I WON!!

So, as you may have noticed, I got tired of posting stats about a week in, when I decided that actually writing my novel was more important than blogging about it. I wish I had continued to keep track of how much beer and coffee went into the making of my first draft, but it is actually probably a terrifying amount that I’m better off not knowing.

Even without the stats and blogging-accountability that I started off with, however, I am pleased to announce that I have WON NaNoWriMo, for the first time ever! I am pleased as punch, no joke. I’ve been dancing in my chair since I hit my goal.

My story isn’t exactly finished, as my main character is currently standing in a half-built casino, but I’m still insanely proud of my accomplishment.

And to be honest, much of what I’ve written is pretty terrible. But I still wrote it, from nothing, and that is amazing to me. There are some bits that have some potential, and one day I might even let someone read it.

There’s definitely some things that I did differently this year that I think helped me win where I failed before, and I’ll be keeping this winning strategy in mind for next year, because I am totally insane enough to do participate again.

  1. I had a theme that i was aiming for. I didn’t know specifics, but I knew what was supposed to happen, and I had characters that I liked and knew things about. Sure, I lost track of the theme about 10,000 words in and haven’t been able to add it back in just yet, but having that idea in mind helped me determine the kinds of things that should be happening, and the theme can be added in the second draft. I went into it this year with a clearer vision of what I wanted to do than any other year.
  2. I had amazing support and friendly competition. I went to more write-ins this year and got to chat with more writers than past years. I met some super helpful people. The best thing for my wordcount though was NaNoCrawl; another writer and I got together on Sunday’s and spent the entire day happy hour hopping and writing (and were joined by other people one week). It was the best thing ever! Beer is great, and good company is great. Without all the fabulous people I had egging me on and the friendly competition, I probably would have gotten bored, discouraged, or both, and given up weeks ago like prior years. But not this time!
  3. In a similar vein, I also had a great online group to celebrate milestones with, and cheer on, and be cheered on by. For me, the amazing community was a big part of pulling me through. I don’t know if there were more enthusiastic people this year, or if I just made more effort to participate, but I am so glad I got to talk to so many people!

I have to admit there were times when I was seriously doubting my ability to make it, though. I had days at a time where I could not write at all, and seeing my little line drop further from the curve was scaring me! In fact, just on Saturday, my stats were giving me a panic attack, as I was waaaay behind from not writing for most of the Thanksgiving weekend. I found myself with less than a week to go and not much over halfway done. This is where NaNoCrawl saved my butt! Rich was way encouraging, and we buckled down and cranked out 10k words each that day! It was phenomenal, and was totally the boost I needed to finish.

Today I woke up with about 5k words left to write, and it took me all day to actually get to writing, but once I started, there was no stopping me, and I finished in record time. When I ended my scene, I checked my wordcount and was at 50,000 on the nose! I was really amused by that, and promptly started dancing.

And now, I need a break from my story! I need a break from thinking, really, but that’s not going to happen. I’m excited to do some revisions (and actually come up with some sort of ending), but I think I need a little distance and a renewed perspective to do these things, as I am well off any kind of path and need a plan to get back on it. I’m shocked that I’m still able to type at all!

NaNo Day 6 Stats

General Stats:

Words Written Today: 3833
Total Words Written: 13441
Write-ins attended: 5
Words Written at a Write-in Today: 3794
Total Words Written at Write-ins: 9178
Cups of Coffee/Tea: 11
Pints of Beer: 5
Plans Changed to Accommodate More Writing: 2
Named Characters Killed: 0
Scenes Completed: 17
Scenes that Will Probably be Cut Later: 3
Random Ideas Generated: 12

Random Thoughts:

  • Sadly, beer doesn’t work as much better than coffee as I would have hoped.
  • However, writing while buzzed is still better than writing while caffeinated.
  • I found the most inspirational bathroom on the planet today.
  • I now not only know what my MC’s motivation is, I also know how it ties into a handful of scenes I thought I was going to have to cut in December.

Last Line I Wrote Today:

“You’re starting to sound like Bobby. Jude is fine right where he is, I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself. But thanks, really. Can you go keep an eye out for Beast for me?”

Typos of the Day:

There were way too many for me to even try to keep track of them, and some of them were doozies. Also, there is no Q in barbecue.

NaNo Day 5 Stats

General Stats:

Words Written Today: 2795
Total Words Written: 9638
Write-ins attended: 4
Words Written at a Write-in Today: 2305
Total Words Written at Write-ins: 5384
Cups of Coffee/Tea: 11
Plans Changed to Accommodate More Writing: 2
Named Characters Killed: 0 (Man, and nobody has even been hurt yet, either! The lack of violence in my story is troubling).
Scenes Completed: 14
Scenes that Will Probably be Cut Later: 6
Random Ideas Generated: 9

Random Thoughts:

  • I have got to stop substituting coffee for food.
  • I need to write 5500 words to meet my 15k by Sunday goal. This will only work if beer makes me write faster than coffee does.

Last Line I Wrote Today:

Of course, there were ways to get blood that didn’t require sex, but most of them weren’t as enjoyable, and I was a terrible fighter.

Excerpt:

Violet was singlehandedly the most powerful woman that I knew. I had heard the stories about how she came to be Queen of the vampires in this city. She had come in from nowhere, made her allies, and taken over the throne through bloodshed and fear. She killed the old Prince, and all his strongest followers. She made examples out of a few others. Nobody dared to cross her because they knew what would come to them if they did.

Not that it was all doom and gloom with Violet in charge. No, in fact, it was a good time to be a vampire here. She had relaxed many of the rules that the old leadership had in place, and we had a lot more freedoms than before. As long as nobody broke the rules, she was happy, and she seemed to genuinely want all of us to enjoy being vampires in her city.

But Jericho, she didn’t have to stick a stake through anybody’s heart and leave them out to see one last sunrise to gain the loyalties of the masses, metaphorically or otherwise. I had to know more about what she could do. I had to know more about her. For the first time since high school, I really hoped that the girl I had given my phone number to would call me.

Typos of the Day:

Mazagine and facinsated.

NaNo Day 4 Stats

General Stats:

Words Written Today: 1342
Total Words Written: 6746
Write-ins attended: 2
Words Written at a Write-in Today: 0
Total Words Written at Write-ins: 3079
Cups of Coffee/Tea: 9
Plans Changed to Accommodate More Writing: 2
Named Characters Killed: 0
Scenes Completed: 11
Scenes that Will Probably be Cut Later: 4
Random Ideas Generated: 6

Random Thoughts:

  • Am officially out of buffer, but still on track. Will need to put some serious writing in this weekend to get back ahead of the game.
  • I am honestly convinced that I am mentally incapable of writing while I’m at home.
  • Reading threads titled “Adopt a Pickup Line” shortly before trying to write a scene where a guy meets a girl, even if he’s NOT trying to hit on her, is a bad idea.

Last Line I Wrote Today:

I didn’t fault Lauren for not having recognized her, and I still had no idea who she was.

Excerpt:

“JUDE.” Lauren said tersely. I knew that tone; she was jealous, and didn’t appreciate not being the only really good looking woman at the club. Worse, she probably especially hated not being THE best looking woman there. I looked up at her and saw that she was wearing her Ice Queen face. It was time to get her home before she did something stupid.

“Ah, it seems to be time to leave.” I said to Jericho. “It’s been lovely, sorry to have to cut it short.” Lauren tapped her foot impatiently as I put my card down on the counter in front of Jericho. “If you find yourself free tomorrow evening and want company, or need a tour, event recommendation or anything at all, give me a call. I know this city inside and out.” She placed the card in her wallet and thanked me. I nodded respectfully towards Bobby and led Lauren out of the club.

Most men would have given the whole world to have had a conversation with one beautiful blonde end with taking another home, but frankly, I was more than just a little miffed. Just because Lauren didn’t physically appear to be much older than nineteen years old didn’t mean she had to behave like it still. She felt like she was entitled to the moon and stars in the sky by the sheer virtue of her attractiveness, and Violet had re-enforced that belief by giving her whatever she wanted.

Typo of the Day:

I misspelled “widened” as “widended”, but had no problems with “quizzically”.

NaNo Day 3 Stats

General Stats:

Words Written Today: 1186
Total Words Written: 5442
Write-ins attended: 2
Words Written at a Write-in Today: 1078
Total Words Written at Write-ins: 3079
Cups of Coffee/Tea: 7
Plans Changed to Accommodate More Writing: 2
Named Characters Killed: 0
Scenes Completed: 9
Scenes that Will Probably be Cut Later: 4
Random Ideas Generated: 5

Random Thoughts:

  • I will seriously need to hire a team of males to point out all the places my main character sounds like a chick. Hint: there’s a lot of them.
  • It pains me to say it, but there is in fact such a thing as too much coffee.
  • It’s hard to type and eat a sandwich at the same time.
  • My spell check is not psychic.
  • My vocabulary and I are not on speaking terms today, apparently.
  • I’m a little low today’s word count but still a bit ahead of the game. I’m hoping to add a larger buffer this weekend.

Last Line I Wrote Today:

When the bartender brought  –

Yes, I stopped writing in the middle of a sentence. That’s how hard my vocabulary is fighting me tonight.

Excerpt:

Up until that point, Lauren had been one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. She had a bombshell figure, a seductive smile and an air of alluring confidence. The woman that had just walked in to the club was a step above all that and put Lauren to shame. She was absolutely stunning.

Her skin was very fair and flawless in that way that porcelain is, and her features were vaguely Nordic. Her long, light blonde hair was streaked with blues and pinks in a few places, and she looked around the room with ice blue eyes. As she shrugged out of her coat, I noticed that she had a tattoo of a large palm tree on her forearm, and her slender frame had just enough muscle to indicate that she took really good care of herself.

I must have spent just a tick too long staring at her, because the girl I’d been chatting to a moment earlier huffed and left her seat. I groaned quietly. She had been nice to talk to, seemed at least a little interested in me, and I really could have used a bite to eat that evening, all things considered.

Word of the Day:

lilt /lilt/
Noun: A characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speaking; a pleasant gentle accent.