You’ve probably seen plenty of Facebook statuses or tweets about rising word counts for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this November. For those who don’t know, the general point is to write 50,000 words in thirty days.
I’ve ‘won’ NaNoWriMo in 2008 and 2010, but I had to drop out in 2009 after being made redundant at work, and 2011 and 2012 were too busy as I was working on my teacher training qualification.
Despite the fact I’ve got a million and one things to do, I decided to have another go this year. I started out trying to write one book that I’ve had the idea for since 2010, but by day five, I knew it wasn’t going to work. I had to force myself to sit down and write, which is never a good thing – and it’s not a good way to try and write a book over 30 days.
So I changed my idea. I’d already plotted the then-unnamed sequel to The Necromancer’s Apprentice, and I decided to give that a go instead. I managed to pull a few thousands words out of the bag during the first weekend in November to get me up to speed, and I’ve been nicely rattling along ever since. I crossed the 50k word mark yesterday afternoon, although the story is far from done.
The best parts about working on the NaNoWriMo are;
- I’ve been able to get a huge chunk of the book committed to paper (well, Word). Sometimes working up the motivation to write can be difficult for me, but once I’ve started, the momentum carries me along.
- I now have a name for not only the sequel, but also book three in the Necromancer trilogy. This one is The Necromancer’s Rogue, while the last one will be The Necromancer’s Mage.
- I’ve managed to organise my time more effectively, so I’ve had time to edit book reviews for the academic journal I work on, write my NaNoWriMo, produce weekly Friday flashes, and contribute to The Scions of Sundavia, the fantasy serial I’m working on with Nerine Dorman. I now know I really can pull the words out of thin air if I want to.
- I’ve been able to further explore the world of The Necromancer’s Apprentice, extending the lore while delving into the politics between the Underground City and the City Above. I’ve been able to use my time in the Paris catacombs to good effect!
- I’ve also learned that I can’t write it I have an idea plotted to within an inch of its life, but I find writing flows so much better if I at least have a rough idea where I want the story to go before I even start.
The worst parts about working at such a pace have been;
- Not having the luxury of going back to fix continuity errors for fear of lowering my word count, instead of increasing it.
- Sometimes having to force the words when I haven’t felt in the mood for writing, but haven’t been able to take a day off.
- Having to put my PhD work aside to complete it.
I’m glad I’ve finished, particularly a day early, and I’ll be continuing the novel, leaving edits and rewrites until it’s completely, but at least now I can write at a more leisurely pace!