Friday, November 20, 2015

[NaNoWriMo 2015] Musing from the Winner's Circle

Today, the 20th of November, the validation process for novels begins. You can copy and paste your entire 50k words into a browser window and validate whether or not you made it over the goal line. I did that today because there's no point necessarily in waiting. On day 20, I am up over 55k. Does this surprise me? Not really. I finished 50k in 17 days, which apparently is about normal for me looking back at my previous NaNo successes. I've been doing this, off and on, for eleven years. My first win was in 2005 after being introduced to the concept by my friend, D. E. Morris. You may remember her as the author of Age of Valor: Heritage which you can purchase on Amazon. So every year around this time, I marshal my forces to write something new and I learn or relearn three things.

ONE: I can write quickly.
Sometimes, because I don't necessarily write every day, I forget exactly how quickly I can write if I buckle down and just spend some time writing. I finish a short novel in a little over two weeks. Not exactly a common feat. From brain to page in 17 days isn't bad. Relearning this every year helps me to figure out exactly how long it would legitimately take me to finish a first draft. Second drafts are usually variable because it depends on what I need to do to the manuscript.

TWO: I enjoy interaction
This has been less of a thing since I joined a writing group, but the interaction and general community feeling make me feel some warm fuzzies. Does this mean I need the validation of having someone else telling me to go, go, go all the time? No. I am perfectly capable of getting my work done without someone looking over my shoulder, but having someone to share the joy and the pain with is kinda helpful. It reminds me not to keep it bottled up inside only to come out after someone has poked me the wrong way one too many times.

THREE: The breakneck pace might be a bit much for me to sustain all the time.
The flip-side of knowing I can write quickly, I also have to remember that this pace is not meant to be an all the time thing. I write something between 3k and 5k a day most days because I'm trying to finish the manuscript in as little time as possible. Settling into a pattern of writing 2k-3k a day is more doable over the long term. As little as 1k is good sometimes, as long as I'm doing some kind of forward motion.

All in all, another successful year. There is still work to be done, but that's fine. There is always work to be done.

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