Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My NaNoWriMo 2011 Experience

I'm an official NaNoWriMo winner; as in I wrote 50,000 words by November 30th on an original work that I didn't start before November 1st.

I decided to just write from the beginning and see where it took me. No character sketches, no outline, no notes, not nothing, just one word in front of the other.

What I learned was:

1) I can actually do it, write a longer form story.  I've written short stories, but never anything longer than I could write a first draft of in a day.

2) I actually liked quite a lot of what I wrote.  I enjoyed the dialog between my characters.  I put my super-powered protagonist through several challenges and I enjoyed the way he interacted with his family and friends.  I wrote a bit of romance into the story, and it helped serve the plot as well as the

3) There is a lot that I need to really fix. I really wasn't happy with the last 10,000 words.  I think that what is going to work best is to end the story at my 40,000 word point in the draft and flush some things out.  I should be able to use some of the last 10,000 if I ever write a sequel.  I need to really punch up what I think is going to be the end.  I like the character of the protagonist's daughter, but I left her out of the last half of the book. I think I need to look at what I want that character to do and flush her out more.

4) I can write 4,000 decent 1st draft words in a day.  These are days off of work, but with my typing speed, that's not bad.

So will I do it again next year? I definitely want to.

So what am I going to do with the 1st draft of my novel (more of a novella, I think)?  1) In a week or so, I want to take an edit pass just for grammar and spelling... maybe reword where I've used the same word too close together.  Essentially what I'd call light editing.  When I do, I'd like to take some notes for the next pass.

Since NaNoEdMo (edit for 50 hours) is in March, I'm thinking that will be when I make that pass. I think after pass number 2 it will be ready for beta readers.  Then I'll take an edit pass keeping their comments in mind.

After that, I don't know.  I may self publish it in e-book for the exercise of it.  This will depend on how well it is received.  I may work on one of the two other book ideas I have.  If I can get into a two book a year cycle, that would be great even if I don't do anything serious with them.

If you want to check out my progress over NaNoWriMo, you can go to my NaNoWriMo page.

You can check out some of my first draft samples from my book here.

If the samples aren't enough, you can find the pdf of all 50,000 words here, I'll be updating it as I make changes.

Finally, I have my book in a competition at Curiosity Quill's NaNo-Virtuosos Competition, feel free to read a short sample and comment (negative and positive comments are welcome) here.  You can find all 31 works in the contest here.  You can scroll down to vote.

Thanks so much to everyone who everyone who encouraged me.  It really was a lot of fun.

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