NaNoWriMo2016 – How Did You Do?

November is over (I’m still in denial about that), which means that NaNoWriMo is over as well. A few of us - the ones who decided to embark upon this harrowing journey  of writing 50k words in a month - have been giving you updates on what each of our experiences have been like. Here’s our third and final post… let’s see how everyone did!

Liz: We have now come to the end of this year’s National Novel Writing Month. As I’m reading my average word count per day on the website, I see that it’s about the same as it was before I started NaNoWriMo. I guess it was harder for me to break my usual writing routine than I thought it would be. I’m not sure whether I will participate in NaNo again next year. I am glad, however, to have attempted the challenge once, and though I did not reach the 50k word goal, I did improve my story quite a bit this month: The plot is tighter, my characters are more vivid, and the more I’ve been rewriting, the more comfortable I have become with my omniscient point of view, something I had been struggling with for a while. NaNoWriMo may be over, but the writing never stops. December, here we come!

Total Word Count: 19, 126 words

Anushka: When I began NaNoWriMo I honestly didn’t think I’d be scrambling to finish 50k words by the end of the month, but here we are. Also - asking for a friend - does writing this post count as writing my words for the day? Alright, so I did not manage to write 50k words, but I did complete more than half that, which I’m surprisingly proud of considering I’ve written more this month than I have in the five months preceding it. That’s something, right? I have never been the type of writer to write things out completely and then go back and edit. However, I forced myself to do that for NaNo, and it was definitely an interesting experience. While I still have no idea where my novel is going, I do now have a total of 80k words of structured plot, as I used NaNo as an excuse to re-write, fix and add new scenes to my pre-existing unfinished work. NaNo helped me build a strong base, and I’m hoping the rigorous routine I developed of writing every day carries on across the next month. Let’s keep writing!

Total Word Count: 32,628 words

Deimosa: This is quite possibly the worst that I've done in NaNoWriMo, or maybe it was the best? In 2016 I wrote less content, but I worked a lot on the look of my book. I composed jacket copy, quotes from authors, reviews, my author photo... but I didn't make a cover - that on which the book will be judged! However, I did get some actual writing of chapters accomplished. In fact, this year I stayed in one genre: science fiction. It's my ideal setting for stories, although I worry about whether I do a good job of world building. Sci-fi readers have specific expectations: we need a good what-if scenario paired with a logical execution of the details in order to suspend our disbelief. I know this because there are plenty of unfinished sci-fi books in my past, abandoned because although I liked the premise I couldn't get invested in the story. Bad writing or bad world building, either way I don't want my book to be the one you put down after a chapter! However, NaNoWriMo helps me to move past the fear of mediocrity and keep going; and when I finish this draft (in a couple of years!), my Novembers will be devoted to revision.

Total Word Count: Not sure – written by hand! 

Photos courtesy of author.