I am happy to report that I managed to “win” NaNoWriMo for the first time, finishing with just over 51,000 words in the month of November alone. Even more exciting, this allowed me to finish my manuscript, which ended up being just over 120,000 words – it hasn’t been edited yet, of course.
If you haven’t participated in National Novel Writing Month before, I recommend you consider trying it out next November (here’s an 11-month warning) – it’s not only extremely fulfilling if you complete the task, it also gives you the push to keep writing whatever you may be working on, or to finally start the idea you’ve been pushing around your brain.
I started writing my manuscript on June 1, 2014, and by October 31, I had about 68,000 words. That’s a lot more than I’ve ever written, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough for a fantasy novel, and some days I would find it hard to get into the mood to write. I chalk this up to not having set goals – I was writing when I wanted to, some days only 500 words, some days 3,000 plus.
With NaNoWriMo approaching, I finally set a goal – finish the manuscript by the end of November, and also win the event.
During November, participants must write an average of 1,667 words per day for all 30 days in order to hit the 50k mark. Some days, I didn’t write at all, but I always made it up within a few days – sometimes this meant writing three or four days’ worth on a Saturday, but I just buckled down and did it.
And when I validated my word count in the early afternoon of November 30, the pride I felt was unbelievable. Writing a novel in a month – or in my case, the last half of mine – isn’t an easy thing to do, but the NaNoWriMo team gives you an amazing amount of support.
This support comes in the forms of daily emails, pep talks from authors, and various Twitter accounts that keep encouraging you to just write.
For the last six days or so, I’ve felt at a loss – my routine had developed into coming home from work, sitting down and writing until I had at least 1,667 words. Sometimes that took 30 minutes, and sometimes it took several hours.
Now, I don’t have any writing to do, and I’ve been bracing myself for what may be an even tougher job – editing the 120k word manuscript.
Since my goal is to eventually get this work published – I’m going to try to get it traditionally published first, and if that fails I will be self-publishing most assuredly – I will likely be changing this blog from the travelling one it is now, to something more book related. Watch for those changes.
In the meantime, I want to reach out to all those who have written/edited/published or even read a book, because I’m sure I’ll have plenty of questions, seeing as I’m relatively new to the process.
My first issue is with the character names. I used plain filler names for the main characters, and now I’m thinking I want more fantasy-sounding names. So my question:
How do you select the names for your characters?
I’ve considered looking up root words of certain terms – and I used that for a few characters – or perhaps combining two common names to create a new one. What do you do?
Thanks as always for following, and make sure to catch me on Twitter.
Oh and PS: If you want to check out the prologue for my novel – working title Twin Killers, click here.