So November is finished, although my draft novel isn’t. I managed to write 44,463 words during November for it, which isn’t quite the magic 50k needed to claim a win. see for how my writing progress panned out.

I really enjoyed this process and it wasn’t as difficult as it first appeared. Some of it is helped by the regular pep talk broadcast mails it sends out, and also the stats counter tells you how many words you need to average every day that you have left to hit the magic 50k. However the pep talk mails give you a more human view of it, and I found them to be good encouragement to keep going.

So why, with all that encouragement and sign posting, did I not manage to hit fifty thousand words? Well I nearly did, and this was despite starting five days late (I first wrote anything on 6th November) and only deciding on a whim to what I was going to write about. I approached this in a very literal way, I only found out what NaNoWriMo was on the evening of the 5th November, and I then dived straight in.

What lessons did I learn from doing this?

  • writing every day isn’t hard, it just needs perseverance, I ended up using my train journeys to and from work;
  • I can compose, and type, text at about 30 words per minute (varied from 20-42);
  • Some more planning and plotting before the start would get it moving faster;
  • Starting to write on 1 November makes 50k easier to achieve (I averaged about 2k words a day, so that extra five days would have brought me in over the 50k);
  • ignore the inner editor, write the story in one pass, and then go back through it to improve and re-write the bits you aren’t happy with (which is what I intended to do during December and January once I’ve written the conclusion);
  • My story won’t be finished in 50k words, so I’ll need to write some more;
  • Writing stories down is fun, and it takes your mind off other stuff, like work;

So there you have it, I’ve got a 44k story that I need to go finish. When it’s done I’ll need to edit it a bit and then I’ll make it available for other people to read. The story itself is a collective narrative, so once I’ve written the bits to the extent that I’m happy with them I need to chop them up and stitch them together as a single narrative that makes sense, so don’t expect to see it that soon!

Have fun, and seriously, try it yourself next year. I’m setting my calendar for mid-October to come up with some ideas and pre-plan my next novel…




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