Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nano 2009 wrap up

Finished writing my 50,000 brand spanking new words today, which successfully completes my sixth successive nano. This year was a tough one, and I learned a big lesson. Do not write the second half of an unfinished novel when you have rather large problems with the first half and you've done zero planning on the second half. It is so much easier to start a novel for nano. There's all that room to explore and you can just go with the flow. Finishing a novel though... I was tying up threads when I wasn't even quite sure yet how everything comes together. I needed more thinking time than I could spare and still meet my word count.

That aside, every scene had a critical change, and every chapter ended on a cliffhanger, and my muses did not let me down once, but kept me going even when I thought for sure I had nothing to write next. Several things surprised me, though not in hindsight. Typical. The subconscious knows what it's doing. I so liked where the second half went, that when I start novel revisions, a good chunk of the first half will go out the window so I can work with the new directions I uncovered. I also left off tonight right before The Scene, aka the cool scene that made me want to write the novel to begin with, the scene I've been writing towards since day one, so continuing through the last bit to complete the first draft won't be hard.

Random things about this year's nano:
  • I had two zero word count days this go-round.
  • On the rest of the days, the least I wrote was 313 words. The most was 3149. Considering the previous years where I always had some 4-6K days, this was definitely the slow and steady year. I also finished later in the month than I've ever done. Only one day to spare.
  • I was never able to write before work or on lunch break. Most writing was done between 8-10 pm, and 99% of the time I was in bed by 10:30. Which is a really good reminder that 1) I can work a full-time job, 2) eat/walk the dog/do chores/watch movies/read/have a life, and 3) still write that much a day and be in bed on time.
  • The day's I felt most stuck ended up being the days I got the most words in.
  • I watched nine new movies during November.
  • Most listened to music while writing was James Newton Howard's score to The Water Horse.
  • This is the first nano I didn't skip dinner at least once.
  • The internet is by far my worst enemy for stealing away writing time. More discipline required in that department, yessiree.
All in all, a tough, frustrating, but ultimately quite satisfying nano session. I'll be able to use most of what I wrote, and my P.O.W. novel is *this* close away from a completed draft.


  1. Anonymous2:25 AM

    Yay! Well done. Now to finish it...

    I'm with you on it being easier to start a novel during nano that work on one that's already underway. Even though I hit the target with no trouble, I've never had a messier nano in terms of plot rework. FPS will need a big re-write once draft 1 is done.

    Stil, we've done it again. Six years in a row. Well done, pardner! :-)

  2. Yay for you! Sixth consecutive time? That's awesome. My hat's off to you. :)