So I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an international competition (or self-challenge, more like) in which anyone above thirteen can compete to write an at least 50,000 word book in the 30 days of November. Anyone who crosses 50,000 before the clock strikes 12 on November 30th, wins. Anyone who doesn’t, doesn’t win.
Now I initially did not plan on writing a book. Last year, I really wanted to participate, but I was twelve. This year, I did not plan to finish writing a book, firstly because I knew the book I wanted to write was longer than that, and there was no way in the seven skies I could do that in one month. Secondly, because I had one set of exams in the middle of November, and one set of exams right after November.
My plan was to just feel motivated to write–it was a national competition when everyone’s writing, Twitter and Instagram and Facebook is crowded with writers–so all I would do was write whenever I could write, and however much I could, and just get at least something done.
But Day 1 of NaNoWriMo, things started happening. I became so in love with these characters and this story, that I wrote 5,000 words that day. The next day, I wrote another 5,000 words. I was already ten, thousand words into the story. And it was escalating fast.
So things continued like that, and by Day 20, I’d already hit 50,000 words. Then, the story went on and on and on, and I hit 60,000 words at November 25th. And right now, November 30th, I’ve hit 64,000 words, plus the two thousand words of appendix and world-building.
What Did I Learn from NaNoWriMo?
I think one of the most important lessons to this was to write everyday–however much you can. One of the bigger problems with Queens and Kings was that I often overlooked in editing was that I was contradicting what I’d said in the same book earlier.
So making an appendix, listing down main events and character notes really helps. I outline and write in Scrivener, because it lets you organise chapters and parts and it’s easy to outline in. I always outline each chapter, and each character, which is easy to do in Scrivener.
When I was writing everyday, I didn’t easily forget what I had written a day ago. So it was easier for me to remain in the world and with the characters.
I personally think this was a great experience. I also participated in some writing-sprints with some online writer friends on twitter, which helps to boost it up.
I encourage everyone to do it, if you like writing. It’s a wonderful challenge to do and even if you don’t it’s a wonderful experience on its own. It’s the universal month of writing, and just that alone makes it feel magical for writing.
And that’s all. Also, I might put up something about my upcoming novel (the one I wrote for NaNoWriMo), but not sure yet. We’ll see.