NaNoWriMo: 2018 Evaluation

I had two goals this month: winning NaNo and finishing the first draft of A Devil’s Deal. One I managed, the other I didn’t. I half expected not to finish the complete first draft, but I’m well on my way to finish it before the end of the year. So that’s my goal for next month. I did manage to win NaNoWriMo and this will be my third year in a row that I won. It’s becoming easier for me to reach that 1667 daily word count and I managed to write most days. With the exception of the two first sick days.

Check out how I started!

The last week is usually the hardest week for me. I struggle with words, but also with the story. I was lucky that my struggle with the story was in my second week and I managed to fix it before reaching the 25k. That made it easier to write this week. The biggest obstacle now was to get my words out despite that I felt ill. I still have a major headache that’s a combination of the cold I had, stress and a permanent neck injury. That’s also the injury that has caused problems concentrating and my linguistic abilities. Imagine a writer who doesn’t know grammar, spelling or sentence structure trying to write a 50k story. It’s hard.

I did it! I wrote my 50000 words in one month. It’s still a challenge and an accomplishment for me. I hope that soon enough I can do those 50k words in a shorter time than thirty days, but I’m not there yet. My creative muscle is getting stronger and I do notice progress in my craft. My writing is much cleaner than it was a year ago. That will benefit me in the rewriting and editing process.

What’s next?

A Devil’s Deal currently has 56734 words and I want it to be somewhere around 75k. It’s not yet done, but it’s so close. I know where I have to expand the story and which parts need more work. I’ve had so much fun writing the emotional scenes. Nora gets angry at Ben and Danny and they didn’t know what hit them. Maybe it was also a part of me channeling my anger. I would’ve been angry in her situation. I would’ve lost my shit and started shouting.

Next year, I’ll do the first round of edits and then send it to my first readers. While they read, I will outline the second and maybe even third book. They will be darker and more complex than the first book. I’m going to take more time to outline the complete series just so I know that there are no inconsistencies. There are probably a few in my first draft that I need to work out, but that’s what the rewrite is for. If I don’t have everything clear before I start writing the next books, I know will sabotage my own writing process.

Learning from my mistakes

This past month, and the previous two years of serious writing and tracking my process, have taught me a few things. Not just about the writing process of the first draft, but the preparations. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again, so I have to tweak the whole process to find what works even better.

Here’s my list of the things that I learned this month:

  • I’m running a marathon. Pushing for higher peaks will only burn me out faster.
  • My volume has to be at 12% for optimal listening
  • Listening to C-pop, the Meteor Garden OST, in particular, works for me as writing music
  • Christmas music seems to work as well
  • Non-linear writing doesn’t work if you don’t have a clear outline
  • By setting my view in my editor on 150%, I don’t have to strain my eyes as much and I won’t have to change the font later
  • Writing with a headache is still possible
  • Use sprints to have a better focus
  • When I’m at my writing desk, writing is the only thing I should do
  • Sitting at my writing desk allows me to speed up my writing
  • Shiro’s cuddles are important
  • My husband’s support is important as well
  • Knowing that people are excited to read my story are a huge motivation
  • Writing more than a thousand words a day by hand is possible, even during the colder months
  • Typing is still faster and easier to do with a headache

How did you do? What did you learn about your writing process? Share it in the comments below!

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