Another NaNoWriMo is in the books, literally. This is the fifth year I’ve participated, but only the second year I’ve been successful (mostly). Let me explain.
As many of you know, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in November, essentially a short novel. I’m never going to be able to write that much. I get maybe an hour a day to write. At 500-800 words an hour, which is my usual speed, you can see the math doesn’t add up.
My goal for the last three years has been to finish the first draft of a middle grade book. The first two of these wound up in the 15,000-20,000 word range. Now that is doable for me during November.
This year I achieved that goal, for the most part. Technically, I didn’t finish the first draft of this year’s middle grade book until this morning. It turned out I only needed another 200 words to finish. I’ll count that as a success.
I averaged 517 words a day during November, and the manuscript sits at 15,718 words currently. I find I don’t often need to cut large chunks from my WIPs. Instead, I often need to flesh out the word building. I already know this is true for this WIP. I’m guess I’ll add a couple of thousand more words when editing the first draft.
Once I’ve finished that first edit, it’ll be on to my first reader for these middle grade books — my oldest daughter. In the past, I read each chapter to her as I finished writing it during November, and then she read the entire book herself after I’d completed a first edit. This year she wanted to wait to read the entire manuscript once I finished. I think she really wanted to spend the time writing her on story during NaNoWriMo, which she did. She got down 3633 words. Not bad for an 8 year old. She says she has a long way to go. I hope she keeps going.
Whether you officially participated, unofficially participated, or did your own thing, how’d your NaNoWriMo go?