NaNoWriMo kicked my butt. It was harder this year. Much harder.
Last year, I had an idea, and just started writing. I hadn’t thought much about POV, or conflict, or anything else. I just felt my way through the process. I picked up a couple of books on writing during that month, and I know that they helped. Instinctively, I started keeping to one POV at a time, and the scenese definitely improved as I went. I did a lot of cutting and editing later on. A LOT.
Last year, I had more time. With a breastfeeding baby under 1, plus a 3 year old and a 3-day-a-week job, you’d think I wouldn’t. But I had naptimes, and after bedtime. And I was already used to sleep deprivation.
This year, I have RWA, which ate 2 of my writing days (Saturday meeting and a Wednesday crit group). I had an extra day of work every week, plus encouraged overtime at work. I was used to crashing by 10, and my 1.5 year old and 4 year old keep pushing their bedtimes back. And, because I knew what I was doing, I was more fearful about how it would turn out.
I probably only wrote on about 20 of the 30 days in November. I was able to crank out lots of words per session, luckily, averaging over 1000 words an hour. I wrote myself into a corner once and stalled out for a day (a day off work no less, which should have been super-productive!). When I restarted, it began with “Starting over. The last two chapters never happened.” So, probably 7-10,000 words will hit the chopping block soon (maybe even tonight). Several nights, I typed until I was nodding off at the keyboard (literally)…it should be fun to see whether I ended those scenes with complete sentences or not.
By Sunday night, I had 46,500 words. I didn’t get to my laptop until almost 9pm. Thank heaven for high school typing class, because I cranked out 3500 in 2.5 hours! And then NaNo’s website tried to tell me I was 100 words short. So I typed another 100 words. And then it told me I was out of time. Except my clock said 11:40. Guess I was in the wrong time zone.
The end result is, I have maybe 1/3-2/5 of a first draft of a novel. I’m still “Sweating” for another 40 days or so, and hopefully I’ll have 80-90000 words in a first draft by then. Like my first novel, don’t know if this one could ever sell. But it’s fun to write so far. And I have a bit more critique group support for my edits on this one.
Would I do this again next year? Maybe. November is hard. I like the idea of the June SocWriMo (or whatever it is called). We’ll see.