I Survived NaNoWriMo

Well, NaNoWriMo is over. And I’m still here, still putting fingers on the keyboard.Happy Computing

And what did I learn?

For one thing, it’s not a way of writing that is comfortable for me. I edit as I write, usually before I begin writing creatively for the day. This approach doesn’t fit well with NaNoWriMo.

I had to remind myself that NaNo is not a long-term writing style. It is a short period dedicated to a burst of writing. I wrote 40,000 words during the month. But on the last day, it felt like a mess that needed a lot of work.

The positive of this is that I have a lot to work with—almost half of a new novel.

The negative is that I have a lot to work with—it needs to be edited before I go forward with the rest.

In the middle—because I’m not sure if it is a positive or negative—is I have written half-novel according to standard publishing conventions. The other side of the coin is it feels like I’ve only reached the first doorway of no return. Some would call this the end of act one of the three-act structure.



Another positive I learned from NaNoWriMo, thanks to my writing buddy, Diane, is to write in bursts or blasts. I set a timer for an hour and wrote. The inner editor was turned off (mostly). I discovered I could do between 600 and 800 words an hour, sometimes more. Three blasts a day, and I had between 1800 and 2400 words.

I will continue to use these blasts. With my editor turned on, I project 500 to 700 words per hour. Three blasts a day will still yield a good chunk of work and the editing will be more manageable.

What did you learn about yourself and your writing during NaNoWriMo?

5 Responses to I Survived NaNoWriMo

  1. Diane Bohannan December 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Congratulations, Henry! Write on! 🙂

  2. Henry December 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Thanks, Diane. Couldn’t have done it without you.

  3. Jenny Snow December 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    That’s great!

    I didn’t hear about it until it had already started, but I plan to next year!

    I have been researching the three act structure/story plotting lately. Would love to hear you teach on it. 🙂

  4. Henry December 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Maybe next year we can form a local NaNo group to encourage each other and hold each other accountable.

    I probably have enough material on the 3 act structure to do a full day. I’ll see if NTCW is interested in doing something on it in 2015.

  5. Jenny Snow December 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Sounds great!

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