NaNoWriMo has concluded. As a part of my diary series I’m covering the last several days of NaNo and looking back at the month. The experience is always a unique one and this one was no different.
Here we go…
Day 28: Sometimes good planning yields unexpected results. This was the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. For many, that means traveling or having a lot of guests. For me, not so much. It was also the first of four days off, though only three of those would be in November and available for NaNo. Still, I intended to celebrate the holiday with a big meal.
I started the day by sleeping late for the first time in awhile. I wrote some words after starting the meal. With so much I wanted to fit in through the day my sense of urgency was heightened. Meanwhile, in the novella, I could see threads coming together. The day yielded great results all the way around. Count: 4,114
Day 29: It was bitter cold and snowing, but I went for a walk anyway. I caught up some chores and moved about at a relaxed pace savoring the end of NaNo and the novella. As with the novel, my pace was slowing as I more considered, not my words, but the story itself. This was the day I reached the Climax. There’s always, for me, a touch of sadness that creeps in near the end of November when I know drafting will end and I’ll have to leave a story. That was part of the reason the novella came about. Count: 4,097
Day 30: The last day, and I was ready. I copied Thursday’s winning formula and wrote early, finishing the Climax. That was followed by a walk where I mulled the denouement. There was no snow falling, but there was snow on the ground and it was closer to freezing. In other words, it was perfect. The rest of the day wrote itself, as did the story. My fingers flew and I finished with time to spare. Count: 4,742
Word Count for the Month: 137,086
Each novel drafted, each NaNoWriMo, is a unique experience. This one was no different. Last year, for instance, I produced more words. In 2016 I was extremely sick. This year was about consistency.
I’d estimated the novel to be between 100-120K. It finished out at 107K. Still, to make 120K I figured out I needed to average 4K/day. Last year, of course, I averaged more than that so I knew it was possible. What was unique this year was that I wrote more than 4K every single day. I never fell below my average. I’m not sure how that happened. A sign of writing maturity? Not sure.
I do know I suffered a major depressive episode through the middle of the month. Mid month is always a slump for me when I’m drafting, but this was different, deeper, darker. In a strange twist, the story became my safe place. Thus, at a time when my numbers would typically slip, they stayed high.
Disadvantage became advantage. Like I say, each year is unique.
Most of the glitches were worked out of the NaNo site by the end of the month. Nicer graphics aside, I still find the newly designed site distancing, isolating. Instead of all the oversized graphics, why couldn’t they have put in a menu to scroll showing all my writing buddies and their progress? At a glance I could have seen how everyone was doing and clicked on each of them from there.
Fortunately, many of my writing buddies and I interacted elsewhere. I’ve never spent so little time on the NaNo site as I did this year. Most days I was there less than 60 seconds.
Still, I produced a novel, Protecting the Pneuma Key, and a novella, Zephtasha’s Big Day. They’re both deeply flawed, but more than enough for me to work with in the future.
Again this year, as I did last year and more informally before that, I’m now launching into what I call Short Story December. It serves to keep me sane through the holidays.