Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Writing Update: NaNoWriMo Survivor: Year Three

Happy Wednesday!

My review of Russell Brooks' Chill Run is up on Surrounded by Books Reviews.

Today is the last day of November and the last day of NaNoWriMo. Phew! What a month is has been!

NaNoWriMo Stats:
Day 22: 68505 (I beat my highest word count total in a month.)
Day 23: 68505
Day 24: 68505
Day 25: 68505
Day 26: 68505
Day 27: 70221
Day 28: 73259
Day 29: 75806 (51099 in Starred and 24707 in The Last Prophetess)

So 75,806 words is my grand total, not counting what I get written today (hope to be at 80,000 soon).

I didn't quite finish The Last Prophetess either, but I did get half-way through the 50K (minus 300 words). I should have the first draft completed in early December, hopefully this weekend. *crosses fingers*

This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I used it to write novels four and five. I believe I've learned quite a bit about myself as a writer while participating in NaNo.

1. I'm a plotter. I plot out my days, my weeks, months, heck, even my years. I have my entire writing schedule mapped out for 2012 already (always subject to change, of course). So with a novel, I need to have the same preparation. I need to know my scenes, characters, world, and timeline so I can sit down and write.

2. I'm a fast drafter. If I have things plotted, then I can sit down and knock out 1,000 words in 30 minutes. I wrote Starred in twelve days and spent three more adding to the scenes and editing. That's amazing to me, and it's my best written draft I have. Then again, I probably have always been a fast drafter. My first novel may have taken nine months from beginning to end, but if you count my actual writing days where I sat and wrote the novel, it's more like six weeks. The rest was doing number one: plotting.

3. I can write every day. Yes, I need to repeat this. I can write every day. True, I took a few days off, but I could've written those days. I should've written. There are no excuses. I should be able to sit down for at least 30 minutes to an hour and get 1,000-2,000 words done. Of course, this is easier, if I have number one completed. :)

4. Most important of all, I love writing. This is what I want to do with my life, and it's made me realize I need to put it at the top of my list of things I get done each day.

5. I don't think I'll try two novels in a month again, but I did learn I am successful at writing scenes out of order.

January 15, 2012 will start my fourth year writing with publication in mind. It's time to get out there and do something with my novels. It's time to self-publish some shorter works (short story collections, novellas). It's time to keep submitting shorter works. Most of all, it's time to get those novels edited and in the hands of agents and possibly publishers.

That's what NaNoWriMo has taught me.

What have you learned about yourself through it? Or if you didn't participate in NaNoWriMo, what did you learn this month?


The East Coaster said...

Amazing word count, Cherie!!! Congrats on knocking it out of the park

Vicki Rocho said...

Impressive word count! And doing two at once? Wow. Just wow.

Margo Kelly said...

WOW! Congrats on such a great accomplishment!

C D Meetens said...

Congratulations on doing so well with NaNo!

Like you, I like to have everything planned out, and write better when I do. My story for NaNo last year came together much easier than I expected, because I knew what was supposed to happen in each scene.

I learnt that despite what I think when I'm content and/or happy, I can't write when something is on my mind that's extremely stressful. I have to resolve said life-affecting stressful item first (even if it's only a plan for how to deal with it), and then I can write.

M.J. Fifield said...

Wow. Color me impressed. That is an AMAZING word count. I was just pleased to gotten to the 50k mark. Now I kind of feel like a slacker...


Aubrie said...

Wow, you've really learned a lot and it's all good stuff. Yes, you should get your novels out there!

Meredith said...

Wow, you write fast! That's so amazing--congratulations!

Christine Rains said...

You're amazing! Great word count. NaNo reminded me that I can write every day and that I love it too. I also totally went far away from the general outline I wrote for my novel. *LOL* You the dedicated plotter and me the notorious pantser.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I am so impressed! Congratulations Cherie for an amazing accomplishment, not just one year but three-- wow!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Cherie. I wrote a lovely long comment but google ate it. So I'll be short and sweet in case this one goes missing too.

Great that you finished so successfully. I got 54000 written. I didn't have any time to plan beforehand but I don't work that way anyhow. I'm in awe of your planning skills.

I too am taking more time to write next year and hoping to get into e-books and finish at least one of my novels to sub stage.

Here's to a great 2012!


Anonymous said...

Huge congrats.. you're word count rocks. Well done... can't believe how fast you read... got to learn your tricks.

Unknown said...

I am in awe of you!! Huge congrats on the amazing success with Nano this year, and with all your penned novels. And btw, I don't think I've ever visited this blog! I always go to Surrounded By Books. Following here now!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

YAY!! Congrats for winning NaNoWriMo! I did NaNoRevMo and won as well! :D

Nicole Zoltack said...

You did awesome this month!

Trisha said...

Great lessons learned! Well done on your final word count - you did a brilliant job!

What I've learned this month is that I probably shouldn't COMMIT to a certain word count. hehe. Beyond the given 50k, of course.

PK HREZO said...

Cheers to that, Cherie! You're a rockstar! I'm a heavy plotter too when it comes to writing... and once my chapter outlines and scenes are determined, I can pound out a first draft in mere days as well. Unfortunately, this November was not a good writing month, but no worries. I'm in a good place and I'll take it.
I've never tried writing scenes out of order.... my brain just doesn't want to grasp it yet. But I hear of writers doing it all the time.
Congrats on your stellar accomplishments!!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow!!! Two novels in one month! That's awesome! Congratulations!
I learned that I can write every day, and when I write every day, the plot sticks in my mind and I am a fast drafter. When I take a day off, I lose momentum.

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations! Wow, two novels in one month. I wish I could draft on the computer - I was writing longhand, then typing at nights...