NaNoWriMo- The Wrap Up

For those of who don’t know, I undertook a challenge this year to write a novel in a month- more specifically the National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo). The aim is not to get something perfect on paper, but to complete a first draft of 50,000 words, which is a short novel (around 200 pages or so). hence why posts to this site have been few over the last week or so especially.

And I’ve done it.

This is huge for me because:

  • As a Pisces (& for lots of other reasons) I am not a finisher. I can adapt & change mid way, but generally speaking once a project gets into too much business as usual territory I am off chasing the next dream or fantasy. As a New Moon child & lots of 1st house stuff I can be almost Arian in wanting to start new stuff all the time.
  • Again as a Pisces, I have a very delusional idea about boundaries. What represents a start & a finish is generally unclear, goals tend to be fuzzy around the edges & changing constantly. The past is yesterday, the future is a far off horizon with lots of pretty fish in the middle to look at & the present is way too limiting.
  • I want to write fiction for a living

Now don’t get me wrong this is nowhere finished, but the original goal has been met & for me, that is pretty major. During the saggy middles I wanted to give up and I have to say, despite actually vaguely planning the story, the end is different to how I expected, which means I will need to re-write a number of scenes for it to make sense. Thats cool. I should also know better- all good Project Managers know you start from the end & work backwards if you want it all to work…and if my boss is reading this, I am well aware that I have left myself wide open with the “all good Project Managers” comment.

What has it taught me?

  • I can finish something I start
  • I can set a daily goal & get it done- I am normally the catch up queen & there is no catching up on 50000 words.
  • I can write
  • I am no longer scared of the process
  • I am not Wonderwoman- things have slipped over the past month. Life happens, I work 5 days a week & the family still needs to be fed & watered. There are dust bunnies all along the hallway & the bathrooms need a good going over. I haven’t seen the bottom of the ironing basket in weeks. As a (reluctant) Project manager by trade I know the rules- if you want to change the scope either the time, the budget or the quality has to change- pick one- something has had to give. In my case it has been housework, gardening & nagging.

Whats next? Now I have to revise, revisit and edit edit edit. I read something the other day that said less that 5% of people who start writing a novel will finish the 1st draft, less than 5% of those will complete the 1st edit, less than 5% of those will send it out to agents/ publishers & less than 5% of those will be published. I intend on being one of those last 5%, but to do that is an even bigger challenge as it involves removing all these layers & exposing myself- because there is a lot of myself in this book. And that is the scariest thing in the world.

They say to write what you know and no matter how you put your character into a different town, a different body and different situations I admit, my heroine has some of the best & worst parts of me in her. Sure only my closest & dearest would be able to pick those parts, but trust me, they are there. She feels the way I feel- as a first time writer, my voice is the only one I am even halfway confident to give her.

Likewise I read my other key characters and the same applies- I see the best parts of a couple of people I adore, the worst parts of a few I don’t, and conversations, scenarios & locations I have experienced. I guess that is natural- hence the disclaimer authors have about any resemblances being coincidental. So a lot of work needs to be done until I can no longer hear certain voices. I will however say right here & now, the steamy bits & love scenes were all completely made up & aspects of a very fertile imagination :).

So the next goal is to complete a re-write. I guess at some point I do have to stop editing and get out there- but that is like peeling all the layers back & I find that quite simply terrifying… not so much that people I don’t know may make a judgement about me, but that those I do love may know parts of me I have kept hidden.

Anyways, back to your normal astro transmission tomorrow. Venus into Scorpio (well, I’m excited!), Mercury into Capricorn & the Moon in Libra- it’s all happening!

Oh, what is it? Chick lit of course- I write what I read- the type of book you can buy at an airport & read in the bath, in the pool, at the beach & in bed. With, as my daughter (Aquarius Moon, Capricorn Rising, Aries just about everything else) so kindly puts it, messy feelings & stuff… does anyone really care about that sort of stuff Mum???

3 replies on “NaNoWriMo- The Wrap Up”

Congrats on you book! Well done. It’s a major thing finishing the first book – now you now you can do it. As someone with a very strong Jup in Pisces I can relate. All I want to do is lounge on a beach somewhere with lots of umbrella drinks near by. I’m a new moon person too, and whenever I finish a book all I want is to start on something else. Don’t do that or your novel will get lost somewhere. I resent the editing process. I whine and grumble, but it has to be done, and your book will be so much better for it. Recommended reading: Self-editing for fiction writers by Browne and King. And my favourite: Donald Maas: The Breaktrough novel. This one is a wonderful tool in particular. Sorry, my Virgo nature kicks in … Good luck and I’m looking forward to reading your book!

Thanks for these suggestions Natalie… I need a little of my Virgo opposite to get the job done!

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