How I won NaNoWriMo 2018

When I decided to take the plunge and commit to NaNoWriMo 2018, I knew it would be touch and go for me to reach the 50k mark.

As I wasn’t starting a new manuscript, but rather aiming to finish one already a quarter of the way in, my main aim was to finish the manuscript. And being a chronic under-writer I tend to finish a first draft around the 65-70k mark, rather than the 80k I aim for.

For the first two weeks, I was on track. I was reaching the daily target and even catching up when I missed a day or two. But then I hit a roadblock.

There was no way over, no way around and no way through. The only way to get past was ‘plotting 101’. And for a pantser that was an issue. But, I pulled on my plotting pants and set to work figuring out how to fix the plot hole I’d dug for my characters.

And it worked! I was off and running again. Then, day 29, I knew I wasn’t going to reach the 50k NaNoWriMo goal. I was halfway through the climax with only the resolution to finish. But I was going to finish the draft, so I was happy.

Then, on the final day when I’d finished the resolution, I realised two things: 1/ I needed to revise and possibly add a chapter early in the novel, and 2/ I needed an Epilogue. And 4,000 words later… I’d smashed the 50k NaNo goal AND finished my draft!

That’s the thing about writing. It surprises you when you least expect it.

As a writer, you experience the full gauntlet of emotions. From frustration to elation and back again. One hundred times over! But that’s why we do it right?

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