Post NaNoWriMo Analysis

by | Nov 25, 2014

At the end of last month, I asked the question, ‘can you write a novel in one month?’ I signed up for NaNoWriMo and three weeks in to November, I hit the 50,000-word target. I won’t lie; I went hell for leather on the writing front. I was so nervous about how it would go that I ended up over compensating by rushing through the first couple of weeks. Looking back, I could have gone at a steadier pace and given myself another week to think more deeply about the plot, taking into account what I wanted to achieve from my story.


The main thing is I answered my question with a resounding ‘yes’. I did it and I am very proud of that fact. What I will say though, is that at the end of this challenge I do not have a novel by any stretch of the imagination, just a story, with a definite beginning, middle and end. I know I left out big chunks along the way and areas that need expanding and developing. My target now is to go back to the beginning and fill in those gaps. My novel is a young adult/new adult story (because of the swearing and rude bits it’s probably more new adult!), so I am looking at 60-70,000 words max. This is definitely achievable for me, working from the 55,000 words I currently have.

If you remember, I shared the first chapter. I knew this wasn’t the right place to start the story, so now I am working on that, focusing on whose story I want to tell and how I want to fit everything around that. It is coming together in my mind now that I have the story laid out in full and I guess that is the beauty of getting everything onto paper so quickly.

The fact that I have a new story to work on is a major achievement for me. That was my goal, so at least I can say that Nano was worth it. I had a great time too and I discovered a group of writers who meet in a coffee shop in my town every Monday, mainly during November, but continuing after the challenge has finished. I was brave enough to join them, having shied away from any writing groups in the past. I like the fact that at this group, everybody works on their own thing. There are no challenges or writing prompts and no reading out your work. Everyone is there to write their own novel, but whilst sitting beside other writers and socialising and drinking coffee in between. The group is very encouraging and for me, it is a good way to make sure that I keep up the momentum.

I have enough work to keep me busy for the next year at least now and as long as I can fit it all in on top of my copywriting work I’ll be fine! Without the deadline looming over my head, who knows? I will just have to see how I get on.

I’m sharing this for What I’m Writing.

Writing Bubble


  1. mytravelmonkey

    Amazing work Nikki. That is some writing. You must be proud of yourself and at least now you can go back and fill in the gaps, tweak and build on the 50,000 words you’ve already written

    • Nicola Young

      Thanks, yes. It’s all about keeping going from now on.

  2. maddy@writingbubble

    Congratulations! 50,000 words in less than three weeks is a massive achievement! I managed 15,000 in July and that felt like a stretch for me so I can only take my hat off too you. Great that you now have something to work with for a year and your writer’s group sounds fab! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting xx

  3. redpeffer

    Yes, brilliant to achieve 50,000 words in such a short time frame. I like the sound of your writer’s group too.

  4. Mummy Tries

    You should be so chuffed for exceeding your target Nikki, and well in time for Sunday’s deadline! It’s interesting what you’ve said about not having a novel, but at least you have the bare bones of one and something to start working with. Your group sounds fab. What a roaring success 🙂 #whatimwriting

  5. Emily Organ

    Well done with NaNo, it’s incredible to write that many words in just a few weeks. And now you have something to work with which is brilliant. Your writing group sounds interesting, I always thought you had to read your work out at these things and I find that idea completely terrifying. It will be interesting to hear what tips you pick up from your fellow writers. Good luck with the rest of the book!

  6. sophieblovett

    Congratulations! That’s a helluva lot of words, and it’s only natural that they’ll need some time and attention to shape them now. Your cafe writing group sounds great. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing similar in my little town, but I imagine it’s lovely to have that sense of community. For now I’ll just keep on making the most of #whatimwriting 🙂 x

    • Nicola Young

      I found then via the nanowrimo website under my region. Each area organises write-ins, where you can meet up with other local participants. Some of them have been meeting up for years and i never would have known had i not signed up to do it.

      • sophieblovett

        I am on our local NaNo forum – I signed up a couple of years ago but didn’t get very far… I keep looking out for something in Brixham but at the moment the nearest one’s a half hour drive away! And I don’t drive… Maybe I’ll just need to set one up 🙂

        • Nicola Young

          That’s a shame. You should set up your own. You advertise it on the site, then you can print off one of the little signs and prop it on your table so people can find you. If not, it is a definite conversation starter!

  7. deskmonkeymummy

    The writing group sounds amazing. The thought of having to read something out or being set prompts at the more formal meetings scares me. I know our local NaNo group meet up through the year as well and I keep in touch with them via Facebook.
    Congrats on the win and I’m glad you got something out of it. It can go either way – some people find it frustrating because they write for writing’s sake, other people end up with a very rough manuscript but go on to find out new things about their characters. Winning NaNo is a big deal and doing it in such a short amount of time is excellent. x


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