Saturday, December 1, 2007

Results of National Novel Writing Month 2007

Yesterday was the last day of the National Novel Writing Month. Many people, myself included, attempted to hack out the entire rough draft of a novel out in the space of a month--fifty thousand words worth of writing in thirty days. Some people succeeded; I was not one of them.

Yet while I did not reach my goal, I do consider last month’s effort (on my part) to be a success. I finished closer to the goal than I have ever came before. I ended up writing 41443 words to be exact. More if you count the amount of wordage I wrote last month on the various term papers I ended up completely.

If I could have gotten all the writing I did to go all in the same direction, I would have crossed the line this time. Unfortunately, term paper season ate me alive. In the end, I wrote over ten thousand words spread over a couple of papers--so far, one of them has turned out to be an A, still awaiting further grades to be reported.

And I consider parts of the rough draft that I wrote to be useable; or at least, parts will be usable after some revisions. Whether or not, it turns out to be a novel or just a short story (or perhaps a novella) will depend a lot on what can be fixed.

As always, this writing project was a learning experience for me. What I learned this project was the strange things that occur to me when I am trying to make an idea fix into a novel. Perhaps some of the strange ideas are good, I need to let the story sit awhile before judging parts of it. Then again, I have to finish a dozen scenes before it can be set to rest for awhile--as I said term paper season was a conflict with National Novel Writing Month. But I should have those scenes written by the first of the year--at least, I can say that I wrote the rough draft of an entire novel this year; and that makes me a winner despite not hitting the goal of fifty thousand words in thirty days.

Another thing I learned was that I can still surprise myself. At the end of this long stretch of writing, I find myself busy outlining another novel. That surprised me, I figured that I would not want to look at the keyboard for a good month afterwards; instead I find myself working on my next novel already.

For many, this will not be a surprise. In my case, it is. Sometimes, I forgot that I am a real writer. If nothing else, this last month was a good reminder that despite the expectations of those people around me, and society in general, that at heart, I am best at being a writer.

So here is to the end of National Novel Writing Month, while I did not write enough to make the goal, I am still happy with my results--and here is to next November, when I get to do it all over again.

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