Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoMoWri Results

Today's the last day of the now forever in my mind crazy month of November. It is a blustery month, one with swirling leaves and slight cold showers. The month started hot with highs in the upper 70's. The trees sported all their summer leaves and children wore shorts to school. High temperatures, high hopes for high word counts.

In a matter of days, the showers arrived and temperatures dipped into the 60's. I bent my head to my laptop and cranked and cranked at a novel I had plotted, complete with spreadsheets and timelines. But something happened at day 10. I hit 50K but decided this novel was stale. Lots of action but no heart.

Outside the leaves turned gold, orange, and red. I had never noticed it before. But fall color in the Bay Area is in mid November. We hit sunny days again. Freed from the burden wordcount, I started dreaming again. A romantic suspense. I had no inclination to write it for NaNo. But by November 15, I had somewhat a plot and somewhat a set of characters. So I wrote about what I knew. The world of computer programmers in an Internet startup. Throw in a murder and a maniacal villain, two hapless protags with secrets to hide, and boom. I started to type again.

Along the way, I shed my previous novel, Michal's Window, went through three edit rounds and sent it to my editor yesterday. Since I had no goal of 50K, I surprised myself with 60K in the new novel. I finished it on Sunday, day 27, and now I'm back to fix my official NaNo story.

November will forever be the time of change. A time to say good-bye to old characters and bring in the new. NaNoMoWri was the perfect opportunity to make the transition. The leaves have almost blown off now--the orangey-red hue of Chinese pistachio trees, the golden yellow elms, and the bright red liquidambars contrasting with the dark green pines and the purple plums.

It was not about wordcount. Nope. To me, NaNoMoWri was successful in kicking me out of Michal's Window, and landing me with new problems to solve and new characters to explore. What was your NaNo experience like? Was it satisfying? Enlightening? or pure drudgery?

I'm glad I did it, and I will participate again, if only to get me to try new stories and visit new experiences.


  1. It sounds like you had wonderful results with NaNo. :)

    I love NaNo because it always reminds me why I write, and this year, I learned how I write best.

  2. Thanks. I learned I'm too emotional to be a complete plotter, but I'm also not a panster either. I'm probably in between. I have the characters, premise, crisis and turning points in mind. Then I write to either achieve them, or change my mind when I get there. I also need daydream time in between.