#NaNoWriMo Winner at Last!

NaNoWriMo Winner!

Word Count: 50,168

The Joys of Writing and the Dreaded Forced Writing

     November 29th I ecstatically wrote past 50K which makes me officially a NaNoWriMo Winner! As I was waiting for my story Beautiful Mess to be verified a huge wave of relief swept over me. My shoulders relaxed, my eyes uncrossed, my brain unfried, I had done it! After a few minutes of doing a jig I then began eating a bowl of buttery mashed potatoes while vegging out in front of the TV for an hour. Now that I have enjoyed the bliss of making it to 50K I am now officially ready to start writing again. I am also ready to write on my own terms where editing is an integral part of the process. I am glad I took the last-minute plunge into the NaNoWriMo challenge as I learned a lot about my writing style and what works best for me.

     First, I like to write in large chunks, then I like to edit these chunks. I wrote for 11 days straight not really caring about editing, but after that I really wanted to edit. Editing and reworking is a function of creativity, not a hinderance, as it prompts the next part of the story. Second, the act of writing continually fuels more stories. Before NaNo I had been working on a story for a while, but was having difficulty visualizing the next phase so I set it aside figuring I’d mentally work through it. One day while I was NaNo writing the solution just popped into my head as if it had been there all along waiting for me to uncover it. Along with that I also now have a really cool new idea for a paranormal werewolf story that I am anxious to plot out. Lastly, I do not like forced writing. After Thanksgiving the writing was completely forced. I was just trying to get to that 50K goal. In the end I think that is the least productive writing, especially if gets cut off the page in the editing phase.

Wikimedia Commons via Sewtex

A Thought Becomes a Sentence, A Sentence Becomes a Story

     For my NaNo story I did not choose fantasy or paranormal (which at the moment are my stories involving shapeshifting and vampires), subjects I usually write about. I chose a story that came to me while I was riding the Light Rail to the Writer’s Conference in Seattle this summer. When I arrived I quickly sat down and plotted out the characters with their names, their issues and some of the conflicts. Since I joined NaNo literally at the last-minute I thought this would be the best story for me to delve into as the basics were already laid out. It’s a YA slice of life story set in bush Alaska. It’s about a teenage city girl named Ellie who spends the summer with the mother that abandoned her as a child, comes to terms with the family history she was clueless about, witnesses the loss of a friend and feels the excitement true loves first kiss. This was also my first attempt at writing something besides flash entirely in 1st person. This in itself was a good challenge for me because it made me focus on the direct thoughts and perceptions of my teenage MC. I look forward to the editing stage as I will get to spend more time in those moments immersing myself in her emotions and possibly adding chapter POV from some of the other characters.

I’m thankful that I took the challenge, but even more I’m thankful that it’s done!

Sending out a hearty congrats to all the NaNoWriMo participants!   


5 Comments Add yours

  1. That is a great accomplishment, Laura. A job well done. My NaNo as I wrote was to challenge myself to do a complete rewrite of my paranormal romance. This is November 30th and I have done what I set out to do.

    Then as you said, the daunting job of editing lies ahead. Oh, well. I’ll enjoy the accomplishment, get ready for my X-mas madness and then start the first edit.

    Good luck with your story, I love the premise and the setting sounds beautiful 🙂

    1. laradunning says:

      Congrats to you too! Yes, like you I will enjoy it for a little bit and then gear up for hoildays and writing/editing. I thank I know why they have NaNo in Novebmer because when it is over you are thankful you did it! Good luck and happy holidays!

  2. Congratulations, Lara! Well done! Look forward to reading more about your story!


    1. laradunning says:

      Thanks Amy! It’s so great to get it done!

  3. Congratulations on finishing! I always loved books that took place in Alaska and the Yukon as a kid. I need to go back and re-read Jack London someday. 🙂

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