(Yes, I do realize today is actually the 30th of November but…)
After 27 days, 1,667 words (or more) per day and a never-ending desire to finish what I began, I finally hit 50,000… and then I continued writing to 52,000. Then I stopped. The novel is far from finished. But I’ve reached a turning point. Closing the word document, I didn’t write anything more. Instead, I copy, pasted, and validated the count.
Turns out, I have enough.
So it’s done. After months of agonizing over if I should even do it, weeks of planning out the characters, the setting, and the plot-line, and a whole day of crossing out names that didn’t fit, I finished my first National Novel Writing Month with time (and words) to spare. And I feel pretty darn good about it, too. I’ve always wanted to try it out and finally at 23 years of age, at the 2012 NaNoWriMo event, I did!
Is the novel perfect? Heck no! But it’s still words on the page, 52,000 words more than I had 27 days ago. I’ll keep writing until it’s finished and then I’ll go back, edit the thing to pieces, rebuild and start all over again. This is just a first draft. There’s a lot of work still to be done.
I’ve seen people shrug their shoulders and say “I just got to 20,000 words” or “I’m not going to make it this time” and they’re sad about it. Disappointed almost.
But here’s the great thing about NaNo, even if you “just” get to 20,000 words (a feat in itself) you still have 20,000 more words than you did before. The same goes for 10,000, 40,000 and 200. Are they brilliant? Possibly. (If so, I respectively loath and tip my hat at you.) But probably not if you were, like me, writing in the midst of work or late at night. Yet it does not diminish the fact that the words are still there. If you have one brilliant thing every few pages, then you’re golden. Take that one line, or word, or character, or setting, and build off of it. By all means, spin off the NaNo novel into some uncharted territory and see where it goes. You may never look at the NaNo novel again. Or you may grab it, dust off the old overused words, polish it up with some new images, and love the end product.
The way I see it, as long as you had fun and tried your best, that’s all that really matters. So be proud of that word count, however small or large it might be, and move on. I am. Well, moving on in the story at least.
Have a lovely weekend!
Warmest regards on this last day of November,