A View from the Far Side of NaNoWriMo

Sally post-nanoLast month Sally Hare was anticipating having another bash at Nanowrimo. We’re glad to see she lived to tell the tale. Well done Sally!  

It’s been two weeks since the end of National Novel Writing Month; the aches in my arms have just about been Zumba-ed away and my eyes no longer look like last week’s party balloons. (Sally are you sure about that?) 

I’m happy to say that I did manage to write 50,000 words, passing the finish line on 27th November. (WOOP!) Despite my assertions earlier in the challenge that I’d keep going until the end of the month regardless, I stopped at a mighty 50,001 (the NaNo website obviously has a kinder word-check: it awarded me 50,069). The cava was promptly cracked.

It’s been an ‘interesting journey’, to say the least. I have slaughtered and merged characters, christened the novel after someone I subsequently abandoned by the kerbside in week three, renamed just about everyone, and realised that one of the three stories I was telling had no place in the narrative at all (but invented a whole new one in a bit of an eureka moment). Keeping up the demanding pace left no time to edit; I had to roll with the ongoing twists and turns of the plot and just keep writing through exasperation, despair and occasional elation.

So, what am I left with? Well, re-reading Louise’s post about ‘tending plots both literary and green’, I would have to say a steaming great pile of manure. However, I’m hopeful that it might, just perhaps, turn out to be the kind of fertile compost from which delicious rhubarb will sprout.

Yes, it turns out there was only one storyline which had anything like its own momentum, one appeared out of nowhere but I have no idea how to put meat on its bones, and one is so boring even I didn’t want to write it.

nanowrimo winnerBut … these are problems to work on. Rather than wandering around trying to come up with a ‘big idea’, I have loads of little ideas to ponder when doing the shopping, digging the allotment, writing more sensible things. At the moment I’m letting it all rot down a bit in my mind (and bulk-buying boxed toiletries and novelty jumpers), but come the New Year I’ll get my literary wellies back on and get grappling. Was it worthwhile? I’ll tell you when I see what’s grown in the spring  … 😉

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