Monday, 28 November 2011

NaNoWriMo




So I've finished NaNoWriMo early, I had written my 50000 words by midmorning today. It felt like a real achievement! It's been hard work but I've been lucky to have had plenty of time to work on this and was determined from the start to try to finish early. So what have I learnt from the experience?

a) Although to date I have mostly written haiku, short poems and flash fiction, I have proven now that I can at least write enough words for a much bigger piece of work.

b) Just writing with the aim of reaching a given total word count is liberating, as it means you just write without worrying about the quality.

c) at the same time just writing like that means that I didn't get stuck on polishing the first paragraph to perfection only to find myself left with nothing to add to the one perfect paragraph (having said that, the first paragraph is probably the best paragraph in the novel!).

d) but oh, this isn't a novel. Not at all. It's a very rough first draft, which, with a lot of editing and polishing, may one day resemble something like a real novel that people might want to read. (So that's what I'll be doing over the next year or so!)

e) It's useful just to write through the plot dilemmas, in this draft I have characters talking about where they want the plot to go, at one point a character actually says she wishes the author could sort out a particular aspect of the plot (hang on a minute, maybe I should keep that! It could be a nice post-modernist twist to the novel!?)

f) I had always thought that I would find research so tedious it would put me off ever writing a novel but in fact I really enjoyed the research aspect. I think it would be more tedious for me if it was historic research where you need to get all the facts as accurate as possible. Given that my novel is speculative fiction set in the far future then I have a lot more freedom to do what I want with my research. (I've had great fun with extrapolating some elements of the contemporary world into the future!)

So now I'm going to catch up on all the research information I identified but never got the chance to read properly then I'll start looking at the 'novel' in a few weeks time and get it into some kind of decent shape.

And I won't keep talking about it, promise!

How was NaNoWriMo for you?

17 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Brilliant Juliet!! I'm still tapping away....

Anonymous said...

clap! clap! clap!

ashok

Titus said...

Huge congratulations!

Nat Hall said...

Congratulations, Juliet! It is an achievement in itself :-)

gabriellebryden said...

Excellent achievement. Researching is fun (a bit of a diversion for me most of the time - haha).

bunnits said...

Congratulations on finishing--especially on the early finish. I think it is a bit of an accomplishment to just get started and write some each day. I've wanted to participate for at least two years now, but haven't allowed myself to do so because of making all sorts of lack-of-time excuses. Maybe next year?

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Well done,... a great achievement and getting it in early, even better, Congratulations.

Happy new week
Hugs
Carolyn

FARfetched said...

Hooray! That's a major accomplishment, one you should rightly be proud of!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Uh - er - duo - YES - still tapping away, but way too slowly. I confess - sidetracked, a cold, and no good recovery. But what the hey? It IS still November and December will work too.

Great congratulations on your effort. Such inspiration you are and here is to editing, polishing, filling in, and FAME!!!!

the cuby poet said...

The name of your blog caught my eye so I read a little further. Congratulations on finishing your writing early. I will sign up to follow you. Great find!!

Pomona said...

Well done - that is amazing to produce so many words in such a short time!

Pomona x

Carol Steel 5050 said...

Wow, what a momentous accomplishment. Congrats! Best wishes with the continuing research and the evolving work.

sarala said...

Congrats on finishing! It is quite the achievement. I haven't done NaNo in a few years. I feel now I have to make a commitment to working on what I have already written and I find I'm totally blocked.
Great work.

blurofwoodsmoke said...

I hope you do keep talking about the novel as you work on it! I thought your concept was really intriguing.
I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo: I know we were in a similar place beforehand in having a preference for poetry and flash fiction and it sounds like we both got a lot out of having a shot at a longer form!

Karen M said...

It's great that you were able to finish the month. I'm sure some days were a struggle, but it must be so satisfying. If you need to test it on a reader at some point, I volunteer. I'm very curious about where the story went!

heavy hedonist said...

Congrats on your first NaNo! It's a great tool to get first drafts and crazy-good ideas from.
Love your picture posts, too. back again soon-- Peace, Mari

Selma said...

I like to research but I find that because I am such a procrastinator I tend to spend too much time on it. I am really pleased you finished. Good on you!