This paranormal suspense writer is withdrawing from National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Literary victory was in sight, but at too great a cost.
In a previous year, I rushed my Nanowrimo novel and ended up with something that was 50,000 words long, but was so bad that I buried the book in a salt mine, the way I might have buried one of my characters, grumbling:
"You can scream all you like, I'm not editing you."
The reason: If I try to reach 50,000 words by December, I can be sure that I won't be producing the best writing I've ever produced ... unlike the 30,000 words that I HAVE successfully written this month.
I glance at what I've written to make important edits and to find my place and I see that some of my favourite elements are in this story in terms of content and tone. It has been hard work, with many 5am starts, but I've also had a lot of fun with it and it's alive now: the characters have stepped up and I have an idea of what will happen next, but I don't know how or if these things will really pan out. Whatever turns the story takes, soon it will be independent of me and I'll send it into the world to have new adventures with new people, hopefully you.
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I have 30,000 words of personal project written this month, which is 28,500 words more than I wrote (not including ghostwriting or non-fiction) in the first 10 months of the 2015.
In answer to the question 'how has ghostwriting affected my work', I've gradually and unintentionally doubled my writing speed. I'm now up to about 1000 words per hour. Vroom. Quality seems to be better than ever too, but I'll save judgement for my readers.
NaNoWriMo has afforded me some essential revision in writing everyday and in building and maintaining momentum, small, regular steps being more productive than massive leaps, which only FEEL more productive. The NaNoWriMo word count graph does not lie.
Congratulations to everyone who has made it to 50k or will do so in the next few days. I'm in awe and I look forward to reading some of your stories if you let us.
Congratulations too though to those who didn't reach 50k. I hope you had as much fun as I did and/or learnt as many lessons. I was disappointed at first, but there's really no need to be discouraged; the end of National Novel Writing Month needn't be the end of anybody's writing.
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