NaNoWriMo Results + An Update on My Novel

NaNoWriMo is over.

That means you’re probably either rejoicing or bummed out, depending on how much you enjoyed this past month.

I can say that I’m nearly indifferent. Which I think is crazy, considering that I did win NaNo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy and excited that I won, but November was a ridiculous, insanely busy month for me. I had more stuff planned in November than I did for the rest of the year combined (okay…not really but it felt like that) and I was pretty stressed out with everything that was going on the entire month.

But that’s okay.

I actually did it. At the end of the month, I finished my 50,000 words and I’m damn happy that I participated.NaNo progress

As you can see, though, I was behind for the majority of the month. And I like said in a previous video, I did not push all of my “catch-up” writing to one day. The most I wrote in one day was on 29 Nov, when @NaNoSprints was holding a House Cup competition. That was by and far my favorite thing of this month – that single NaNo sprint series. I’m in love with the Harry Potter series so it’s no surprise, honestly. The point of that particular sprint was to choose a house and then all of your word count for that sprint would count towards that house’s points. I was always Gryffindor, but the majority of people were either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, so we never won 🙁

But it was a blast! The last two days I needed to write just over 2000 words per day to hit my 50k. The first couple of sprints put me over 2000, but I talked myself into continuing. Then I only needed to write 600 more words to finish so I was definitely not going to wait until the next day.

It’s worth noting, as you might have seen, when I validated my novel it tacked on an extra 4,000 words. Not exactly sure why…but I really wrote 50,118 words last month. The graph is just a little off.

When I finished my 50,000th word, I didn’t get a sense of elation. I was tired and sleep deprived (not from writing but from traveling) and my poor little brain wasn’t in the mood for celebration.

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That said, I’m still extremely proud of myself and my accomplishments.

My MS is now at 115,000 words! I’m thinking I might need around 20k more before I’m finished…maybe more. Actually, probably more. This story has turned into a beast and feels like it just keeps getting bigger. Which is definitely a good thing I think, but it’s required me to change my outlining tactics.

I now have two main points of view and several others that pop up a few times. Scrivener is no longer enough for me to be outlining in, so today I’m going to endeavor to make a physical outline much like the one shown here from Marissa Meyer. I haven’t quite found an image of what I want but I’m planning on doing all of this on a tri-fold poster board so I can refer to it without taking up an entire room with laying it out.

Who knows how that will go, but I’ve gotten to a point in my story where I definitely need it. There’s still scenes that I could write at the end of my novel but I’ve begun totally rethinking the world that I’m building and it’s causing some issues. I think a physical outline will also help me focus all of these new developments on the arc of the story instead of detracting from it.

You guys wanna hear what exactly I’m changing?

Hmm?

Ok, I’ll tell you anyway!

The secret world that my characters are thrown into was originally going to be a somewhat basic society, a.k.a. not a lot of technological differences to our world. In general, it was going to be very much like ours. But now I’m thinking of expanding it a little more to include some forms of technology that our world doesn’t have. This mainly centers on the question of “Why wouldn’t they?” If you’re a secret society that has a source for large amounts of energy, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? Then again, this particular society is very much centered on balance, so I’m conflicted. Perhaps the other society is the one that does this.

Who knows?!

I’m hoping once I get into making a physical outline that I can iron out some of these details.

I will say, though, that it’s amazing how quickly you have your own world. I was explaining some of my story developments to my boyfriend and was amazed at how much I’d come up with last month alone.

This definitely gets me excited about writing and some day being a published author.

On that note, I would like to make a pledge to you guys.

A fellow blogger suggested the idea of quarterly goals to me (actually I heard this from multiple people…hint taken). I’m going to take that to heart and actually do it! Seeing as how this year is almost over, this will mainly be my December goals. These goals will mainly be focused on my writing career but can include other random things I need to do in my personal life. I’m going to be posting quarterly goal updates with my results, so look out for that in the future!

My goals for this month are:

  • Make a comprehensive outline for my novel
  • Finish writing my first draft so that I can begin edits early next year (I’ve had so many people ask me when it’ll be ready for beta-reading…soon, I promise!)
  • Focus on my online presence. This is the big one for this month! Actually, they’re all big (especially finishing my first draft) but I neglected my blog and Youtube channel a little too much for the month of NaNo. My goal is to make two blog posts and at least one video per week. I fully give you permission to hound me if you notice I am not meeting this goal.

How did you do for NaNoWriMo? What was the biggest thing you learned this month, and how has it affected your writing habits? For me, I learned that dictation is AWESOME! I plan on going into this in more detail once I finish my first draft and master Dragon dictation a little more. I’m going to be purchasing a better microphone as a reward for making it all the way through NaNo with my basic one. I talked about that here.

Also, I’ve put together a marketing plan and timeline for the release of my novel. Let me know if this is something you guys would want to hear about! I’m approaching this from a “full-disclosure” perspective so I plan on sharing all the juicy details with you!

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