Friday, December 2, 2011

Lessons Learned By Winning NaNoWriMo

Reposted from my blog due to overloaded brain from NaNo.

November was a long month. I didn’t make my original goal of 100k or my revised goal of 75k. After winning last year, I didn’t think there was anything else to learn but I did.

1st Lesson Learned: Life during NaNo cannot be on hold. While I was able to put off most things last year, this year I couldn’t. Thus, the drop in my word count but I somehow made it work out to reach 50k.

2nd Lesson Learned: Only the desire to move forward and finish the novel will keep you writing when you are not feeling well. For a few days, I suffered pain in my wrists. I wrote lightly for those days in hopes the pain will go away. That did not happen. Since I couldn’t continue writing with my wrists like they were, I went to the store purchased two braces to help me. Now I cannot write without them and my wrists don’t hurt any more.

3rd Lesson Learned: Without focus, you will only get so far. In order to be focus enough to write, you need to sleep enough, eat right, maybe take vitamins, and anything that helps you keep your mind on the prize. Once I did all those things together, I sat down and wrote my butt off during the last three days of NaNo.

4th Lesson Learned: When you need to bump up your word count, insert sex scenes into your novel. While that statement was true last year for me, this year’s insert was internal monologue. Writing sex scenes didn’t help me to understand my characters anymore than before. The internal monologue helped me pin down my characters’ past and how it affects them in their current situation. Most of it will be cut during editing but it is a great piece to keep for my character sheets.

Final Lesson Learned: Enjoy everything that happens to you during NaNo. The experience is one of kind for most of us and changes every time.

Next NaNoWriMo, I hope to be writing on the second book of my fantasy series. I will take what I learned from the past two NaNo to write again with pressure looming over my head and learn new things about myself as a writer.

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