The enthusiasm, the doubt, the late nights, early morning coffee and word races, an incredible combination that had me going through the whole of November with only one goal in mind – to write 50,000 words that would be part of a novel. Well, let’s call it a story. Novel has such a scary sound to it.
The last week of NaNoWriMo was the hardest. Having the end in sight, I became impatient to finish, to reach those magic 50,000 words that would make me a winner. I began to grow afraid and at the same time I was less willing to write. One day I even stopped altogether, took a break and went out to see friends. But there was a nagging voice inside me saying, you should be writing. It’s a tough thing to quiet, that inner voice, so I went back to my laptop, even though I would have done almost anything else instead.
I reached my goal on the 28th, two days before the allotted time. Just to see that word count bar go from green to purple it was an incredible emotional moment. I had done it, one month of commitment to writing, through great days and not so great days, just sitting down and writing word after word even if reading them afterwards made me want to delete many of them. The story is not finished but things are slowly moving into place and this month hopefully will see me write The End on that last page.
At the moment I feel a little lost. After investing a lot of energy and time in the story, now when the challenge has come to an end I feel both sadness and relief. The pressure to write had lessened and I feel like a small weight has been lifted from my shoulders but at the same time I know I should keep going until all the words are there and then put the story away for a while before the big editing process begins.
Here’s what I learned from my first NaNoWriMo experience:
1. Writing is not difficult, but writing beautifully and in a linear way definitely is.
2. An idea is enough for a start.
3. I couldn’t have done an outline anyway, never tried it because I never wrote a novel before. So yes, I’m a bit of a pantser.
4. Fear of writing badly can be conquered by saying “nobody will see this anyway until it’s done”. It worked for me.
5. Having supportive friends and family helped immensely. Sometimes it was the only thing that kept me going. Yes, my blogging friends, that includes you too.
6. This was the first time I allowed myself to write without looking back and changing things. Well, not major things anyway.
7. Some surprising scenes made their way into the book, and I had no idea I was going to write them until the moment I did.
8. I enjoyed writing the scary parts the most.
9. Writing dialogue is not my favorite part but describing feelings is.
10. My story belongs to the “dark fantasy” genre.
A few statistics about my story – I’ve used the word:
telephones – 2 times
weary – 4 times
king – 24 times
pain – 25
cold – 33 times
rain – 35 times
cut – 65 times
death – 32 times
forest – 104 times
hands – 110 times
no – 152 times
tree – 254 times
the – 3309 times