I did it! I did it! I did it! Okay, I promise I’ll stop screaming like a schoolboy now. But I DID IT!! Okay, now I’m done. We are now in the month of December which means that NaNoWriMo is over (most of you just call it November) and although I had to push at the end I got my 50K words worth of novel done. It’s not the full novel yet, I still have a lot to put my protagonist and antagonist through before I am done. But it is more words of a novel than I have ever put down and is a huge step towards the ultimate goal of being published.
More valuable than the words on the page is what I learned about myself and my writing through the experience. Like many writers, I have trouble getting out of my own way and just writing. With a deadline and a goal I was less worried about the words themselves and more focused on getting words on the page. A rough draft is meant to be precisely that. Rough. The story and the writing will get smoothed out in editing. But only if you get a draft out of your head and onto the page first.
I also discovered a tremendous amount about my story. As I mentioned in the post Ready Set WriMo, I went into this event with an outline. It was a fairly bare bones outline and I found myself adding chapters and expanding as I went, particularly as it came to back story. Getting the words on the page and seeing where the story went has allowed me to find the layering I didn’t even know I was looking for.
I also learned that I can do this. I can take longer stories and start fleshing them out. That I can write the longer concepts. I gained a higher level of confidence in my writing as a result of this event, and had fun doing it.
And for the first time I feel like publishing a novel is not just a dream, but an obtainable goal. That lesson alone was invaluable and makes this experience so rewarding and gratifying.
I am excited to finish the first draft and for all of the steps that come next. And grateful to NaNoWriMo for giving me momentum and more tools for my toolbox. I also learned that writing a book can be just as fun as reading one.
remember the little peeps, as you get bigger, sir. Those that inspired, doubted, provided fodder, as well as emotion. remember, even, those who played a role in the characters you developed.