In common with many of my fellow writers, I started the project to complete the 1st draft of a novel NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which ought to be renamed International Novel Writing Month, except that InNoWriMo somehow doesn’t have the same cachet), is a motivational project aimed at moving the writing along.during the month of November.
I had a go at this in 2011 and completed over 110k (the official target for the month is 50k), but ditched the result due to an insurmountable flaw in the plot. This time, I used the motivational aspect to hurry me through the final half of the 1st draft of book 3 of my fantasy trilogy. I expected to add about 110k to what I’d already written. But, as so often happens when you write by the seat of your pants, the story took a slightly different turn from that expected and came to a natural end a little earlier. In the end, I had only to complete another 83k words, and I did that on Thursday. The book now stands at around 194k words.
So, my NaNoWriMo experience is complete for this year. This doesn’t mean the book is finished, of course. In fact, it’s only just begun. The real work will come in the editing, which I’ll start in a couple of weeks, once I’ve done other stuff that will let me come to it more or less fresh.
But there’s no doubt that this publicly undertaken exercise does wonders for self-discipline and motivation. At the rate I was writing before November, I’d have been completing the book by the end of December. A worthwhile effort, I think. I’d definitely encourage anyone to have a go. And for those would-be writers who have difficulty completing anything, this is an ideal exercise as it encourages you to just write, without ever stopping to edit along the way.
I strongly advise writers to try this. Too late for this year, of course. But next year might be the time you finally get that novel actually written instead of just talking about it.