Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looking Back on Camp NaNoWriMo

Well, friends, I did it. I crossed the threshold of 50,000 words on August 15th, actually, but it took me until the 29th to finally type the words "The End."

The first draft of what is currently entitled THE BRIGHT FOREVER is almost 67,000 words long. Phew. I thought it was never going to end.

I think, for me, NaNoWriMo works best as "first draft in a month" rather than "50k in a month." Sure, 50k is what I aim for, but every single time I've competed, I've written solely for the purpose of getting to 50k. And then by the time I get there, the end of the story is nowhere in sight because I ignored the traditional beginning-middle-end structure. So when I hit 50k, the climax isn't even in sight. And then, upon hitting 50k, I immediately lose steam. The 16k between 50k and The End was some of the hardest stuff I've ever had to push myself to write.

But it's finished. Sort of. Actually, I had a Revision Revelation on my final day of writing, so when I start revising, most of what I wrote this month has to be scrapped.

*shoots self*

Oh well. I had fun. And it's a lot easier to start over with a finished draft than it is to start with fragments.

I'm going to take a month off from writing -- yes, a whole month. I don't think I've taken this long a break from writing since I was 10 years old. No, I don't think I can actually do it. But I really need to devote some time to reading, and to get some distance from all the projects I'm currently working on. THEN I can plunge into heavy revisions and heavy, heavy research for this stupid novel.

*dies of exhaustion*


  1. Well done for reaching the 50k mark! Even more of a well done for finishing the story! I'm thinking about doing NaNo in November. I love the deadline - I find I get a story finished when I have one.

    Hope you manage to find time for a break and a bit of reading before your revisions start.

  2. Thank you! The deadline is a miracle for me -- I highly recommend NaNoWriMo!

  3. Yay to hitting "The End!" Woo hoo! I am a Camp NaNo fail...I signed up and never went back to the site. Ugh! But....I think this may be the November that I NaNo! I really want to do it!

  4. Congrats!! The first draft is such a huge milestone. You definitely deserve a break, and the work will benefit from some time/distance.

  5. Congratulations! That’s a fantastic achievement, Becca. I think a month off from writing sounds like exactly what you need right now. Bury your head in a number of awesome books and the time might pass more quickly than you expect! Oh, and I love the phrase ‘Revision Revelation’ too. Nice one. :-)

  6. Congrats! That's sooo awesome. :)

  7. MAJOR congrats! And a break does nothing but good (usually). Have fun reading!

  8. Congratulations on finishing! Nothing wrong with taking a break and refilling the creative well. Have fun!