End-of-the-Month Wrap Up: November (A NaNoWriMo Recap)

6:13 AM Gemma Fitz 11 Comments

November was one crazy, crazy month. And none of the stuff I normally do got done, so I won't be wrapping up like I normally wrap up. Instead, let me tell you about my NaNoWriMo.

A NaNoWriMo Recap

You can click here to see my NaNo profile.

Week 1

Writing went down well, at first. I was hoping to get well ahead at the very beginning of the month-- in fact, I was trying for an average of 2000 words a day and finish with 60k. None of these things happened.

However, I did stay on top of my word count and didn't fall behind a single day the first week. Which I wasn't exactly expecting and felt pretty good about.

The words came pretty easily, too, which was nice, and I totally fell in love with my main character which was another unexpected, but not unwelcome, development. I usually have trouble with my protagonists being too boring or annoying, but I feel like I really got a good grasp of Rae's personality and I love it. I love her. I'll miss her a lot when I finish this thing.

I started Week 1 with 0 words and finished with 12,324. There were dysfunctional relationships, bad puns, really bad similes, and lots and lots of sarcasm.

I shared some snazzy snippets on the blog. Also:
Overall, it was a pretty good week-- I even found some extra time and managed to read A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. (And it got a solid four stars. Yay!)

Yet all good things come with a price, and I had no social life (or any life outside of writing) this week. Eh, well-- it was worth it.

Week 2

After my great first week, I knew writer's block was doomed to hit soon. But I had no idea it would hit as soon as it did-- or as punctually. Sunday-- the official start of week two for me-- hit, and-- where even was my plot? My motivation? My adoration for my characters and my story?

At the same time, I became vaguely aware that my novel wasn't going in anywhere near the same direction I was planning for it to, and that I needed to make some adjustments that I honestly wasn't sure how to make. Thankfully, my sister came to my rescue with tips on how to make my it scarier and more horror-esque. It's still not the creepy, dark, scary animal I originally envisioned it as being, but I think I'm okay with that.

I pretty much barely scraped my way through the entire week-- until Saturday. It was one of those really weird Saturdays-- for me-- when my parents didn't actually have loads of chores they wanted me to do, and so I was left with a ton of free time. And several writer peeps I follow on Twitter were shooting for 10k in one day and I'm super competitive and can't resist a challenge it looked fun, so I was like, "Hey, I wonder if I can do that?"

And I did. Somehow. By the end of it I was exhausted and super pumped up simultaneously and it was just a really awesome experience. Which I will probably never repeat.

I started Week 2 with 12,324 words, and finished with 31,954. There was more sarcasm, threats, races and motorcycle parades, and some very, very awkwardly written romance.

I also wrote an essay on Superhuman Registration acts that was probably a couple thousand words long, but unfortunately didn't count towards NaNo.

I talked about my writing process on the blog. And:
Other than writing, I watched lots of Supernatural fan videos and called it "research", since my story is paranormal. (Since I don't have access to Supernatural, itself, and I'm not sure I'd enjoy it anyway, fan videos are the next best thing, right?) I also ate a lot of pie and tried not to be bored when all my friends talked about Football.

Week 3

So, having written 10K words on Saturday, I proceeded to get stuck again. Several days I didn't end up writing anything at all, and by the end of the week, I was only about a thousand words ahead of my goal.

I've always wanted to try writing at a coffee shop, because it seemed like a really professional, writerly, possibly poetic thing to do. The main problems have always been that I hate coffee and that the closest coffee shop is like 30 minutes away and no one would take me. However, my sister works part time at a bakery right in town, and on Monday my mom wanted me out of the house for various reasons, so I went to work with my sis. The bakery had free wi-fi and really good tea and croissants and really bad music, so it was quite interesting and I had a lot of fun.
The lighting was really bad and my iPod camera is terrible at the best of times, but whatever.
I was there for four hours and only got 2,000 words, but, hey. It was still fun.

I started Week 3 with 31,954 words and finished with 37,732. There was shipping and crying and laughing and best friends and sickness and home made flame throwers.

I gave a pep talk that was as much for myself as anyone else, and as I write this it has a 100 views, which is the most views I've ever had on a post and I'm insanely happy and y'all are the best.
I went to the mall on Sunday with my sisters, wrote at the bakery on Monday, and had a couple girls from church come over to watch Big Hero 6 with me and my sisters on Saturday. So I had a pretty good dose of reality.

Week 4

Writing didn't get any easier this week. Writer's block was not as big of a problem as procrastination. There was a character who needed to die, and I didn't want to kill him/her, so of course the solution was to put it off for as long as possible. Eventually I squared my shoulders and soldiered through, but it would be lying to say that tears and chocolate weren't heavily involved.

My mom was adamant that there would be no NaNo-ing on Thanksgiving, and though I really do love writing, Thanksgiving is about God and family and food and those things take precedence over my novel, so I didn't complain (much) and skipped Thursday. And I had a great Thanksgiving. I made pecan pie and my Grandma came over and we ate turkey and all that jazz and then sat around talking for hours.
Behold the beauty that is my pie. The crust was too thick but shhh. Don't tell anyone.
Thankfully, I didn't have too much trouble churning out the 3000 and some words on Friday for some reason, (in spite of the fact that I went shopping!) and quickly caught up. Basically the whole week was spent barely making my counts-- but at least making them!

I went into Week 4 with 37,732 words and I came out with 46,691. There was fire and character deaths and crying and hugging and sisters and more awkward romance and scary threats.

I did not blog. I was busy and exhausted and it kinda fell by the wayside.
I did find time to watch half of Lawrence of Arabia and a couple episodes of Doctor Who?, which was fun and relaxing. (Nothing like two hours of camels and sand and very little else to help you de-stress from a long writing session.)

Sunday and Monday

Sunday came round, and not only was there church in the morning, but that evening my brother and his family came over and we celebrated advent and had a tree decorating party, so I only really had the afternoon to write. Somehow I made my count, but no more.

Monday (today, actually, as I write this) I was stuck. Majorly, majorly stuck. And school was tougher than usual today, as well. I basically survived by sitting in one place all afternoon and evening, hardly ever even standing up once, typing like crazy and deleting most of it because I kept writing myself into walls. (Yeah, yeah, look at me. The person who says you should never edit during your first draft.)

I eventually hit 50,051 at around 6:30 pm, Monday, the 30th. I wrote a story about true friendship and what that looks like, letting go of prejudice and first impressions, and being brave enough to make a decision, even when you're not sure it's the right one.
Overall, my month was awesome. Sure it was tiring. Sure it was stressful. But ultimately, it was fullfilling and productive, and I feel like I came out with a pretty solid story.

And this coming month...

While I hit the 50k mark, I haven't actually finished my story. I'm guessing I've got around 12.5k left to go. So my #1 goal for December is to write "The End" before Christmas. I'd actually like to get there by the end of this week, but I doubt that's going to happen.

After I finish my novel for good, I want to do some "research" on my chosen genre-- YA urban fantasy/paranormal. I haven't really read much in this genre and I'd like to get a better grasp of the established norms and conventions (so I can break them all *evil laugh*). In fact, if you know of any really great YA urban fantasy or even very mild horror novels, I'd definitely appreciate recs. :)

Also once I finish this WIP, I'll be returning to "Splitting Atoms" edits for a month or two before I come back and do a rewrite of Shadowwhisper.

Basically, I have my work cut out for me for a good long while. But that's okay! It'll be fun! (I hope...)
Did you do NaNo? (I feel like I ask that in every post...) How did it go? Americans, how was your Thanksgiving? Basically, how is life, because I've been detached from humanity all month?


  1. I did NaNo, and like you I won but have not yet finished. I haven't established a "finish by" goal yet, but the sooner the better so I can return to working on my Albion books.

    As for YA urban/paranormal/horror recs, I suggest Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, and Inkheart and The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.

    1. Congratulations on your win!! And thanks for the recs! *adds all the books to TBR stack*

  2. I'm glad you month went pretty well, and 50k isn't a bad word count! The last year I did Nanowrimo, I ended up finishing my story in December, too.
    Your story sounds super interesting, and if you need a beta reading during the spring or summer, I would love to read it ;)
    Pecan pie is the best!

    1. Thank you!! I really appreciate the beta-reading offer-- I'll be sure to let you know when it gets to that stage of the process. :D And yesss. Pecan is probably my favourite pie flavour.
      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Congrats! NaNoWri is always awesome. I didn't do it this year *sad face* BUT I did get some tough writing done. Although there's more ahead. *sighs*

    Are you going to share snippets? *wiggles eyebrows*

    Your pie looks good!

    I did actually write on Thanksgiving. Not all day. But we kind of had a lot of family time going on throughout the whole week, so it was a big deal to get away for an hour or two for writing.

    1. Aw, that's too bad you weren't able to do it. :( But high five on everything you /did/ get done!

      I-- may share snippets. I'll have to go back through my novel and see if there's anything that isn't too horrific and that is actually worth sharing. :P So we'll see.

      Yeah-- normally I think my mom wouldn't mind me writing on holidays, only I'd been writing almost non-stop all month and she was just like "You need to take a break and talk to people." xD

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. AHHHH. YOU DID IT YOU DID IT YOU DID IT! *showers confetti over you*
    And somehow I missed that you did a 10k day. o.o Dude, that's impressive. 10k are always super accomplishing for me, but the next day I'm so exhausted and my brain's worn out, so I always wonder if it's worth or not. :P But I keep doing them anyways. *shrug*

    1. *dances in confetti* *throws some back at you* Thank you, and congratulations to you as well. :)
      Yeah-- I'm not totally sure if it was worth it or not. It definitely helped with my word count, but at the same time, I wonder if I would have written more the week after if I hadn't exhausted myself by doing the whole 10k in one day? There's no good way to know-- *sigh* But it was still fun, which means it was worth it. :P

  5. Congratulations! It sounds like you had a great month, and a great story to go with it. :D

  6. It's already the 13th and I'm just past 7,000 words. I keep getting majorly stuck and i've ended up crying at my computer a couple of times. why did i think this was a good idea?

    -a regretful nanowrimo-er


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