Reaching the end of Nanowrimo has always felt like a triumphant exulatation (think Princess Leia hugging Chewbacca at the end of Star Wars with a face-splitting grin and “We did it!”).

This year wasn’t like that. I don’t think it had anything to do with Pandemic Malaise, but maybe more with my having accomplished this before (writing a 50,000 word novel in a month) and knowing that I still have a ways to go before the novel will be finished.

Still, it is nice to know that I managed to make it through once again, even with a) pantsing the whole damn thing, and b) writing a mystery. Oh, and then there was that pandemic, and a goofy election. And I’m sure a whole bunch of other stuff.

Now what?

The short answer: keep writing. As I said in the Day 29 post, I still have probably 15-20,000 more words to go to finish the first draft. Then I will let it sit while I go tackle the other novels I wrote this year (there are three waiting on the sidelines for me to start cleaning them up for publishing).

I am also still meeting with my writing partner, and we set a deadline for later this month to each produce a ‘holiday story’. I wrote one that became Wilde & Sweet, set in the Seven Territories world (aka Old West cowboys and magic), so I’m looking for this new story to have a completely different setting, which it has: a modern-day corporate cubicle-walled office with the worst ‘team bonding’ holiday games. Now to fit in something that makes reality bend just a wee bit…

So yeah, I’ll just fit that little story in while continuing to work away at the Nano novel. While trying to publish the Seven Territories collection. That’s all.

Final thoughts

Thanks for following along on this crazy writing adventure. I hope this inspires people—maybe even reassures them—that they don’t have to know what they are writing (goodness knows I didn’t, and still don’t), and to let the Nanowrimo experience be one for playing with ideas and letting yourself get caught up in a world of your own making. Given the way this year has gone, it’s been a true escape to write about an urban fantasy-noir world with wizards and merfolk and talking cats and dive bars and tons of Star Wars references. Getting to play in that world, as frustrating at times as it can be not knowing how it will all shake out, continues to be a joy.

Notes for the Future (aka Useful Things):

  • Place Butt in Chair, alone, with no noise or distractions
  • Writemonkey FTW (i.e. distraction-free writing software)
  • Never panic. Just read over what you’ve written the previous day and then write from there.
  • Especially when writing made-up worlds, and especially when writing mysteries, keep a running note of the details that come up (characters, locations, CLUES).
  • Have fun, dammit!

Total novel writing time: 2825 minutes (47 hours)

Total novel word count (by Nov. 30): 50,372 words