I Miss My Novel

NaNoWriMo is officially over for another year, and I’m finally getting back to eating, sleeping, socializing blogging!

I had meant to do a weekly update on how my NaNo was going, but I quickly realized that my November was going to be more difficult and time consuming than I had anticipated. But if you’re following me on Twitter, hopefully you saw my daily word count updates!

If not, no worries, you can go check out my Twitter now, or just look at the graph on my NaNo profile: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/elizabeth_sabourin/novels/the-roles-we-play/stats. I really just want to talk about my experience with NaNo this year.

As I may or may not have mentioned in my previous post, I love the last two years of NaNo due, in part, to being sick. That was thankfully not an issue this time, although this was the first year I had to deal with working full time and only have one night off. My schedule extremely limited, I barely met my word count for the first week of NaNo:

Week two hit me hard. While on the plus side I got to attend my first and only write-in (and I mean like, my first write-in ever) I was swamped that weekend and fell way behind, a theme that carried into the next week…

Week three is widely considered the Worst Week of NaNo. I’ve never necessarily found this to be true for me, but this year it was. Aside from a rare 5k day, I wasn’t able to catch up from the madness of week two.

I started week four on the high from the 5k day, assuming I could continue that streak until I caught up. Things went downhill from there until I was steadily maintaining being 10k behind.

The final days were absolutely insane. I cancelled all social engagements (because, of all days, of course things were planned for the 29th and 30th) and spent every waking second at my computer. I still only managed to eke out a few thousand words a day, until I went into the 30th needing over eight thousand words.

The most I’d ever written in a single day was 7,891 words (several NaNos before) so I was about 99% sure I wouldn’t win. Not to mention the fact that I hadn’t slept enough and still had to go to work at some point.

So imagine my surprise when, through sprints on Twitter and amazing playlists put together through other participants, I managed to write 8,528 words (150 more than I needed) with a half hour to spare.

While that’s all really incredible and I still can’t believe that I won NaNo again, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the story I wrote. Or half-wrote, I guess, since I only got about halfway through my outline.

For the first week or two, I really worried my story was going to turn into a farce on dystopian novels like the Hunger Games or Divergent, thankfully by week three it started to come into its own, developing its own world and issues. I’m actually really proud with what I have so far, even though it’s going to need a lot of editing to condense the first few chapters.

My main character, Jericho, finally found a personality near week four. I had hoped he would work out sooner, since the novel is from his point of view, but the experiences in the middle of the novel have really helped to flesh him out. The final scene I wrote was Jericho standing up to the oppressive, argumentative people around him. It’s my favorite scene yet.

So now here I sit, three days later, having done nothing particularly important or productive since NaNo ended, and feeling lost without the push to write. I actually really miss my novel, which I don’t think has ever happened to me before.

I will continue it. Probably before the week is through. I haven’t thrown out my chapter outline or removed all my writing notes from my desk just yet, so it should be pretty easy to get back into the swing of things. Maybe, if I’m very lucky, I can power through this first draft over the holidays.

I still have lots of other things to keep me busy, though. I’m returning to a writing competition in the next month or so, I’m planning on revamping my youtube channel to be another platform in which I can discuss my writing, and over the course of NaNo I developed ideas for five new novels!

I’ll be blogging about all of this stuff in the coming weeks. I’m still planning on keeping a weekly blogging schedule, unless something big comes up (like the holidays). But I just want to say a quick hello to anyone new who started following me during NaNo! I know I received some new Twitter followers due to my daily tweets, and I hope some of you have come from that.

Next week I’ll have some pretty big news regarding my old, completed NaNo novel, Spectrum.

Happy writing!


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