National Novel Writing Month has been here. I’ve done this for the past nine years, managing to complete the required 50,000 words of new writing seven times out of those nine. For more information, follow the link: NaNoWriMo

Strangely enough, the biggest problem is not completing the task. 50,000 words is a huge writing task, and if you’ve never written before, or only written a few thousand words for uni projects, it is a lot of hard work, cranking out that many words, and making the story make sense.

But once you’ve done, what then? There is a better than 99% chance that what you’ve written is nowhere near commercial, and maybe not even a good story. My previous six finishes have been of dubious quality on all counts, but this year … well, maybe it’s different. I’ll keep this blog updated with how it goes. Currently, my story (“Footprints”) stands at 50,752 words, and it’s by no means finished. Judging by the ideas I have for it, I estimate it will finish up at 80k – 90k words, which isn’t a bad length, considering that around 10% – 20% will get chopped, but more writing will come in as I develop the characters and plot more fully.


3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

  1. dorothyanneb

    Congratulations! I spent this nanowrimo adding the second half of my novel, now on to revise…good luck with yours. Often there are great ideas that come forward in the forced march. I wouldn’t give up on your past ones, either – reread them – maybe there’s gold to be mined…;-)

    1. geraldhornsby Post author

      Thank you so much. And thanks for the advice about the past ones. Most of them, I fear, would need too much of a rewrite, and the story wasn’t that strong to begin with. My writing has developed, and I’m now putting more action into them.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  2. Heather Mitchell

    Hello Gerald, it was good to virtually meet you during the NaNoWriMo slog. I loved that it became as much a “we” thing as a “me” thing – and I miss finding a daily positive post to share with the Essex group. However, our being on the same journey, albeit probably with different results, sent me off on another search. Yep, I googled you, so I found your blog and will try to keep up with it!

    A 2nd draft will need to be written soon, so right now I am looking at the further development of my characters/action/story and finally researching all the things I had no time to research as I typed along at frenetic pace 🙂 I have little blue notes in the margin at various places and have a new research doc for all those things that occurred to me in the last few days. Ferries to and from as well as the weather in Sweden at a certain time of year are on the menu today.

    I loved most of your writing. I am a natural editor so that’s good feedback. I can be hyper-critical (i.e. I felt you didn’t need to put “he imagined” as well as how [armaggedon] “would look” because it is stating the same thing twice and you could have a punchier sentence without one of them. See? I am dreadful. But it is exactly the kind of thing I have to watch for in my own work – and worse haha; it is also honest feedback though today I don’t have time to read through everything you’ve written. I will go back at some point for a good wallow because I loved the ideas you were writing about.

    I too have had critique on my work. Both when I was being published with short stories – luckily, only ever received one rejection slip for an unsuitable story for Radio Four – and when I was on the Writing magazine (used to be Writers’ News) forums… As with Twitter and NaNoWriMo, I was known as Tessa Tangent and may have Tessa Mitchell as my nom de plume. I need to remain anonymous if ever I get more than beyond the 2nd draft and become one of the precious one per cent.

    All the best – keep writing. You are funny and observant. I like that. And oooh, I may need to pick your brains about starting a blog. My son recommends WordPress and I notice you and others use it. I may have to sort this out pronto.

    Heather (Mitchell = Tessa Tangent)


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