The NaNo Experiment & the result


Halfway through writing my 50,000 required words, I wanted to quit. Not because it was too hard, or I didn’t know what to write, or anything that included writer’s block.

I wanted to edit.

The whole reason I started NaNoWriMo this year was to get myself writing without editing so I could get into a proper creative flow that was unlike the process I had adopted halfway through 2013.  I made a goal this year to try to aim for at least 70,000 (I made it to 55,537).  I generally start a little early so I have a proper structure to work within.

Like magic, my characters wanted different things.  Leanora and Dex made choices I hadn’t planned, their futuristic world turned in a way I hadn’t thought of ahead of time.  And I was excited.  I wanted to make the words describing them beautiful also.  But, there was NO TIME!

I discovered, into the third week, I had to make the decision to speed up my WPM or continue half editing as I went along.  It was a painful choice, but I was still lagging in the 30,000 word territory in week 3.  Thanksgiving was calling and I know how my body doesn’t want to do anything once the holidays hit, and who wants to be stressed during a holiday?

NaNoWriMo is an exercise, a vehicle to learning to get your creative flow going.  To putting the structure to paper, screen, etc…without letting your censor take over before it needs to.  In addition, people who hate editing (Me!) learn that editing can actually be a lot of fun.

Breaks are important also with a new manuscript. Like a  fine red wine, you have to let it breathe.  You have to distance yourself from something you’re going to edit so you can see it with fresh and more objective eyes.

At least that’s my plan.  Onward with Book #2 editing and Leaning the Wrong Way shall stay on the shelf until novels # 1 & # 2 are fully edited to my satisfaction.

Meanwhile, will I do NaNo next year? Absolutely! It’s good to flex your non-censor writing muscles once a year.  And maybe, in 2015, right around the end of the school year, I might just do another NaNo project, just to keep those muscles strong and limbered up for the real thing!!!

There are just too many possibilities.


13 thoughts on “The NaNo Experiment & the result

  1. I remember the NaNoWriMo writing progress. Sitting at a computer for countless hours trying to write. I could barely get to 20,000 words, and I also felt like giving up. I kept at it though, and achieved my goal in the end. I wish all of this years contestants good luck, and I hope you have fun writing. Don’t do something if you don’t like it.

    • Aiden! I’m so glad you commented about the NaNo process. This year I had over a hundred kids participate and around 70 reached 10,000+ words. I also had around five kids go over the 30,000 word threshold. Ultimate awesomeness! Thanks for checking in for the latest news Aiden. And I look forward to reading your work as well!

  2. I thought that the NaNoWriMo was going to be difficult but it was fun, I failed but for me it was fun to get my imagination out and creat a good story. I’m telling you to trie and have fun creating a story and maybe when you are older it could be a real book.

  3. I agree with this article. It is very similar to how I felt when I was assigned to do the NaNoWriMo project. I thought that I would never get the assignment done because I had never typed so many words into one story, but I got through. While working on it, some days were better than other’s with my creative flow. Towards the end of the project I felt some accomplishment in my work. Now I feel as though I can write better than before I started the NaNoWriMo assignment or project.

  4. NaNoWriMo was something new for me. At the beginning I thought it was going to be difficult for me to come up with events along the way, but as the days passed by thoughts were pouring out of me. Although there were some times when I didn’t know what to do next in the story, I took a little break and soon I knew what to do. NaNoWriMo was definitely a fun experience… even if the deadline stressed me out.

    • Arianna, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the NaNoWriMo experience. I think it is a great lesson not only in how to go from a rough draft to a finished piece, but also a great exercise in starting various types of writing.

  5. NaNoWriMo was really fun and hard at the same time. At the beginning I didn’t know what to do and it was hard. I had some hard times because I didn’t know what to write about. So I used what happened to me in real life or things that were in the books that I read. NaNoWriMo was fun I mite write more because of this .

  6. I think that, for me, NaNoWriMo had its challenges. I can’t comeup with a story line, I just have to sit down and start typing. I chose to do the minimal wordcount of 10,000 words because I didn’t want to make a goal I couldn’t reach, and I wasn’t even able to meet that. I think the plus side for me was being able to write about anything. I was able to choose a topic and genere. Since I chose realistic fiction/ historical fiction, I was able to learn more about my topic, and at the same time I was able to creat my own adventerous story.

  7. Yes, I remember this, it was a good time where I was better at typing then writing, I had great ideas from books, movies, and games I watched/played, I decided to go with 15,000 words for a challenge, which my parents did not approve of, and I proved them wrong. So sometimes a challenge can be a good and helpful way to push yourself to write a book, in an area your not strong in.
    I thought that the NaNoWriMo was fun and got my brain to creative.

  8. For me, NaNoWriMo was something I both liked and despised. I liked it because I finally got to write a story, a story that had been going on in my head for a long, long time. I had written little passages a while ago before this occurred that I knew someday would be written into a story. And I was excited when I was told I would finally write a story after I had thought making one for so long. I was not excited about the deadline. For me, I wanted the writing to be at my own pace, to work as the ideas came and not in a rush to just have it done. And the pace I had in mind was not a month. It would not be enough time for me to write everything in my book. And in my already extensive 15,000 words, I had barely gotten my story started. When I wrote, I wanted it to be when I had thoughts, new ones, about what would go into my story, and when I knew exactly what would go into it. But with this project I had to push against my already buzzing thoughts and work with what I had. It was a challenge, but in the end it worked out. Now I just have to wait and see if I will ever write an actual conclusion to my story. I had to exercise both my writing, creativity, and above all typing skills to do this project. It gives a little glimpse on the reality of being a writer!

  9. When I was doing the nanowrimo I had a really hard time figuring out what to write about. My mom had me up everyday for the last week of the nanowrimo just writing. She made me write at least 1,00 words a day. I wanted to give up but I didn’t. It did help me with my writing a little, but I honestly didn’t like it

  10. I remember being assigned the NaNoWriMo. It was certainly, and undoubtedly a challenge. I challenged myself a total of 30,000 words. I reached 25,000, I believe? Sadly, I had not reached my goal at the end of the month because I had a serious issue with editing. I wanted to re-read my story, to get rid of the tiny flaws, as if I was going to make it perfect. But, previously a few days ago I came across my NaNoWriMo novel and read it. In my honest opinion, it could be worked on, but it wasn’t a bad story at all. After reviewing it, I’ve decided to continue writing and editing my novel, in order to –hopefully– one day, get it published.

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