52,000 Words and Counting
52,000 words and counting. 16 working chapters. The novel continues to be an exploratory journey, each chapter bringing new connections I wouldn’t have thought of before now.
I’ve written about 30-45% more new content this month and have finally found a writing schedule that works for me. Two hours spent in the late morning at a local coffeeshop or library sets me up for the rest of the day. I have been able to get so much done between 9am-1pm, and it honestly is the best part of my day.
A few takeaways from 2k16 NaNo:
- Go to local write-ins if you can. I attended write-ins at least once every week, which were helpful when a few writing days had been skipped over.
- Check to see if your local library has a scheduled NaNo event and if they have private study rooms available. All of my local libraries had a revolving NaNo write-in, so I could have technically gone to a library within the city every single day specifically for NaNo. I went to one where I was the only person who showed up, meaning I was able to snag the last packet of Swiss Miss hot chocolate.
If you don’t like the idea of going to a write-in with a bunch of people you don’t know, most libraries have study rooms you can reserve for a couple of hours. Take advantage of that. I got so much work done the first time I did this, I’ve decided to make it a regular thing.
- Break the rules. Don’t feel bad about it. You don’t have to start a new novel every year. You don’t have to write 1,667 words a day. You don’t have to reach 50,000 words. You don’t have to read all those messages in your inbox. You don’t have to participate in your local chapter. Make NaNo work for you, not the other way around. In the words of Captain Barbossa, “… the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”
- Make a plan for December. If you’re completely finished with your novel, awesome. If you have a few edits to take care of or several more chapters to outline and write, make a conscious effort to address those things in December. Write it down. Commit to it. After writing 50,000 words, it makes sense to give yourself a break, but don’t let that breather turn into a sabbatical. Do the work until the work is done.
- Make or commission some fan art. Being a visual person, I love to see what I’m reading. While it’s all crystal clear in my mind, I love pictures. Even though I am working on my artistic skills, sometimes it’s just fun to find an artist whose style you admire and commission them to draw a scene or characters from your story. I think that is a very unique type of inspiration to keep you writing. You’re the creative genius behind it, you created these characters from nothing, and now you can see them.
Am I entirely finished with my novel? No. So what’s next? I’ll be going dark for December in a few days (#DarkDecember) – taking a break from social media to focus more on my writing, my blog, and my art. My novel’s completed draft will be ready by the end of the year, and I’m going to take a wild guess that it will be at least 70,000 words. The first round of edits will happen January – March, then I’ll be contacting my beta readers to check over it before I go through a second set of edits prior to submission. If that all works out, I’m thinking about writing a screenplay for the novel during next year’s NaNoWriMo.
Lots of plans, but for now, I’ll take a breather and enjoy my winner status. Thanks for another great year, NaNoWriMo.