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.