NaNoWriMo: A survival story

Never again. Never, I tell you.

I successfully completed National Novel Writing Month. The finished product, entitled Iron Jewel (which has been added to the “Works in Progress” page, if you’d like to know what it’s about) ended up being about 12,000 words short of my goal of 90,000 words (the final count was 78,632 words). Unlike with Shadowdemon, I let each chapter stand as it was, rather than go back and edit it when I had the whim to do so. I have a feeling I’ve got quite a bit of editing to do in my future.

But I swear, I am never doing that again.

It’s not the novel itself. I actually think that it’s when I’m most productive, trying to cram an entire novel into a short period of time. It forces me to immerse myself in the story, in the characters, and the end result is a better piece than I could have produced if I’d just picked at it, bit by bit. And I’m quite proud of myself-the length of this novel would fit in well with the expected length for most novels of this genre (they’re typically between 75,000 and 90,000 words long). Although my one complaint is the last few chapters probably turned out better than the rest of them because it took a while to get into the swing of things.

No, my issue is with the timing. For most people, Annual Enrollment is probably going on now (or has just finished). We have…five? Five clients who hold Annual Enrollment right now. Top that off with Medicare’s Annual Enrollment, and November is the Month From Hell at work. Not exactly the best time to tackle a 50,000 word novel. Add that to my own issue of not being able to leave a chapter unfinished, and yeah, it wasn’t all that fun. I drank a lot of hot chocolate and my cats got ignored a lot.

But, as I stated earlier, it helped solidify the writing process for me. While I’m anxious to jump right into editing, but I promised myself a much needed break. A break in which I can catch up on my reading (all I read this month was crap) and doing some crits for my writing group. Maybe catch up on MI-5 or the remaining two Millenium trilogy movies. Or hit the movie theatre for lots and lots of movies. I just learned that my fave film from SIFF this year, Tyranosaur, will be released December 16th. Plus A Dangerous Method, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Sleeping Beauty, and all the ones I mentioned in my previous movie post. I’m practically salivating just thinking about it.

And it gives me a little time to mourn…yes, mourn. It’s a little sad when I reach the end of a story. I’ve spent a month getting to know these characters, and now I have to let them go, so to speak. Send them out into the world, make their own way. I’m looking forward to starting the editing process, see what else they have to tell me, and moving on to the next story in the series, which, I hope, will prove to be as complex and lengthy as this one.

If I’m completely honest with myself, though, what I’m really looking forward to is writing something outside the genre. Writing Vanishing took a lot out of me in so many ways, and it’s time I tried it again.

After I take a nap. A very long nap.

*image via

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