protagonist’s adventure. My novel has a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a handful of random scenes in between. Some of them are rambling and I know they’ll end up being tossed. Others have potential but I didn’t have the time to expand them in this draft. And still others weren’t necessarily important, but they were scenes that were so vivid in my head, scenes that appeared seemingly out of nowhere, fully-formed, and I would have been an idiot if I didn’t write them down right away.

Either way: I’m done. I wrote 50 000+ words in 28 days (the website calculates my average as being 1789 words per day). Some days I wrote 3000+ words in one shot, other days I just barely made my self-imposed goal of 2000 words.

And now for the fun part: editing.

I’m going to let this sit for a while. I’m going to work on the sequel to my first novel, and in a few months, I’ll come back to this NaNoWriMo project and I’ll edit the pants off of it. Who knows: maybe it will even be published one day.

EDIT: This post, talking about being a NaNoWriMo winner, is also my 50th blog post. If that’s not symbolic (or fitting, at least), I don’t know what is.

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about:

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