This November, I committed to the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge: writing 50,000 words during the month of November. I knew it was going to be intense. I knew (or hoped) it would help me kick off the last book in the trilogy I'm working on. What I didn't realize was how helpful the process would be! Here's a recap of the whole crazy experience:
I prepped for the challenge by completing the steps of Shaunta Grimes' Plotting Workshop. This is also the process I used when I was plotting Book 2. I can't recommend this workshop enough! Usually, I don't like to plot out a story before I start writing. I feel like it ruins the fun of discovering where the story will end up. The Plotting Workshop showed me a way to plan out my story that didn't ruin the fun at all! By the time November 1 rolled around, I had a plot board, character sketches, and setting research all ready to go.
I write well under pressure. Just in case writing 50,000 words in 30 days doesn't seem like enough pressure, check out this graph of my daily word count. The closer the deadline loomed, the more words I wrote per day!
See the last week there? At least 10,000 of those words were powered by caramel macchiatos. I regret nothing.
One major benefit of writing during NaNoWriMo was the online support. For example, when I saw I had 10,000 words to go in the last week of the challenge, I also knew I wasn't the only one. Several other writers on Instagram and Twitter were in the same boat. We encouraged each other and we all made our goals!
Aside from attempting to step down my caffeine intake, I haven't done much of anything since November 30. I haven't done any editing--in fact, I haven't opened up the Word document again. I know that a draft I wrote that quickly wouldn't be my best work, and that's okay. I feel great that I have a first draft done. When I'm ready, it'll be there, ready to expand and edit.
Would I attempt NaNoWriMo again?
I can't believe I'm even typing this, but--yes. I absolutely would do this again. NaNoWriMo is a great way to hammer out a first draft. I was able to let go of the idea that I had to write well--I just had to write.
Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? How was your experience?