July is over, and Tammy and I have finished yet another creative writing odyssey. This was a first for me: I have used the summer months for editing before, but this was the first time I have set a writing goal and typed new pages in April or July. Before I get into the whys and wherefores, I will say that I was successful. I set a goal of 30,000 words and ended up with 32,000. Tammy wrote more than I did, but I understand that she wanted to hit the full 50,000 for the month. I am proud of her for doing it, and she has said that she will finish the story in November.
Myself, I wanted to finish my 2015 novel. In 2011, I used NaNoWriMo to take a shot at rewriting the novel that I have been trying to write since I was 18. I wasn’t happy with the result, getting about halfway through it in November. In 2013, I did it again, but radically rethought the structure of the story, if retaining the geography and a lot of the fictional history. This time, I was successful, and ended up with a story that I was happy with.
I wanted to continue the story in 2014, but as November approached, I did a month of editing, and found that I needed to settle a lot of backstory in order to take it forward. Since it was only a few days before November, I didn’t really have time to prepare. I wrote what started as a one-off novel that morphed into an unsuccessful sequel to my 2008 novel. For 2015, I was more prepared. I started outlining ahead of time, and by the time November kicked off, I knew that I was now writing the first story of a two-part arc that led to my 2013 novel.
I wrote 70,000 words of it last November, but I figured I was about two chapters from being finished. If I was to be ready to write the bridge between 2015 and 2013 in 2016, I needed the 2015 story to be finished and edited. I tried to keep working into December, and typed about eight more pages before giving it up. With so many things competing for my time and energy, writing in month-long focused efforts works well. So, I pledged to write the rest of the story in the Camp NaNoWriMo sessions.
I switched to editing, and that was successful in two ways:
- I found my story enjoyable, and I wanted to read the finish, and
- I did some rearranging and found there might be more than two chapters to finish.
April came, but I was in a cast. Not good for typing! That left July as the last chance, and Tammy committed to writing as well. A tip for those out there wanting to take part in NaNoWriMo: it’s so much easier when your spouse is taking part too.
It was a month with business trips and cycling club rides and a million other things. I struggled to make my goal, but I was driven by the desire to get the story finished so I would have a solid foundation for November. Now I’ve done it, and I am very happy.