National Novel Writing Month & Me, Part 1

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It’s that time of year again; November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal of this challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I participated last year and, while I didn’t meet the 50K goal, I did produce about 33,000 words, which put my already-in-progress novel up to over 55,000 words. I don’t feel bad that I didn’t meet the NaNoWriMo goal. I wrote more than I’ve ever written before and that felt great.

I’m still working on the same book. I haven’t made much progress since last year, but I’ve learned so much from editing that I don’t see the time as being lost. Editing forces me to evaluate stories and ways to make them even better than they are. It also introduces me to a wide range of writing styles, techniques, and skills. I’ve also been reading books about writing—partly for my benefit and partly for the benefit of my clients.

With a new perspective and fresh ideas, I’ve restarted my novel. I decided I need to trim down the story, narrow its focus, and make my words more concise. I don’t think it was bad before, but I know it can be better.

My main characters are the same—they won’t let me forget them. But how they meet is different, events that transpire leading up to the action of the story have changed, and some unnecessary scenes have been cut. I’ve probably eliminated about 20K words. In some ways, it’s discouraging, but I also know the story will be better for it.

So, in two days, I’ll be pounding out the story again. I hope to reach the 50K word goal this year. It would be nice to finish this book and publish it so I can move on to the next one.

Good news (to me) is I finally came up with a title for my book! I struggle with titles. With short stories, I usually come up with one after I write it. But with NaNoWriMo coming up, I thought it would be good to have a name for my work in progress.

What is it? I’m not going to say … yet. That’ll be another blog post.

Interested in giving National Novel Writing Month a try? Check it out here: NaNoWriMo

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