I Did NaNoWriMo and All I Got was this Lousy First Draft

“LET ME OUT, YOU $**@&!!”

*shoulder thuds repeatedly against door, which finally crashes open*

In case you were wondering, that was my highly offended inner editor, who was locked away during the entire month of November as I participated in the insanity known as NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to puke out a 50,000-word novel (roughly 175 pages) in a month. I finished today, and it feels darn good.

Here’s the lovely badge I earned.

Everyone who reaches the 50,000-word mark by November 30 is considered a winner. The use of the word winner in conjunction with a first draft barfed out in thirty days is quite a stretch, and my draft is no exception. There are plenty o’ drawbacks to writing like your pants are on fire. For one, I had to ice my wrists. My family already thinks I’m a little coo-coo, but the visual of me sitting at the computer with bags of frozen edamame on my wrists pretty much sealed the deal.

The hardest part? With the high daily word count goal, there was no time to revise. And let me tell you, that was painful. PAINFUL. My plot and character motivations changed a few chapters in. Halfway through the novel, I ditched my antagonist. I started using a second point of view. Left plot holes the size of Rhode Island. My inner editor was so outraged at being locked away, I could feel her red Sharpie gouging at my brain, desperate to break free and clean house on that mess of a manuscript.

But for as blucky as that splooged out draft is, I’m feeling rather smitten with its potential. Even though it needs a serious overhaul, I’m digging the story and characters enough to spend hours and weeks and months with them. My inner editor is going to have one heck of a field day.

Now the real work begins.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo this year! How was your experience?

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17 thoughts on “I Did NaNoWriMo and All I Got was this Lousy First Draft

  1. Aw come on, everyone gets a medal? Really? Can’t there be some hip checking and tackling among the author set. What about a Hunger Games remake? People would pay to see writers duke it out with ball points and quills…

    Very proud of you, Congrats! It’s going to be a bestseller I’m sure!

  2. I WISH I HAD KNOWN YOUR KEYBOARD STAMINA WAS LACKING – – – I WOULD
    HAVE REFERRED YOU TO MR HEMINGWAY. HE ALWAYS FAVORED WHISKEY OVER
    EDAMAME . HE ALSO FELT IT HELPED TO KEEP THE CHARACTERS, PLOT,AND
    EVEN THE VOCABULARY SIMPLE. BUT, WHAT DID HE KNOW ? CAN WE EXPECT
    A BRIEF SYNOPSIS BY THE NEW YEAR – – – NOW I’M CURIOUS. I’M SURE IT IS
    CLEVER, SMART, AND MOST COMPELLING. YOU DESERVE A VERY BIG ” GO GIRL “.

  3. I just love reading your blog…it’s even well written. And I still think it’s so cool that you have taken the leap of faith to focus on your brilliant writting talents. Me…I just plug away at a To Do list. You… you wrote a book!! You go girl. Looking forward to seeing you soon to catch up.

  4. I think it’s AMAZING that you finished, and now have a draft to really work with. I started, got through a week on schedule, and then we adopted a dog. Back to the drawing board for me, but not until the holidays are over and my new best friend is house trained. =I

  5. Congratulations! I am so proud of you for making it! I wrote like 7000 words, and I kept getting distracted. Oh well, there’s always next year… 😉

  6. Beth,
    Congratulations to you and I like the description (barfed out a first draft). My NaNo novel needs lots of work, but right now I am focusing on getting last year’s NaNo novel into shape. Take a bow and do something nice for yourself. I know first-hand that winning is quite an achievement.

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