NaNoWriMo 2013 – roundup

2013-Winner-Square-ButtonAh, NaNoWriMo. It seems such a distant memory.

I ‘won’ (I always put that word inside quotation marks, as it’s a strange word to use in the circumstances), but I was fairly confident of doing so, having set out a good plan and knowing I had the time to write it.

As it happens, I completed the 50k on the 12th of November, and by the 30th, I had written a total of 74,021 words. I forgot to update my onsite word count for the last day, so my count ‘over there’ shows 72,796. Pfft.

I completed one ‘novel’, “Meltdown”, at 47,290 words. I didn’t complete the second ‘novel’, “Shed No Tear”, but it currently stands at 20,938 words. I also began writing a Dark Christmas Collection, as yet unnamed, and at the time of writing (late on the 2nd of December), the word count for that collection is 10,334 words.

So, what have I learnt from NaNoWriMo2013? Not a lot, to be honest. This was my 10th NaNoWriMo, and my 9th ‘success’. I know I can write quickly enough to complete the challenge, and although the completed work is in a very rough, Draft Zero, form, it is a complete story. The second work is a tricky one, as it has a complicated time frame, which takes some time for my head to get around. But it’s getting there, and the two timelines are coming together nicely.

What else? I attended a few local Write-Ins, and met some of our local NaNoers. Very nice people they were, too. Our local Essex group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/nanoessex/ with its website http://nanoessex.wordpress.com/ was a busy place, with a lively mix of NaNo Newbies, experienced NaNoers, and doddery old hands – that’ll be me then. It was great to be able to share information and support. As a group, Essex wrote 8,345,822 words, which smashed our previous total. We had a large number of finishers in the group, which was fantastic. Some of us appeared on a local radio programme, http://www.saintfm.co.uk/ on Sarah Banham’s “Writers’ Block” show. That was great fun, albeit a bit nerve-wracking for radio virgins like myself. I think the vast majority of our group enjoyed the experience.

What next?

I, like many others, have unfinished business with our writing. Yet more words need to be written and edited. And there is a generally local group feeling that we want to continue to support each other, which is awesome. And so, we shall.

For me, although I’m still writing now, I do love a challenge.

In January 2014, the 3rd episode of #100kwords100days begins. Initiated by the prolific **SALLY QUILFORD**  (Amazon page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/SALLY-QUILFORD/e/B002BLQGBS ) it’s a challenge which requires writers to create one hundred thousand new words between January 1st and the 10th April. For those not quick at maths (or math), it’s 1,000 words per day. If you’ve been successful at NaNoWriMo, a smaller word count might seem easy. But over 100 days?

And, of course, there’s always the next challenge. A new thing hit my Facebook this week – “Milwordy”. A million words in a year. That sounds like a challenge. In a non-leap year, that’s nearly 2,740 words a day. During the winter, it’s doable. I’m not so sure about the summer, as there always seems more ‘active’ things to do in the summer – cycling, gardening, generally enjoying the outside.

But the wordcount is achievable, I think. On all but 5 days of NaNoWriMo, I wrote more than that. Is it possible to maintain that level of productivity over a while year, as well as edits and publishing some of the other things I have in the wings?

Do I want to produce another million words of first drafts? I already have 711,000 words of works in progress – 3 complete novels to first draft. Do I need any more?

So here’s my idea. I should take some of my earlier works, especially the NaNo stuff, and rewrite them. My writing back then was not as accomplished as it now is, I hope, and some of the stories deserve to see the light of day. I’ll use the existing stories as long plans, a bit like Karen Wiesner advocates in her “First Draft in 30 Days” http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/FD2.html

So that’s what I’ll plan. Whether I get there, I don’t know. But it must be worth a go, eh?

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