So, I didn’t make 50,000.
I didn’t because I got half way through the month, at roughly 18,000 words, and realised I wasn’t writing the story the way I really wanted to write it. I didn’t like the idea of just mashing out 50k words under pressure and calling that a novel.
I’ll give NaNoWriMo its due: it worked as a kick-start. I realised I could, if I really wanted, write consistently and have it kind of make sense. Big thing for me.
Am I a bit disappointed? Yes, a little. Before it started I told myself that this would be the year, this time I would do it. And I wrote about 18k more words than what I’d written in my previous attempt (2006). But at some point I realised I didn’t exactly like what I was producing under such pressure, that I wanted the opportunity to refine some of what I’d already written – well, really, change a whole heap of it – to put the story back on track. And under that time limit, with Real Life and a job and a family… that just wasn’t going to happen.
Doesn’t help that, if I’m honest, I admit to myself I’m also a bit lazy. 🙂
Those 18k words were a blast, and what I’ve written so far I like, but I need time to think about it and process it and rework some of it to take the story where I want it to go; not for it to wander aimlessly until I hit 50k words.
Finally… I’m also way out of my comfort zone in “writing what you know”. I know so little about my setting. But that’s OK; that’s what research is for, but it doesn’t stop me worrying that I’m blowing some part of my setting that will be immediately obvious to anyone with proper knowledge. And that triggers a big fear I have, that fear buried deep inside, that I’ll look like a fool. And I hate that.