NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

This has been a whirlwind month in many ways. Not only did I try to get done all my Christmas shopping before Black Friday (I was mostly successful) I also attempted National Novel Writing Month once again.

I think I was as prepared as was possible to be. My outline should have been way more detailed than it was, but a few furiously discovered plot developments at the last minute pushed my word count past 50,000 – a day early.

It’s funny to think that thirty days to write a full novel is a huge undertaking, especially when things like the 21 Day Novel Writing Challenge exist. I have tried that one, but only finished my book in 26 days, so essentially it was a pre-NaNo challenge for me to test my limits. I do like the pace of writing a novel so quickly, especially when I get to the end and things all fall into place.

There are still some chapters of Super Vision to wrap up, but for the most part, it’s on paper minus a few battle scenes that need to be figured out. I am glad there is a bit left to do for the first draft, because there are details that I only found out at the end of my draft that need to be sprinkled through the earlier ones in order to foreshadow properly. That is the fun part of doing a project so quickly: You get to see the full scope of the plot in its entirety, and can spot problems earlier so that you aren’t too removed from your earlier chapters to see what needs to be done.

Some helpful tips for anyone trying to do NaNo in the future:

  1. Try writing two stories at once. More than a few times I found myself stuck on Super Vision, either because I ran out of creative juice, or there was a problem that needed time to simmer. I didn’t want to risk losing all those words for the day, so I started a new project that is really only for me at the moment, and only for fun. But, this allowed me to keep my word count for the day and also stretch my brain creatively in a different direction, which made room for all the Super Vision ideas to recharge…until they were Super Charged! (Sorry, I had to do it!)
  2. Pace yourself. Doing just the minimum word count per day is a sure way to fall behind on your overall count towards the end. Much like credit card debt, or loan repayments, try the snowball effect. You can get ahead by two days if you do a long writing session, then if you happen to be creatively tapped or have a commitment like Thanksgiving to attend, then taking a day off won’t kill your momentum.
  3. Do some free-writes. This allowed me to work out some character motivations that were vague in my outline, and nail them down as I got to know my characters. This is especially helpful for villains.
  4. And finally, get rid of Facebook and other forms of pesky social media! I am on my third week of no Facebook, and it has boosted my productivity immensely. Not only do I spend less time online simply scrolling through everyone’s brainwaves, but the time that I do spend online has morphed into a research phase that lets me learn new things I didn’t know before, and also gives me inspiration for my work. It’s a win-win. I will go back to Facebook eventually because I love the community of writer friends that I have there, but it has been a breath of fresh air to get the clutter of opinions and woe-be-gone status updates out of my brain.

So, there you have it. No dates for Super Vision yet, but it will be entering the edit phase and then the beta phase soon. Stay tuned for more if you are waiting to find out what’s next for Shaun and Mae. There may be some flights and fights… Just saying!

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