It's the second of November! When did that happen? Are you already into your NaNoWriMo project?
If you are a writer, you will very quickly hear about NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. It's simple, you just have to write 50,000 original words on one project in one month. How hard can that be? (She laughs as she remembers the two years it took her to write the first draft of her first novel).
Last year was the first year I've ever done it, and while I did make the 50,000 it was by the skin of my teeth. The month really did not go as I planned (for more read my end post). My big lesson to anyone is definitely spend time planning or at least getting to know your characters before you start writing. Even now is not too late!
(Annoyingly, I've finished the first draft of The Five Day Writer's Bootcamp, which perfectly covers preparing you to tackle a new project, which would be super useful for everyone doing NaNo, but it's not edited or ready for general consumption, so you'll just have to wait until next year for it to help you.)
Last year for NaNoWriMo I successfully did my 50,000 words for After The Winter, my 1920's Romance. I was quite proud of that story, and thought I was near the end. However, I've just spent another three weeks trying to fill in the gaps, writing nearly everyday, and I'm still not finished. 50,000 words is not a novel.
I've been saying to myself, probably for the last week: Oh, I might be able to finish it today! Hopefully today is the day that comes true :D Maybe tomorrow. Does anyone else find the finish of a book always feels just another scene away until you start writing, and a few scenes in it is still just a scene away?
NaNoWriMo is a wonderful kick up the pants to get you writing. If you are stuck putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, this is the challenge for you. However, sadly a lot more work needs to happen before you even finish your first draft, let alone redrafting, editing, polishing etc.
Why am I writing this discouraging post? Largely to make myself feel better for not having turned last year's project in a published book yet, but also to help you stay on track. It is an awful thing to cross what you think is the finish line, only to find that you are actually only halfway through.
It feels like forever since I've given you a general update, so here goes:
- I've finished the first drafts of The Nice Guys' Guide To Online Dating Profiles, but it is sitting on a shelf for a bit because I need to re-write sections to be less academic.
- I've also finished the first draft of The Five Day Writer's Bootcamp, Book 2 in the series after Retreat. However, that is also sitting /third edit etc.).
- For the past two weeks I've been writing After The Winter in the morning, and doing a thorough edit of Sally Hunt Vs. God in the afternoon (It is truly amazing how much I've improved my craft in a year and a bit since I finished the first draft of this). I'm hoping to finish both of these off this weekend.
- Then I'm moving to spending the mornings re-writing A Little Bit Of Leaven to smooth it out and make it more readable to the modern reader, and the afternoons editing The Nice Guys' Guide, or perhaps After the Winter.
As such, I'm not going to be doing NaNo this year because I'm not going to be working on anything completely new. It is definitely time I polished things up and got them out there into the world, rather than just telling you about them all. So, hopefully within a month, there will be more online from me for you to enjoy.
Anyone signed up for NaNoWriMo?