Post-November Challenge: to keep on going…

2013-Winner-Vertical-BannerCompleting the 50,000 words to achieve my ‘win’ for NaNoWriMo 2013 was, in the end, harder than I thought it would be. As I approached the magic number I was nearing a huge scene in the novel, one that I hadn’t quite worked out the details for. As a result, I found myself writing around it and becoming frustrated. The goal became the number of words, not the successful execution of the scene.

Those last 5,000 words were possibly the most difficult I encountered all month. I suppose this is where NaNoWriMo can fall down; 50,000 words is a great amount, but for me it doesn’t encapsulate a full first draft of a novel. I’m now left, in December, with a novel that is two third written awaiting a successful climax and resolution.

Having taken a few days off, I now need to get back to that troublesome scene and try and work out what happens next. Had I reached the scene earlier in the month, I would have ploughed on regardless and accepted that it would likely need a hefty rewrite. However, on the cusp of 50,000 words I wanted to end on a high. In the end, I could not. I left the scene half undone and still my brain hasn’t processed the solution to the corner I have written myself into.

Without the community spirit and competitive nature of November, I know that I will have to put in lot of willpower and self-motivation to keep writing this month. As mentioned in my previous post, as much as I want to lay down my metaphorical pen and just enjoy the festive spirit, in equal measure I really do want to finish this novel . I don’t want to have to come back to it in January and wonder what an earth I was writing. I need to continue the momentum, which means carrying on regardless. Only now, there is less of a reason for announcing my word count to the world, other than to prove that I’m doing it. 

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What do you do after NaNoWriMo when you haven’t finished that novel you set out to write? Take a well-deserved break, continue on or something else entirely?
Let me know in comments…

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4 responses to “Post-November Challenge: to keep on going…

  1. Hi, Cat,
    It’s funny how finishing NaNo leaves you on such a high and yet with a bit of a sense of anti-climax as well because you haven’t finished your novel, even if you’ve finished NaNo.

    This was my first time as you know, so having finished on Friday, I took the weekend off to recover and dash madly around doing Christmas things instead 😦 Then yesterday, I got back to editing my first draft of my first novel and I’m only in the very early stages of this but it was enough to get me back into the swing of things, without going too mad! I’ve done that today as well but I also decided that I would try my hand at a short story now for a bit as a complete change. I set myself a target of 1,000 words today which was a breeze after NaNo and it was fun doing something new. You could try a short story or you could just lower your sights with your NaNo novel and set a smaller goal for it every day so at least you’re still working on it but without all the pressure. By the end of this month, you might well have finished your first draft then?

    I think you do have to take it a bit easier and accept that you don’t need to rush. I’m back to work tomorrow and it will be mad now until the end of term so I know I need to prioritise. You have to work too so don’t overdo it and remember, your story is always there and you can always come back to it 🙂 Take care and keep checking in – we can still keep each other going, NaNo or not 😉

    • Thanks for the sensible advice and moral support. Anti-climax is definitely how it seemed this year, and now I have other goals I want to achieve before the year is out so I need to re-focus and perhaps put the novel to one side for a little bit.

      Working on a short story this week, so hopefully I’ll finish this and get that sense of accomplishment I missed out on for NaNo.

      Thanks for commenting. Good luck with your editing and short story writing!
      Cat x

    • Thanks for the reminder. I need to prioritise and put anything not urgent to one side until I’ve allowed myself a rest.
      🙂 Looking out for me as usual!

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