Wow, what a feeling.
I’ve never “won” NaNoWriMo before (50,000 words written in the month of November for National Novel Writing Month).
I’ve been working on my novel for roughly four years and this is the third year I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. The problem has always been that I was still doing research for my book, still in the planning stages, still trying to figure out the “voice” of the story as well as fumbling around in the dark, trying to get to know my main characters. I’ve had piles of notes scattered everywhere, building up over the last few years, despite my best efforts to keep them organized. I’ve been in graduate school the last two years, participating in NaNoWriMo while simultaneously preparing for at least two final papers (generally 20-30 page research papers). I’ve never been able to juggle everything and make it to the end before now. Last year, I completed more than 37,000 words, far better than the previous year. Still not enough, however.
This year, I’m preparing for graduation. Instead of taking classes, I took my comprehensive exams. I studied for them all summer and scheduled them for the last week in October to free my schedule for writing. I also spent time this summer organizing my notes and the structure of my future novel. This allowed me to sit down, on any given day, with a lot of ideas about where I could go with each scene I wrote. Of course, in every case, I ventured far off the path I had planned, but that’s the fun of writing. Most of my notes were there for continuity’s sake, anyway, and open to change.
Speaking of change, my wife and I had our first child this summer as well. Technically, he was born at the end of spring, but it was already warm out. I did all this preparation while working and figuring out how to be a new father. Now, I cross the 50,000 word mark of NaNoWriMo for the first time ever just a few days after he turned six months old.
This has been a good year.
This blog contains excerpts and commentary from the developing the novel, beginning with “excerpt 1”: Fire of Norea: From Ashes, first excerpt. A new blog will be published periodically, up until publication. Please leave feedback, this is a work in progress! Thank you for your interest.