Ellen tries to write a novel #4 (or what I've learned from NaNoWriMo)

Ellen tries to write a novel #4 (or what I've learned from NaNoWriMo)

Good morning everyone.

I’ve been gone for a little bit but it was all for a good cause! I’ve finished the first draft of this novel!!
In case you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s an international writing challenge. You try to write 50.000 words in the month of November. (more info here.)

And I did it! I got myself an empty Word document and started writing. (Once again starting over with my main writing project. This must have been the 7th time…) The first 20k was slow going but once I reached the midway point, I got pretty competitive :D. I had to reach 50.000.

I wrote the words “The End” on Monday the 26th which was surreal in itself and then went back to start filling in scenes I’d skipped because I didn’t have the right information or because I hadn’t been in the right mood to write them.

On Thursday the 29th (it was just past midnight and I was pissed the NaNo website counted an entire extra day 😉 ) I made it to 50k. (The official word count is 50.022)

After staring at this story for a month, I’ve decided to put it aside for a couple of weeks. I might start revising over the Christmas break, or maybe even next year, I honestly don’t know right now. I do know that I still love it, possibly even more than before November.

Some things I’ve learned during NaNoWriMo:

  • Goals and deadlines are scary but they work
  • Stories change as you’re writing them, no matter how much you plan
  • Sometimes your characters take over and all you can do is write what they want you to write
  • You don’t have to write every day but it helps
  • Once it’s been put on paper, you can fix it.

It still needs a lot of work, but it exists outside of my head. Draft #1 is done. It will only get better from here…

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