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NaNoWriMo 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Hi! In case you're wondering where I've been for a month, well, I've been busy doing NaNoWriMo. If you haven't heard of it, it's a challenge where you write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. I first heard of it way back in 2005, and I won it that year and in 2006. I didn't win then for years. Some years I tried and gave up, some years I didn't even try. I won in 2014 with a novel that is now finished and which needs some basic editing before I try to submit it to agents. I won in 2016 with a novel which is finished but maybe needs a bit of expansion as it's quite short, and which needs a LOT of editing before it's ready. I don't think I tried last year, but this year I was determined to do it again. I had a plot in mind and had a few basic pointers written down, but then a few days before I changed my mind!

I decided to write a book which I've had the bare bones of for a long time now. I actually wrote one version of it in 2006, I think, starring the same family. But over the past few years I've had it in my mind to expand it, write it differently. So I thought I'd give it a go again.

Once I got started, I got really into it. I had a few things going on in November so gave myself a couple of days off. On days I really got writing I wrote over 2000 words per day (the average is 1667 per day) and the plot was going well. It's a dual narrative novel now, one set now and one set in the 90s. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to happen before the main event, so I kept writing and kept writing. I was helped with some word wars by my friend Stephanie, so many thanks to her!

Then on Tuesday, the 27th, I had only around 5000 words to write to pass 50,000, and I was just kind of sick of concentrating so much and just wanted to win. I didn't have anything else to do all day so I just got my head down and got on with it.

I finished around 10pm with over 50,000 words, and knowing that the book had at least two more events before it was complete. But weirdly, I hadn't got to the main event! I just had lots of stuff to happen before that. So I think there'll be a sequel! YA novels are often around 75,000 words, so I don't want to make it happen now and not give it the words it needs. It's weird how this stuff happens while you're writing, though!

I read loads in November - eight books! - but decided to not write ANYTHING except my Nano, so I wrote down all the blogposts I needed to write and am now getting to them. I'll space them out so as not to overwhelm you. I think I'll already be trying to cast my mind back to the books I read at the beginning of the month. November seems to have gone on forever.

I'm really proud of myself for achieving Nano and I'd say give it a go if you've ever thought you might want to.


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