Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drum Roll Please - Winner of 2011 National Novel Writing Month

Yep, I did it. And it wasn't easy either because it turns out that their word counter is different from my word counter. I thought I was done last night. Thrilled that I had passed the 50,000 word mark a day early and by more than a hundred words I cheerfully went to the Nano site.

Looking for a way to verify my word count I clicked on the page that told me how to do it and where to find the link. There was a warning there that their word counts might not add up to my word counts. In fact there might be a discrepency by as much as a thousand words. Especially if I was using Open Office.

I was using Open Office. So I put my novel in for word count verification. It came up that I was short by almost TWO thousand words. Yep, I had a whole other writing session to go through and find a way to fit in another scene somewhere, because you see, I had finished my first draft. I had already ended it where I wanted to end it. And it was three o'clock in the morning.

So after a little sleep I was right back at it. And now it's official. According to Nano I have 50,465 words. According to my program I have 52,857 words. I get a certificate and badges for my website and bragging rights and a first draft of a novel. Okay, to most people it's not much. In fact when my writing group heard I was doing Nano, their eyes took on a glazed expression.

"Why would you do that? What do you get for it:"

"Well, you get this certificate that you print off your computer and you get badges for your blog." I could see I was losing them. I could see that I was losing me.
"I couldn't write two thousand five hundred words a day," one writer said. Note, this is a woman has self-published books so she's not a slacker.

"It's like training for a marathon," I said. "When you train for a marathon you work a lot harder than you normally do. This is the same thing. I'm not always going to write two thousand five hundred words a day. Just this month. But it trains me to write a thousand words a day."

"And I get a novel out of it." I added. This bit rescued me from forever lamedom. To a writer, a first draft of a novel is always a good thing.

"Well, a thousand words isn't bad. But when I trained for a marathon it took me six months to recover," she said.

Hopefully it won't take me six months to recover. I do plan on putting this first draft away for awhile and look at it at another time with fresh eyes. I have work that needs attention. Like those other five novels sitting in my computer in various stages of editing and requiring a publisher.

Can you imagine if I hadn't finished a day earlier and had discovered a word discrepency at midnight of tonight? Oh the pain.


Anonymous said...

Secretly, there were people in your writers group that were in awe. I guarantee it! Artist are not always kind to each other.
If I liked reading novels at all, I'd read your novel. That counts for something....right?
Congrats on such a HUGE accomplishment. Truly amazing! :)

Natasha said...

You're not the only person I know who tried. I am not sure if my friend Randy completed it. But I know a few people who have attempted it. It sounds very difficult. I'm not a fiction writer (because I don't like much to read fiction), so the idea of coming up with a whole story that makes sense and is satisfying at the end is rather mind-boggling to me. Congratulations.