Liz’s first NaNoWriMo

The Start

Of course, I had heard about it. Some crazy initiative where people would write 50,000 words, most of them just for the sake of getting the words written. That was not for me, I thought. I had never finished a story longer than 20,000 words, so how was I going to write more than double that? And on top of that, I could not write more than 1,000 words per day. Even reaching that goal was hard enough for me. But, one by one my November tasks fell away, and suddenly I had the whole month to myself. So, around the 26th of October, I started looking into it. I played around with the idea. I came up with a few storylines. And then I decided: I’m going to join NaNoWriMo. I’m probably going to fail after a couple of days, a week tops, but what did I have to lose?

The Community 

So I signed up and joined the Dutch community. And I found out there were even write-ins at a venue that I knew how to reach. I decided to write a rockstar-reverse harem novel. That gave me plenty of characters to fill the 50,000 words with. My initial plan was to make it a clean, safe romance. I didn’t know if I was going to have to share snippets of my work and I don’t feel comfortable sharing my most sexual work with just anyone.
And so it began. I was dead nervous on the first of November. I missed a night of sleep because I was so worried about this project. But, I joined the kick-off event online, and I wrote 3,000 words before the end of November first.
I went to the write-in and found a group of slightly weird, but lovely writing people. We did wars together, and we chatted about our stories and about a whole range of non-writing stuff. I continued meeting with this group all throughout November. I did a lot of sprints on Twitter, following the #NaNoWordSprints. The volunteers who hosted these sprints were so kind and supportive. Some days I would reach my daily word count before 2 PM, just because I joined in some sprints. I joined one Harry Potter sprint, which was the best. Go Hufflepuff!

The Muddy Middle

My manuscript grew. At the end of October I had put together a quick outline, but soon enough I had left the framework. And I departed from the strictly-romance line. I found it much easier to reach my daily word count by implementing random sex scenes. With three flaming hot men to describe, there was no lack of inspiration. Story? Depth? Emotions? Nah, who needs those :p

My NaNoWriMo 2018 Notebook 

The Grand Finale

On November 27th, I did it. I won NaNoWriMo 2018! I wrote 50061 words. I cried. I really did. The pressure had been so high all month, but I had done it. I had written 24 days in a row, had one day hiatus, and got to the finish line shortly after.
Am I satisfied with what I have accomplished? I’m a perfectionist, so no. I know the second half of the manuscript is lousy writing. The sentence structure is appalling. I fluffed up the text with way too many random sex scenes.

And now? I’m going to rewrite the entire text. I wrote the manuscript in third person, and I’m going to rewrite it in first person. That will make it closer to the action, it’ll make it easier to describe emotions and the sex will be even more intense. I’m going to try to filter out the most blatant mistakes and make sure the continuity is in place. And I need to write the ending because I hadn’t even gotten close yet. But I’m not going to do it under the strict pressure of November. I have a vague deadline to finish it in February, but we’ll see.
Will I do NaNoWriMo again? Yes. It pushed my boundaries. I have surprised myself that I can write that much in such a short time. I now know I’m not the best quick writer. I do better when I think about sentences a little longer, but at least I wrote. And I did so for twenty-four days in a row. And I did write 50,000 words within a month. I’m a winner!