It’s official. The November craziness of National Novel Writing Month is over. My gray progress bar turned gradually to blue as I accumulated words, and 50,444 words later, it flashed green–I won! Then when the validation process opened up on Nov. 25th and I uploaded my words, it turned purple with a big “WINNER!” inside it. Hurray!
It was an exhausting month. I set my goal at 3,000 words a day (about 12 double-spaced pages), which seemed a humongous amount to me. There were days where the writing flowed and I did it in two sessions, and days where I kept forcing myself back to the computer again and again, plodding away until I made it. I finished by the 22nd, as planned, but I had hoped to keep writing in snippets even while we had visitors. I was surprised at how quickly I dropped it all when I uploaded my official count! I wasn’t entranced with the story anymore, and had no time to think about additions and revisions, so my brain was quite ready to shut off.
It was quite a lesson in unexpected areas, though. I purposefully started out without a plot, and while I discovered my characters along the way and let the story grow organically, I discovered that I needed a lot more time to ponder before I wrote. I now have a few off-the-wall tangents in the story, most of which will be tossed out later, but there are one or two that were both interesting and relevant, and I may keep them. I also discovered that I write easily when I’m chattering inside my character’s head, but while I may learn about my character, it sure doesn’t move the story forward. Too much inner dialogue means someone needs to have a fight!
I’m heartily glad it’s over, but it’s time to move on to other things while this story chills until re-writing time. And yes, I’ll probably do it again next year. I guess I like a challenge–what else can I say?
For a bit more detail, see two posts at my Suite101 blog.