Yes, it’s the last week of Nano, the last Wednesday of NaNo, and today is the penultimate DAY of NaNo.
And I’m a winner! YES! I did it!
I completed 50,000 words in a month. Two years in a row. Pretty cool.
This last week went pretty well until I hit a major editing wall with Tamerna. I hit a section where I needed to do a LOT of deleting and I couldn’t quite get over the hump of how that would affect my word count. Finally, I just copied and pasted that section into a different document and that gave me the kick I needed to get editing.
Tamerna is now 6 labeled chapters long (chapters 1-6, clever, I know). I’ve started editing 7, but haven’t completed it yet. A few nights ago after work, I was going to edit but felt really overwhelmed by how many words I had left to write. I’ve added 21 pages to Tamerna since I started editing, but I KNEW that there were more words in there. I have deleted an awful lot of content as well, so I knew the 6,000+ words that were counted were not all of them because I had to make up for what I’d deleted.
So, I spent two hours comparing the Nov 1st section to the current section. I deleted all of the same word phrases between the two, only leaving the new stuff.
When it was all done, I had 11,272 words.
I’ve added ELEVEN THOUSAND words to my novel! I FOUND 5,000 words I hadn’t counted. I couldn’t even believe that was true. What initially felt like a waste of time activity turned out to be rather incredible in the end. Not only did it launch me to only 200 words shy of winning, but it felt like a numerical justice to the amount of work I’ve put into editing this manuscript over the past month, not to mention all the worldbuilding and behind the scenes things I’ve been doing.
My novel is stronger, it’s longer, it reads more smoothly, things are already coming together better than they were before.
I’ve also recruited a number of beta readers to start reading through the manuscript. Part of this is for the reading help, which I need, but the other part is to help keep me on track now because I NEED to stay ahead of them and their beta reading for me. Editing is such a beast of a project, especially as what were my first 50 pages when I started are now my first 71 pages. It just keeps growing!
On one hand, watching the page count grow is fun, but on the other, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how much I have left to do. Editing 205 pages vs 226 is crazy! I tried to keep track of the percentage I’ve finished, but that keeps changing as I edit. It’s a great process and I’m actually enjoying it, but there’s still a LOT ahead of me. I do feel like it’s turning into a book worth reading now, even though others who read my first draft assured me it was already worth reading. I’m not entirely sure I agree, but that’s here nor there.
So, now that NaNo has come to a close, it’s time to look forward. What’s next?
Certainly continuing to edit is ahead of me. I have a cousin who I’ve heard is a spectacular artist, so I’ve got to get ahold of her to ask if she’d be willing to sketch out some images of my races.
I started a new project this month as well, a poetry-based devotional, so I need to fidget and fuss with that until it looks good. I’m also helping out friends with critiques and reviews. I’ve got plenty of projects to work on, so I’ll be keeping busy with writing.
I also have some author interviews lined up for the next nine months or so – some from my writing group and some from books I’ve read and reviewed, so look for those. It’s all a matter of keeping ahead of what I have and trying not to take on too much more. The best thing for me to do personally is to WRITE THEM ALL DOWN so I know what I have time for and what I don’t.
Congrats to all my friends who have won NaNo this year and to all the strangers who tried and succeeded. To those who tried and failed, this is not a reflection of you as a person or your worthiness. Push on, keep writing, and if you really want to, there’s always next year. Remember that not everyone is cut out for the intensity of a challenge like NaNoWriMo and it’s okay if you’re one of them.
Until we meet again, keep your chins up and your eyes peeled for inspiration wherever you are.