Monday, November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo Complete!

At last the pressure is off! I've completed the 50k words in 30 days challenge. Wootiness! I still have another 10-15k to write before I finish the first draft but I'm excited how much I've achieved. It's the most I've ever written in so short a time.

Things I've learned from the challenge:

1. There's no point comparing yourself to other people, you have to find what works for you. I watched some of my NaNo buddies plough through the challenge. Some finished in the first or second week. At first I panicked. I wanted to be able to pump out a story like them. I envied their focus. Then I realised I'm not like them. I accepted I can't work that fast. I just can't. And that is okay. Once I found my own rhythm I was happy again.

2. Perseverance pays off. Midway through the challenge I struggled. I wanted to give in and go play some mindless game on the xbox. It was all too much hard work. Well, I'm so glad I stuck it out. This feeling of achievement is awesome!

3. Outlining Rocks! Without NaNo I probably would still be snubbing my nose at outlining. I thought I'd give it a go. I didn't expect to like it, but I thought it might at least give me a head start on the story and prevent me from stumbling halfway. Maybe. Well, it turns out that outlining works for me. I LOVE it. It helped me be more creative in the plot.

4. I can do it. Set your heart on anything, put a little hard work and passion into it, and it can be done.

How are the rest of you going with your current writing projects? Do you celebrate when you've hit a milestone?

50 comments:

  1. I finished nano a couple of hours ago too! It's a great feeling, isn't it? :)

    I've never outlined though. To be honest it scares the pants off me! Glad to hear it worked for you though! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on finishing! I think outlining is one of the most important things you can do as a writer. It gives you direction and when you hit a wall, you look at your outline and see what direction it's supposed to be going. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jemi, YAY! That's awesome! Congrats for finishing! I feel like having a party. hehehe.

    I can understand how outlining wouldn't work for everyone. In a way, for those who don't outline, the first draft can become a detailed outline. It's the 2nd draft where the plot gets tidied.

    ReplyDelete
  4. *much screaming and jumping around* Woohoo! Good for you!

    I agree, this has been the best learning experience and motivation I have ever had. It's the most wonderful thing!

    I had a basic outline in my head. It was the technical stuff that kept tripping me up. Fortunately, Honey's BFF is helping me out-a lot!

    Way to go! *giving you a high five*

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mary, thanks! For me, I still have the freedom to stray from the outline, but the main plot points are down and that gives me confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Crafter, Yay for the screaming and jumping and the high five! Aah it's good to have a techie close at hand to help with the details. I've made notes through my manuscript about the need to research certain elements.

    ReplyDelete
  7. yeehaa, congrats, Lyndylove! Hope everyone around you still remembers you and loves you ;P You might wanna throw a party for all of the survivors :))

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats on your achievement! I just finished my wip and altho I still have revisions I did reward myself with a day of gaming at my brother's house and reading a semi-trashy novel :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing! Congratulations on your accomplishment! Huge! And great lessons learned too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dezzy, hehe, the hubby ran away on a business trip so the finish was anitclimactic. But that gives me incentive to finish the rest of the WIP before he gets home. Then the real party begins.

    ReplyDelete
  11. mshatch, yay for gaming and trashy novels. Wait, should I say that about trashy novels? Yeah! They have their place. I don't mind the occasional trashy novel :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Major congratulations on getting the 50k! That's a hell of an achievement. Now go celebrate with a beer or cake (or both!) I've become a fan of outlining since starting NaNo. I thought myself a discover writer before that...I thought wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Colene, thanks. I'm most chuffed about outling.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jamie, hubby might not like me getting into his stash of beer, but I like the idea of cake! HEhehe, and yes! It's so thrilling finding a new way of working that, well, works!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's awesome! And I think I learned the same things. I worried I wasn't typing fast enough (and really, with hunt & peck, one can only go so fast) and thought I'd never catch up. But I stayed on target until this past week where I finally got ahead. And finished on Sunday as well!
    We did it - we rock!

    ReplyDelete
  16. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! And now you have a novel to work on - yippee!!! These are brilliant points to have discovered along the way - very positive stuff!!

    WELL DONE YOU!!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Alex, congrats to you too! It's such a great feeling isn't it? And yes we do rock!

    Old Kitty, well, actually my NaNo novel is the second novel I've written this year. I put the editing of my previous one on hold for the challenge. So I certainly have plenty to do. eek!

    ReplyDelete
  18. oops, I need to add, the previous novel I wrote this year took me a little over 3 months to write just the first draft. So I'm thrilled with getting down 50k in one month.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations on finishing! Make sure you reward yourself with something real nice. :)

    I used to snub outlining too (partly because I was too lazy and wanted to jump right in). But I've recently learned that it is actually helpful for me, and I will outline from now on all of my writing projects.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congrats on finishing! I expect to finish on Tuesday. I did outline, but I've gone away from it. It's good to have it as a reference in case I get stuck, though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congratulations! That's an amazing achievement!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow! Congratulations, Lydia!!! :))

    ReplyDelete
  23. 50,000 words in only a month; now that is something to be proud of so congratulations! I could NEVER do that. But like you say, I just have to be accepting of the fact that I am a slow and steady writer. It's the only way I can be satisfied with the work I do.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congrats Lynda! You officially rock. And I like your list of things you learned. Well done you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congrats! And you finished with a couple days to spare :) I LOVE outlining. It helps me start an idea and then I can watch it grow as I add more and more.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fabulous work, Lynda!! Sadly, Nano kind of kicked my can this year - but I know that I'll continue to work on my Wip. It's an idea I really love and I've been having fun with it. I've just never, ever, ever been a speed writer. I kind of envy people who can get something whipped out that fast. Maybe I'll work up to it someday... anyhow! So happy you're a Nano Winner!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I agree about how people shouldn't compare themselves with others if all it does is bring themselves down. Now if they're comparing the prose to how another writer does the prose, and learns something about the process in the process, then that's a different story. They're actually working on improving their craft.

    My blog post 11/29 delves more into people competitive versus comparative.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Liz, I'm not sure what to do to celebrate. I did eat a cupcake though ;)

    Sandra, yeah, even if the outline isn't followed to the T, it's handy for reference

    Maya & Co, thanks Mel. You are a doll.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Len, thanks

    Amanda, It's good to be happy with the way you write. As they say in the classics, 'know thyself'

    Karen, thanks so much :)

    Vegas, that's exactly what I love about outlining. Plus it gives me the freedom to scribble and throw out what isn't working before I put my heart and soul into it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Donea, it's fantastic you will continue on your WIP. I think that's really what NaNo is about -- getting us kick started.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Jeffrey, that's a good point. It's another reason why I tried outlining when at the time it seemed so against the grain. I heard so many people rave about it that I felt I couldn't really comment if I hadn't at least given it a decent go.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Lynda..congrats on winning NaNo. Just shows what can be achieved with tremendous effort and focus. You must be feeling great.

    I came across this link about top 50 aussie blogs and also the runner ups. Check out this link. Your blog truly belongs there.

    http://www.jonathancrossfield.com/blog/top-50-aussie-writer-blogs

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lynda, congratulations!

    You're correct, everyone has their own way of doing things and it's best to concentrate on what works for you instead of trying to work like others. I admire someone who can churn out 50,000 words in a week but I'd never do it myself. My mind wouldn't be able to handle it. I think you were very wise to keep persevering and following the time allowance of the full month to fulfill your goal.

    Jai

    ReplyDelete
  34. YES!!! Congratz on finishing--and using an outline! It's so odd to think a structured outline can be FREEING, but it really is. The details that make the work come alive are still there to be discovered and developed. And the outline doesn't have to be set in stone; there can be variations. I use a rough outline all the time, to help me know the path I'll be taking.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am learning too how important plotting is, or as you say it outlining rocks! Love it. Glad you had a positive nano experience :O)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Congratulations of finishing NaNo. I'm really close. Planning to finish tonight at my writing group. If it wasn't for my writing group I would have given up on the NaNo thing last week.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hooooo! Go, Lynda! What a great accomplishment.

    I, too, was once anti-outlining. Now I see its merits. I have not tried it from the start yet.

    I plan to apply the NaNoWriMo strategy when writing my next novel. Fast first draft. Put the time in the revision.

    I got very little writing done this month. But am ready to get back into it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Whisk, thanks :)

    Rachna, I've seen that list before and I've been meaning to join up. Thanks so much for the link and the kind words

    Jai, thanks so much. I admire those fast writers as well. It's so impressive. I'd guess a high level of focus would be required. I don't have that kind of focus. I'm too easily distracted. Oh look! Something shiny!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Carol, that's why I held back for so long from trying outlining. I always thought it would be too restrictive. Silly me.

    Madeleine, what I've found is if you pre-plot, then there are fewer major changes in the second draft. I'm not a fan of endless editing so that's a winner for me :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Carrie, go,go! Best of luck with finishing. Writing groups are a great support.

    M Pax, sometimes a break is a good thing. You'll be feuled up ready to write masterpieces again.

    Golden, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Congratulations! It's quite an achievement. I met my Nano goals this year, which weren't as big as yours - they were nebulous to say the least - but at least I met them and am well on my way through my next novel. I do feel good about that.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Congratulations! I need to do more outlining. I tend to get started and just keep going. Your way saves a lot of time and effort in the editing phase!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Congrats!

    I totally love outlining, too. I can't even imagine trying to write a book without it - I'd be hopelessly lost.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Victoria, congrats to you too for meeting your goals! That's great!

    Helen, it saves heaps of time in the editing phase and, not being a fan of editing, that's a win ;)

    Susan, I've written three novels by just winging it and they've all needed major changes to tighten them. I will always outline now.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Congrats Lynda! It was a hard slog, but we got through it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Congrats, Lynda! I completely agree about the outlining. I don't think I could have made it without the outline. While a number of chapters found there way in that hadn't been there originally, I was grateful I had spent the time doing it before hand. I probably would have given up otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Melissa, thanks heaps. We rock!

    Rosie, I did the same, I added chapters that weren't in the original outline but the story called out for them.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.