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