General, writing

On Not Winning NaNo

I didn’t actually finish NaNoWriMo this year.

I stopped a little under 10k short of hitting fifty thousand. After I threw out my outline (and subsequently ended up restarting to try and get out of the stilted opening) I kept going with my original plan of giving myself a set time for each scene. That ended up being fifteen minutes.

It worked and more importantly, I’m incredibly excited to get into the editing. Although I have most if not all of the main scenes, they’re currently disconnected from each other. There’s a rough order, but it also means that rearranging is easier and leaves me plenty of space to explore the underlayers of the story when I go back to write transitions.

I’m still going to take some time away the first draft. As excited as I am to get into editing, there’s also other projects I want to tackle. I haven’t quite decided what my December project will be.

Even if I didn’t win NaNo this year, the point of it wasn’t necessarily winning for me. A large portion of it was giving myself a way to shift my editing process, and from there, breaking out of the continuous cycle I tend to fall into.  

In a lot of ways, NaNoWriMo is a tool, and how it’s used is dependent on the author wielding it. It doesn’t necessarily work for every single writer. It is however, a good way of testing your writing process with intention. I didn’t win NaNo this year, but I certainly found out something about my own process that makes the editing stage of writing more appealing to me.

How did your writing this month go? Let me know in the comments below!  


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