NaNoWriMo Week Four and the End

Hope everyone had a gorge-ous Thanksgiving!

(Okay, that was lame.)

I’m happy to announce that this year’s NaNoWriMo was completed last Friday.

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Can I get some applause here? Champagne, maybe?

Yes, despite my life, my work, the election, Thanksgiving, an art show, my yard full of leaves and sweet potatoes, I managed to pump out 50K words by close of business November 25. It was by far the most successful spillage of words since I started doing the NaNo about ten years ago, and made me feel fresh and renewed since I’ve spent the last eighteen months or so not writing much at all.

This is not to say that the novel is complete. If anything, this novel is like an old house I just took down to the studs and loaded the front yard up with all the building materials I’m going to need to finish. (I have had experience in extreme rehabbing this year. I wouldn’t recommend it, even WITH a plan.) I’m going to need to think this one through very carefully.

I needed the last few days off to decompress. (I’ll probably need until January.)

What I’ve learned with this year’s NaNoWriMo:

  1. You can’t worry about it. Write. Write some more. Don’t worry about prettiness, literary probability, appropriate tags for dialogue, grammar, or the Chicago Book of Style. Don’t worry about plots or subplots or themes. Write like your house is on fire and you’re running like hell and don’t look back.
  2. Give yourself an hour. (I used to give myself three, but I’m way too busy for that luxury.) Concentrate on something, anything. Write dialogue if you want or spew backstory, but don’t be afraid to shift to another part of the book and do something else. Whimsy is as whimsy does.
  3. The notebook that fits in your purse! Yes, get one, and use it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of a phrase, a word, a name, or something else and have jotted it down to use later. (This is because I’m notoriously forgetful.) I also use my iPhone notes section, but it’s far easier for me to use a notebook and pencil.

For those of you still in the midst of NaNo, don’t give up! You have until midnight Wednesday. If I can do it you CAN do it. And if not, don’t beat yourself up.

Remember, there is always next year.

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