It’s the last day of NaNoWriMo and the writing blogosphere today is full of posts about this year’s dash to write 50,000 word. I worked late on Saturday night to break the target and beat it by a mammoth fifteen words. There were moments during the thirty days that I thought the end would never arrive but now it has I kind of miss it already. I can see why folks sign up for this marathon every year. Like a marathon runner, I feel exhausted and elated in equal measure having reached my goal. And ticking in the back of my mind is what I need to do next.
Things I have learned about how I write:
1) I can make time in the day to write, however pressured it is. I’ll be less likely to make excuses about being unable to write due to lack of time.
2) Somewhere along the line late at night stopped being my preferred writing time. 9 -12 in the morning seems to be the premium slot for me now. With early evening a close second. My writing seems to have adapted to family life.
3) Tight plotting helps, even if it just shows a possible route through the story. My novel changed direction once or twice but the plot I drafted helped keep me on track while exploring other veins of the narrative.
4) Writing for a young audience is tough, tough, tough. My novel is a story about a 12 year old boy, written for the 9-12 age group, though in redrafts it may mutate into a teen book. Either way, just the first draft has refuted the old cliche that writing for kids is easy.
My book is now tucked away on about three different hard drives, ready to print the first draft and stick it away for rewriting in the new year. The story needs work, the characters need work, but I have a complete novel to polish now. Which when I see it like that in black and white is pretty amazing considering I had nothing but a blank screen thirty days ago.
Now it’s time for a break. The only fiction writing I plan to do throughout December are those pieces required for my O.U. course and #fridayflash posts. I will catch up on my reading instead. So I am declaring December, National Novel Reading Month. If you took part in this years NaNoWriMo join me tomorrow, 1st December, for an Advent filled with reading; NaNoReMo