Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo And Finishing My First Novel

NaNoWriMo Logo
I've been an avid writer since I was in middle school. My first story was a blatant Star Wars rip-off. Since then I've written thousands of pages of stories, but I've never actually written a novel with a solid beginning, middle and end. That is, I hadn't until this weekend.

I started the novel that I had started years ago for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you try to write a 50k word novel in the month of November. If you get to 50k, you win. I've only won one year, my first in 2005.

After Emily was born, it was harder to try and write a novel in November. But I still gave it a try every year. The novel I just finished was different in a lot of ways. The biggest is that I outlined what was going to happen before I wrote it. Before then, I was firmly a pantser - a writer who just writes from the seat of his or her pants. I had wondered if my pantsing was hindering me finishing a novel, since even the year I won NaNo I didn't actually finish the book.

The story has been sitting there for years with me working on it some as time goes by. I've always wanted to be a published author, but I wasn't too serious about doing anything about it. Then last Christmas, as you know if you are an avid reader of my blog, I got very sick. I think that was the kick in the pants I needed to actually get serious about becoming published.

So, I've been working on finishing the first book in a trilogy which I finished last Friday. I admit that I cried after I had written those last few words, but they were happy tears. I took a couple days off from writing and outlined the next book since that method seems to work well for me.

I had hoped to finish the first book before November started, but I didn't manage it. So I'm a NaNoWriMo cheater since I'm counting the words I wrote in the first book and the outline for the 2nd book towards my NaNo goal. Even with cheating, I'm behind on my word counts.

While I hope to get caught up and win at NaNo, it's just important to keep writing. I'm not going to stop writing after November ends. Though I will probably put the 2nd novel aside so I can start editing the first.

I feel that finishing my first novel is a huge achievement and the first step to becoming a published author. I still have a far way to go since the book is going to need a lot of work as well as being edited at least twice before I start querying for an agent.

If you like my blog, please rate it at Top Mommy Blogs!

1 comment: