National Novel Writing Month 2011 Ends

National  Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for 2011 is over now, and a lot (thousands? millions?) of writers have accomplished the 50,000-word goal. I completed mine, with a few hundred words to spare, and even though I didn’t write every day, and even though I didn’t make the daily wordcount every day, I had enough inspired days where I wrote twice the number of words to make up the difference.

It’s a way to encourage authors, both first-time and those who’ve done it before, (I will refrain from using the term “experienced”) to get it down on paper, whether or not it’s ready for prime time. And it’s likely that it won’t be ready, when writing under a deadline like that.

I’ve been writing on a deadline for several months now, with this blog, so I was fairly used to it, and I have come to realize that yeah, it’s probably going to suck, the first time you scratch it out, but it will get better and better as you go along, easier for the words to flow onto the page. And the bad stuff can be changed later.

I had a head start anyway, because my novel, Perigee Moon, was already in outline form. I pretty much knew what would go into each chapter, yet I did find that some chapters needed to be split up, as I was writing. I completed 17 chapters out of 38 so I’m nearly half way, and I’m aiming for a 120,000 word count or less, so it fits.

Going into December, my personal goal (without the NaNo people to keep urging me on) is to do the next 50,000 words and wrap up the first draft by early January. I’m aiming for completion at the end of January in order to submit it to the ABNA, in which I will once again no doubt be thrown out in the first round, because my short descriptions are never any good.

One thing that is troublesome, is that once again, the story is chronological, and I fear that may be amateurish, to have a story start at the beginning and end at the end. It’s one of those baby boomer stories too, and so it goes on for a really long time. But I wanted to chronicle a relationship that began very early (age 9) and develop it through the years, and couldn’t see how to do it other than as it happened, step by step.

I really enjoy writing, and thinking about the people I’m constructing makes me happy, but I seriously wonder if it’s not just a hobby. There are just too many great authors out there, and it’s too easy to get a book onto a Kindle or into print, for me to ever make a difference in the literary world.

Perigee might be my last effort, or I might take one more on, at the suggestion of a couple of friends, and write about a group of us, and the different directions of our lives with some fictional intrigue to make it more interesting. Kind of a joint effort, basing characters on real people. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’m plotting on.

6 thoughts on “National Novel Writing Month 2011 Ends

  1. I think its harder to be noticed than to write a good book. Second Stories and Lilly have solid narratives with very good writing. At least I think so. But, most interesting is the genre, if that’s word, being a slice of the whole babyboomer experience. Someone someday is going to care about those stories that capture the experiences of the 60’s generation. Probably those future readers will be a whole lot more likely to appreciate the tugs and pulls of these times than those so close to them. And who knows maybe the real answer lies somewhere in a SEO tip sheet.

    • Yep, you’re right. And add to the fact that it’s harder to get noticed than to write a book, that I wouldn’t be comfortable being noticed anyway!! It’s a no-win situation, now that so many authors are tasked with having to market themselves. But thanks for your kind comment, you always seem to say the right thing. I do think there is a market for it, stories about late life, whoever thought late life would happen to us?

  2. Totally agree with Jack H that the relationship between sales and quality is a tenuous one. Most of the indy bestsellers on Amazon are bestsellers because they’re priced at 99 cents or similar. Can’t help feeling that it’s devaluing literature and all the hard work that goes into creating a good novel.

    ‘Slow burns’, such as the stories you write, are very satisfying reads.

    Congrats on reaching your NanoWriMo milestone. I am such a slow writer, I can’t even imagine coming close!

    • I feel the same, and instinctively react at the 99 cent books, as if the pricing is somehow indicative of the quality of the work.

      I never heard the term ‘slow burn’ but I like it!

      Also, it was harder to complete the 50K words than I thought it would be, and it’s by no means ready for prime time.

  3. Congratulations on finishing! I wanted to pass along that whether or not they finished a NaNoWriMo novel, anybody can still win a cash prize for their first line in the NaNoWriMo Best First Line Contest—but hurry—the deadline has been extended but only to midnight Wednesday, December 7. There’s no entry fee, nothing to buy and the first prize is $100, 2nd is $50, 3rd is $25, and 7 runners-up win a copy of the book, “Your Writing Coach”. Details and entry at: http://www.NaNoWriMoContest.com (ignore the deadline on that site, it has been extended to midnight, Dec. 7).

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