Every October I find myself doing the same things. For one, I try to finish up any writing projects I’ve been working on that year so that I can make way for NaNoWriMo. In the last couple days of October, I try not to write too much because I know I’ll get started on something that isn’t related to my NaNo novel and then I’ll only want to write about that and my inspiration for NaNo will be gone. It also adds something to the anticipation if you don’t write for the couple of days leading up to November.
I also try to organize my schoolwork so that I know what I can expect for essays, exams, etc. in November, so I can plan accordingly for writing. I try to visualize the whole month so I know around what days should write more to make up for the days I will be busy with school. For me, school will always come first. It has caused some stress as I’ve scrambled a few years to try and get the last few words before the deadline, but it’s part of NaNo.
One other thing I love to do in October, before NaNoWriMo, is reflect on my NaNo journey. Do you know what that means? I get to share it with all of you now! This is my seventh year doing NaNo, so I have six years worth of stories to tell (we could be here a while).
The first time that I did NaNoWriMo feels SO long ago. It was back in 2006 and I was a 13 year old, Grade 8 student who wanted to grow up and be a writer and movie director (now his dreams are mostly focused on writing). My mom heard through her work, at the Saskatoon Library, that there was this online writing website about writing a novel in a month. I was instantly interested in the idea and I signed up the same day she told me. It was right at the beginning of October, so I had a whole month to wait! I spent that month telling all of my friends what I was doing and they thought I was crazy, although they did encourage me to try – one would eventually provide me with an idea on November 30 that helped push me over the winner’s line. When I reached 50,008 words at 11:55 pm on November 30, 2006, and after I scrambled to validate my novel, I was ecstatic. It was the proudest I’ve ever felt as a writer and, I think, ever will feel until I get a novel published.
What did I write that year? Well, if you read my post Lost Ideas of Lost Worlds, and the preview to my novel Lost Worlds: Horizon which was included in that post, you’ll already by acquainted with my 2006 NaNo novel. I wrote Lost Worlds: Horizon that year.
In 2007 I wrote my favourite novel I’ve ever written. I’m currently editing it so I can eventually prepare a submission to send away to some publishing companies. It is called Demonria: The Dark Chalice, and would be the start of a series of novels of mine. I finished that year with 53,659 words.
2008 NaNo would see the sequel to The Dark Chalice, Prelude To A War, take me to my third win with 51,396 words.
In 2009, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Before this, I had only written epic fantasy and very sci-fi science fiction. I decided, though, I wanted to attempt a suspense story. The novel had sci-fi elements, but very few. Harbinger: Surrogates of Discord got me to 50,105 words. If you have been reading my novel Perspective, you’ll know this NaNo novel as well. Last year I spent a great deal of time writing a second draft to Harbinger, and would eventually re-title it Perspective.
I returned to fantasy in 2010 for Demonria: Waiting For the Sun, the third novel in the series. It would be my fifth win in a row with 52,223 words.
Last year, 2011, I wrote another novel many of you may be familiar with. Black Ice. There was a while when I thought for sure I wasn’t going to get to 50k (it was my first year of university and I wasn’t prepared for the workload), but I managed to get a couple of days where I wrote several thousand words each day, arriving at November 30 with 50,244 words.
If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve won NaNo all six years I’ve done it. I only mention it so that I can shamelessly brag about it. I hope I can get 50k this year, too. My ego would be wounded if I didn’t (but it’s all about having fun, or so I keep saying). I’m going to be writing the fourth novel in my Demonria series, The Hunt.
As I spend the better part of the month thinking about all of this, I feel like a kid again, waiting for Christmas. That, truly, is the magic of NaNoWriMo.
So, here’s to 2012.
Good luck to everyone.
- Lost Ideas of Lost Worlds (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo Anyone? (allmeanssomething.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo with a Twist for Genealogists (youwhoineverknew.wordpress.com)
- Pseudo NaNoWriMo: Are You Ready? (persephonemagazine.com)
- I am ready for NaNoWriMo (cindydejager.wordpress.com)