So, Nanowrimo is over. For some it’s a relief and for others, it’s a sad goodbye to a month of intense yet fun writing and get-togethers. Some people would have barely reached the 50,000 goal on the last day, some fell short and some completely pulverized the official winning numbers. But regardless, it’s worth congratulating everyone who participated whether you won or not because either way, you wrote something.
Also for your viewing pleasure, here’s the first part of the Nanowrimo Musical (Which I’ll talk about more below)
For the local area, we finished it off with an overnighter on the 29th/30th, and then a mad dash to midnight from 8 to the first minute of December. Several people in my area wrote their 50,000th word right in the restaurant/café where we held our mad dash. Vanessa Ricci-Thode in particular reached her 150,000th word in the café, joining our local triple-Nano club of two (myself being the other one). If you’re reading this, congratulations on beating my word count from last year while also dealing with several big distractions throughout the month.
Our second overnighter is probably my favourite Nano event of the year for several reasons. First off, three creators of the Nanowrimo musical showed up for a few hours of entertainment, singing hilariously nerdy songs in-between our word wars and giving us free merchandise (so thank you for that). A journalism student from the same college I attended showed up and filmed a few interviews with us and hung out for a bit. If and when he posts the interviews online, I’ll link to his video on this blog.
The real joy of the overnighter though is how hilariously insane things get after a while. Most of us are mentally tired from writing so much in one month and are starting to go crazy. There was one particular writer who acted as a major distraction for a while yet in an entertaining way, when she wasn’t deleting her own words in frustration. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! Two of the MLs started throwing stuff at each other (why are they friends again?) As the night goes on and everyone starts growing frustrated, delusional or just tired, everything degenerates into pretty much everyone procrastinating in increasingly odd ways. Yet despite all these distractions, almost everyone gets a lot of work done at these events. Even I wrote almost 8,000 words there when I’m usually terrible at getting distracted at write-ins. Seriously, if you do Nanowrimo and your area has an overnighter, be sure to show up for at least some of it because they really are the best.
My total word count for the month sits at 191,386, and I am so mentally done. I finished two rough drafts, including book 7 in my series (which is the first I’ve ever written in chronological order), along with 5 short stories and re-writing the first short story I ever did for this series. Last year I started a short story exploring one character’s parenting style at the mad dash to midnight, and this year I finished the month off with a similar story that explores his daughter’s parenting style. Maybe that should be a pattern for me; finishing Nanowrimo off with a parent/child short story.
Now it’s time to briefly talk about my post-Nano plans in terms of writing and reading. In the last two years I’ve kept a pattern of writing one month and then taking a month off (sometimes two if something comes up). It’s worked quite well so far, giving me time to mentally recover and come up with ideas. Since I didn’t read enough fiction for a while, last year I made a goal to read at least one novel every month I take off. I ended up surpassing that. So this year, I intend to read at least two books every month I take off. Additionally, I hope to keep a pattern of 2 fiction books and 1 non-fiction, with every other non-fiction book being about writing.
My first book of December will be After The Dragon Raid, which I’ll start reading either tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on how I feel tomorrow. Next up will be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a book about World War 1 (since my first book takes place during the war) and then Magic Slays (Kate Daniels 5). I’ll write a blog post for every fiction book I read, and also for every book about writing. No promises on writing a blog post for the other non-fiction books I read though. Also, every month this coming year I hope to blog about at least one older comic storyline, whether it’s a single story arc or an entire comic run. Sometimes it will be something I’ve never read before and sometimes it will be one of my favourites.
Writing-wise, of course I plan to fix up what I’ve written this past month. However because I wrote what is essentially books 4 and 7 in this series, it might be a while before I touch them again. I’m still working to get the first book published while at the same time, I’ll be preparing the second book in hopes that it will be ready to start the official editing process shortly after. In January I hope to finally re-edit the first book I ever did for this series (book 5 chronologically). I did its second draft in March of last year, before I really nailed my writing style for this series and I haven’t touched it since. The main villain in that book has been fleshed out so much between last March and now (the villain was a protagonist before that book happened).
The second book I wrote for Nano last year (book 3 in continuity) also hasn’t been touched since so at some point in 2015 I hope to revisit that one. And of course, book 8 is really building in my mind and because of how big and complex it will likely be, I want a full month just for that one. Depending on how this year goes for writing, I may tackle it sometime this summer. Either that or I’ll write a rough draft for a straight horror story, rewrite a thriller I did in my last year of high school or try straight up science fiction as a break from this series. It could be a while before I edit either of this month’s books but that’s fine, because it will give me plenty of time to come up with ideas on how to improve them.
Let me finish off this journal by saying congratulations again to everyone who participated in this year’s Nanowrimo, no matter what your final word count is. For those who are curious about the event but never tried it, just do it. But if you really want to try to write a book, don’t wait for next November. Just sit down and do it. To become a writer, all you have to do is write. It’s that simple. Whether you’re a writer or a published author is another story, but you’ll never get published if you don’t write in the first place.