Hello! I won Nanowrimo!
(Also happy first day of Blogmas!)
I ended up hitting my 50k word goal on November 25th, so the past five days I’ve been schmoozing. The 25th, a Sunday, I wrote over 9000 words. My original goal for that day was 45k, but I got to that point and decided I was on a roll, so I just… kept going!
I was a bit of a Nano Rebel this year – I rewrote a plot idea instead of starting fresh. All the words were new, though. Also, this is the first year where I tried any sort of outlining and prep. And I must say, it did help.
I almost must say that I very much enjoy improvising. I ended up throwing all sorts of things in that weren’t in the original outline, and I ended up reaching the end of the outline around 40k words. Sooo the last 10k words were all improvised, but it ended up working out well.
My Writing Process
This year, as mentioned, I outlined. But, the way I would get in 1000 or 2000 (or 9000) words in a day was by doing word sprints, both with friends and by following along on the NanoWordSprints twitter account. Two fifteen minute sprints would have me spouting out 2000 words. They were my life line. I also sprinted with a buddy, Sarah @WindsorWrites! She and I zoomed through some words during my lunch break at work, which was kind of a surreal thing to be knee-deep in computer code, pop into a fantasy world of my own creation, and then fall back into the reality of if statements and for loops. It was fun though! I had a good time.
Unexpected (Happy) Surprises
Something else happened this Nano which totally made my entire month. As I mentioned earlier, I’m rewriting a plot that I’ve used before. This plot I actually thought up the fantasy world for back when I was 18ish, so a decade ago now – at the time, I drew maps for it, came up with countries and politics and religions and character sketches, so on and so forth. I did a lot of world building for this thing.
And then I lost it all. I lost the notebook I wrote everything in during a move. I haven’t seen it in years. So I’ve been rewriting this plot based on a world that only existed in my memory. I never rewrote any of the world building, in hopes of finding the notebook, because I remembered really liking what I had made.
And then, maybe 35 or 40k into the book, a memory popped into my head.
Past me had at one point, joined a world building writing contest. I found the website where I joined, and logged into my account, and… there it all was. All of my worldbuilding was there. All my maps, all my sketches, all my religion diagrams. All of it.
I about peed.
I was in the middle of a writing sprint, so I used the word count post for that sprint to share my blathering joy at finding my worldbuilding. Seriously, I was about ready to cry, I was so happy.
After I won, I bought myself a Nanowrimo Winners shirt, which I’ve never done before, despite winning Nanowrimo a total of four times now. Why? Because this is the first time, the first time I’ve ever finished a draft. I finished. a. draft. And I actually like how it turned out! So I splurged on a shirt, not only because I won, but because I actually wrote a book. It’s currently a shitty book that needs a buttload of editing, but it’s a book, dammit. I wrote a book!
During all my prep, I bought a story binder among other things. During December and January, I plan on updating the binder with all the worldbuilding that I’ve now regained, and add new character sheets, yada yada. I want to make the binder an actual source of information for the story.
Another plan, which is weirdly related to my job, is to finished draft two by Nanowrimo next year. I want to start a fresh story next year, and I won’t be able to let myself unless I have another draft of this done first. And it’s tied to my job because I had a meeting with my supervisor the other day, and he asked what personal goals I had, and I mentioned writing a second draft. Soo he helped me detail out a bit of a game plan for it. So yay, now my boss knows I’m a nerd, woo.
So! This has been my most successful Nanowrimo ever. I won, I finished a draft, I have a decent amount of worldbuilding and reference, I have plot outlined for the second book, I actually liked what I wrote, and I finished early, which I have never, ever done.
I. Had. So. Much. Fun!
If you participated in Nanowrimo this year, how did you do? Did you get to 50k? Did you get to a different goal instead? Let me know!