Friday, 28 November 2014

Was NaNo a No-no?
This afternoon, I wrote my fifty thousand, two hundred and eighty fourth word for NaNo. Yeah! 

This was my very first experience of NaNoWriMo and because I have a busy weekend coming up, I've reached the target three days early. When I think back to the start on November 1st, I could not have envisaged doing that so no, NaNo was not a no-no for me! 

I realise that all the really hard work starts now but taking part in the project has proved to me that I can:

  • produce an extended piece of writing. Up until now, both my college dissertations were only 10,000 words each and my children's novel was around 13,000 words.
  • sustain an idea and work through a plot and sub-plots
  • get to know characters by immersing myself in their company. As I wrote, I found out things about them that I could never have imagined when I met them first.
  • keep to the target word count and even exceed it. On the few occasions when I couldn't write, I made sure I made up for it by writing more the next time I came back to writing.
Here is what my stats chart looks like today:

Your Average Per Day
Words Written Today
Target Word Count
Target Average Words Per Day
Total Words Written
50,284 WINNER!
Words Remaining
Current Day
Days Remaining
Goal Achieved On
November 28, 2014

What were the drawbacks?
  • a lot of my time has been taken up writing. I'm retired so have the luxury of doing what I want each day. I can imagine that writers with full time jobs or young children to look after would have to find the time from their already busy lives. 
  • I didn't edit. I just wrote....and wrote. I can see that I have most likely made the editing and redrafting of the novel much harder. 
  • I don't know if the writing is good enough. By concentrating on getting the words down and keeping to the word count target, I didn't reflect on what I had written.
  • I hadn't done enough research so there are gaps in the story where accurate details will need to be added to give the novel authenticity.
  • I've neglected my on-line critique group. I've managed to attend all the writing group meetings locally and sent the odd message of congratulations or encouragement but I haven't taken the time to actually download a story and critique it. Sorry!
Thanks to these people for their support:
What next?
  • Make and decorate a Man City football cake for Isaac, my grandson, who's going to be seven next Friday.
  • And maybe....start my Christmas shopping! 
All our circumstances will have been different and so will our goals. I hope that NaNoWriMo 2014 was a good experience for you. Please leave a comment and share your experience if you took part this year.
Thank you for reading my blog.
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    1. You are amazing Jan!! Massive congratulations on being a Nano Winner, you deserve to be very proud of your achievement! Good luck with the edits and finishing your novel :) I, on the other hand, have failed miserably. But more of that another time...

      1. Thanks, Samantha. My object was to get a lot of the novel written but as I've said, editing is going to be hard. As for finishing, I had the time but can imagine if you have lots of busy things going on it would be very difficult. It doesn't matter how many words you get written, does it, because everyone's circumstances are different. Thanks for commenting. :-)


    2. Many congratulations, Jan. I am so pleased for you. Very well done! I wish you lots of fun with the editing.

      1. Thanks, Nicola. There'll be a lot of work to do, I'm sure. Thanks for your comments.

    3. Congratulations! It's an achievement even if what you've written needs a lot of work ... but then any first draft is likely to need quite a lot of work.

      It'll probably be a while before you really know whether this method works for you.

      1. Thanks, Patsy. First impressions are that I'm very glad I did it but just writing without checking and reflecting does not come naturally to me. I'll reserve judgement until I see what I can do with what I've written. The good thing was that I got immersed in the story and actually wrote a lot. Thanks for commenting. :-)

    4. Well done Jan. Now you've experience it, do you think it was worth it and would you do it again?

      1. Thank you, Wendy. I'm very glad I did it and I achieved what I set out to do in that I got a lot of my novel written. I'll see how I get on when I edit it before deciding whether I would do NaNo again next year. I don't like having more than one thing on the go so I would like to completely finish this story first. Thanks for your comment.

    5. That's a great achievement, Jan. Well done, and on getting to the longlist on Alfie as well. Me and Patsy and Sheila did as well, so yay for us all..... I'm down as Susan A Jones, but it's me. Now I've sent that story to W.W.

      1. Thanks, Sue. I was pleased to reach the 50,000 + words as you can imagine! Congratulations to you, too, and good luck with the story at WW. Thanks for commenting.

    6. Well done, Jan! I only managed 11,796 words because I couldn't resist editing as I went, but I'm hoping I've got a useful chunk of writing to work on after Christmas.
      Lovely to meet you in Worcester last Sunday!

      1. Thank you, Linda. I'm sure your total of edited writing will be very useful for you to work on. The non- editing during NaNo may have left me with more headaches than if I'd written fewer words! Great to meet you too and thank you for your comments.