Monday, December 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I completed my first ever NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as a winner! (Click here if you have no idea what NaNoWriMo is.) That's right, I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. However, I feel my victory comes with an asterisk next to it. Not that I feel that diminishes my accomplishment, or even matters, but to some purists, it might. You see, I abandoned the novel I was working on after three weeks. It wasn't working, and continued writing wouldn't fix it. Everything needed reworking - not only was it spinning in circles, but it was also boring the pants off of me, which is unacceptable. Since replotting wasn't going to happen while I worked towards my 50K word goal, I decided to take the last week and 10K or so words and focus on writing a few short stories, something I've neglected to do for far too long.

That decision was the best thing for me. I finished three short stories that I think, with some editing, will have a pretty good chance of selling, something I can't say with the novel I was working on. Maybe someday I'll revisit the idea and give the plot a complete makeover, but I don't think that'll happen for awhile. I'll let the stink of it's current form flush from my mind first. Anyway, even if 10K or so words actually went towards short stories instead of a novel, at least they're still words of fiction that I can put to market. I feel that overrides everything else.

I'm not sure what my previous month-best output for words is, but I know it's never been over 45K words. For this reason, NaNoWriMo was a complete success. I now know I can pound out 50K words in a month. I just proved it. And, if I had an outline I was in love with, I could have done it much quicker than I did (I crossed the finish line on the absolute last day - November 30). Also, I learned again (someday I'll learn for good) that I can't write without a complete outline. I had the beginning and some of the middle done by November 1st, and I figured once I hit that spot, I'd be able to continue with no problem. Nope. I had no idea where I was going, and I didn't like it one bit. So not only did I "win" with word count, I also won with more information on myself, which is helpful. Besides, you never know; maybe some day those three short stories I penned to help me cross the finish line will end up in a novel compilation of short stories. When or if that happens, I can take the asterisk away for good. Not that it bothers me now ...