A note for Lucie
This year’s NaNoWriMo has ended three days ago, and surprisingly enough I’ve made it. Even though I started late and without a proper outline, I’ve written50,232 words and finished (the first draft of) the story I had set myself to write.
Reaching the line was a relief, but there’s still a lot to do. I don’t like most of what I wrote, and there are probably a lot of things that need to be changed. The whole experience allowed me to realise at least two things, though.
The outline is important
I started the NaNo quite badly, so to speak. Three days late, with only a faint idea of what I wanted to write about. No precise outline, not even a real idea of how I wanted the story to begin and to end. So I made up one during the first few days of the month.
An outline isn’t a strict rule: I drifted away, sometime coming back to it, sometime not. But having it at hand is more than helpful when you’re stuck and you still have to write a thousand words before the end of the day.
Sticking to a daily goal
When I really started writing, on the third of November, I decided to write two thousand words. With twenty-seven days left, it gave me a margin. I was happy to have it, as I knew I wouldn’t write on the 23rd.
If I had to give only one piece of advice, it would be to always stick to this daily goal. I tried once stopping five hundreds words before, thinking I would catch back on the next day. I didn’t. Once you’re in the habit of writing a certain amount each day, it’s hard to do more, especially if you’re in one of those “off” days.
This month has been weird. There were days I struggled like never before. Each word was hard to find, and I suspect the part I wrote those days are the ones that need the most editing.
But there were also awesome days. Days I knew what I wanted to write about, where I could write two thousand words in an hour and a half. That felt good, and more than made up for the “off” days.
I decided to let myself a month before even opening my novel. Take a step back, clear my head. Then i’ll try to read it through, taking notes, before editing it1. And, who knows, I might release it, if I get something satisfactory enough.