Post-NaNo Pledge

I’ve been languishing in my post-NaNo time by reading two 500+ page novels. It’s a revelation after spending so much time writing.

But, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with NaNoWriMo this year. I wanted to try and get an initial draft of my novel completed, and despite writing 50,000 words I did not accomplish this. Instead I have ended up with one third of a story that I’m having some doubts over. That isn’t to say I haven’t learnt anything from this year’s challenge, however.

  • Firstly, I’ve realised that I can write anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 words in a single day, and the lower estimate can be achieved even on a ‘bad’ day.
  • Secondly, I reaffirmed my belief that I am, most certainly, a planner. Without some form of outline for a novel I find myself lost. This also happens if I stray too far from my plan without making adjustments accordingly.
  • Thirdly, I have come to the understanding that in order to have any confidence in my writing I first need time to explore the world and characters I have created. I spent the first 35,000 words of NaNoWriMo doing just this, which is why I only got a third of the way through the story.
  • Finally, I have come to the conclusion that the reason I was disappointed with this year’s NaNoWriMo is because I didn’t feel that I was adequately challenged by the goal of 50,000 words. I tried to set my own target to finish the novel’s story and did not manage it; my expectations were at odds with the nature of NaNoWriMo in this respect.

So, one aspect of the challenge was completed, another part lies ahead of me still. Last year I just made the 50,000 word count, but again was left with an unfinished novel. I vowed then to complete it – with an unrealistic, but triumphant, goal of finishing the writing before 2012 had begun. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you will understand that this, also, did not happen. I actually didn’t finish writing my NaNo 2011 novel until October, a few days before this years NaNoWriMo!

I know better now than I did then. So this year I can make that promise to myself and truly believe in it. I honestly think I can finish this novel by the end of this year. It will take hard work and patience, but I am ready for that. The lessons I learnt in this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge have taught me how resilient I am and how I can accomplish them.

So this is my pledge.

I will complete the story of my novel before the start of 2013. 

I estimate that, writing as I am now – with fewer details and tangents from my devised plan – I can get to the end within about 20,000 – 30,000 words. That shouldn’t be too hard to tackle, given my new found ability to write at least 2,000 words on those days that are my own (4 out of every 7). Let’s see if I can redeem myself and make 2012 the year I finished writing the initial drafts of TWO novels!


11 responses to “Post-NaNo Pledge

  1. Pingback: Writer’s Chartography « The struggle to be a writer that writes

    • ‘Tis always nice to know there are others out there attempting the same ‘big dreams’: I wish you lots of luck, and hope that we can both celebrate finishing our first drafts by 30th Dec 2012!
      Thanks for reading,

    • Glad you like it. I think it might be tough, but I’m going to give it a go.

      Like you I (now) need to condense some of my chapters/sections to ensure I will ever make it to ‘the end’ of my story. I should have prepared like you did and figured this out before the first 30k – but oh well, I know now.

      Let’s hope we make it and have complete first drafts by the end of the year!
      Take Care x

  2. Cool, Cat. So, you said that of the story itself, you only wrote about 15,000 words? So, you have only 30,000 left, then? Yeah, that sounds very doable. I’m joining homefront’s cheerleading squad. GO CAT!!

    • Come to think of it, I actually have no idea how much of the real story I managed to cram into those first couple of weeks of NaNo. I think I was just particularly verbose and those details I wrote down then might just need spreading out over the course of the novel.

      I could get used to having my own cheer leading squad. 8o)

    • Well, that will certainly get me going! Keep up the cheering, I may need it in a few days when the novelty wears off again (wonder if there is any significance in the word ‘novel’ in ‘novelty’?)
      I’ll be blogging about my progress, so check back to see how I’m doing and keep me on track!
      Take Care, Cat

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