Lessons learned from a noob NaNoWriMo’ian

So, like I was bragging talking about over on my other blog , I typed a 50 Thousand word novel in one month and, thereby, “won” National Novel Writing Month. Now, granted, it gives you absolutely nothing except bragging rights (and a PDF certificate), but it’s still something you can look back on and say ‘yeah, I did that’.

The month of November taught me a few things regarding writing:

  1. A story makes infinitely much more sense when you have an outline. Now, I did have an outline…that only lasted me through, about, eight chapters. From there, I was totally winging it. I figure I can go back to correct any continuity errors that may have crept up, but I think the story would have flowed smoother, and not quite as choppy, if I had it more thought out.
  2. Writing is a lot of fun….until it becomes something you think you have to do. It’s amazing how many things I could find to do around the house each day as I was trying to hit my 1,666 words a day goal. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was still fun…but the sense of urgency about getting it done, not so much.
  3. Peer pressure helps….a lot. The great writing community over on Google Plus was extremely supportive. A lot of folks, myself included, would post their word counts for the day. They’d encourage those who fell behind as well as applaud those who had surpassed their goal. I’m not sure if I’d have gone the distance if it weren’t for my G+ homies.
  4. Characterization isn’t easy. At least as easy as I thought it would be. It takes some doing to make sure the supporting characters don’t sound like just another extension of the main character. Again, more fleshing out and planning would have fixed this.
  5. Don’t let anyone…and I mean -anyone- read your first draft.  Ever.

So, November and NaNoWriMo was fun and a success. It definitely gave me some tools to try to sharpen up for next year’s “50k in 30 days” attempt.

I just have to remember to unlock the tool shed in October, next year.

2 responses

  1. God, I couldn’t agree with you more on your list! Especially #5! LOl!!

    1. Haha, yes, I had to learn that one the hard way 🙂

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