I’m in a happy mood this morning because I passed the 50,000 word mark for this year’s NaNoWriMo brining my total word count for THE NORTH to just shy of 74,000 words. I’m under a self-imposed deadline for my YA post zombie apocalypse survival story with a goal of getting the second draft completed and off to my agent by Christmas. Very simply, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. (Because I am woefully undisciplined.)
What have I learned?
Well first, I think that doing NaNoWriMo this year has lit a fire under my ass to dig into this manuscript. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off for months now, so it really gave be a major league motivational reboot which was just what I needed.
The second thing that I learned is that it puts you on an achievable pace with measurable goals. I’d like to figure out how to download and use their word count calculator because when you see the graph showing your cumulative word count total over a period of twenty three days, you feel compelled to sit down at the computer and just do it.
The final thing that I’ve learned is that while my outline gave me an idea of what I wanted to happen in the story, the act of digging in at the same time every day to churn out a story gave me a new flow for things. It also provided me with a number of ideas that I could use to enhance the outline and make the story that much better and genuine.
It’s been a fun ride this month. I’m not entirely sleep deprived because I limited myself to two hours or so of writing a day with the exception of last night and this morning where I pumped out 5000 words to put me over the top. In the process, I’ve met some great people – each are plugging away at their manuscripts and each has dreams of one day getting published. Some just did NaNoWriMo to see if it could be done and others like me used the event to finally get that great story they’ve been struggling with to see the light of day.
In closing, I think I’ll do it again next year. Probably for the second in the three books I want to write about my teen militia struggling to survive in a land of walking cadavers and military commanders with megalomaniacal dreams of creating a new world.