This is my third year in Japan and my third year attempting Nanowrimo. I successfully finished my 50,000 word novel two years ago, but the result wasn’t worth much to anyone other than me. For me though, the process was worth all the time and energy I spent on it. I learned far more about writing while doing my first Nanowrimo than I did in all my years of creative writing lessons in school combined. I also learned that by assigning myself a deadline, having a friend working on the same thing at the same time, and by sacrificing some sleep, I can accomplish quite a lot.
My second year was a flop, despite what I took from my first years experience I couldn’t seem to fit it into my schedule. I quit after about 10,000 words.
In the midterm between Nanowrimos I even tried to write some, but I didn’t set myself a deadline or clearly outline my goals, and as a result the writing projects all stagnated.
This year I’m lagging behind by about a day, but I’m committed. For better or worse I’m going to reach the 50,000 word mark. I’m sure I’m going to write some crap sections, but I think that I’ve learned enough about plot and characterization that those crap sections won’t spoil the pot. I’ll be able to go back and revise them into less crappy bits, or as I like to imagine now perhaps they are just golden eggs waiting to have the crap scraped off them. I have a good basis for a story, I’m writing in a genre I can keep going and going forever in, and I have set what eluded me before but now seems to be an obvious pacing of 1666 word chapters (equivalent to the daily word count). At the end of each chapter I write something of a cliffhanger or introduce a new character or plot turn such that I’m excited to start writing the next day and so that I needn’t go back and read so far back to know where to pick up.
Once I’ve got the novel finished I’ll be making it available on my blog published with a creative commons attribution as I did my first novel. I’ll try to make it e-book ready as well.
Wish me luck and forgive me if my lack of sleep causes poor judgement this month. I’ve only got this November to participate in this year’s Nanowrimo, I can sleep when I’m dead!