NaNoWriMo Winner 2018

WARNING: This post is going to be extraordinarily long, so I’m going to do us all a favor and not beat around the bush.

NaNoWriMo is over. I won. Again. #14. (Winning just means that I wrote 50,000 or more words in the month of November.) If you want to stop reading now, you have the gist of this post. If you’re interested in the “writing in public” portion of the program, continue on.

Like most years, I got a bit behind and had some catch-up to do Thanksgiving weekend. Here is how the month broke down, in a convenient CHART form:

11/1	662	662	1,667
11/2	1,068	1,730	3,334
11/3*	2,296	4,026	5,000
11/4*	3,148	7,174	6,667
11/5	972	8,146	8,334
11/6	0	8,146	10,000
11/7	1,028	9,174	11,667
11/8	468	9,642	13,334
11/9	554	10,196	15,000
11/10*	848	11,044	16,667
11/11*	1,741	12,785	18,334
11/12	1,535	14,320	20,000
11/13	909	15,229	21,667
11/14	1,488	16,717	23,334
11/15	1,296	18,013	25,000
11/16	952	18,965	26,667
11/17*	3,576	22,541	28,334
11/18*	2718	25,259	30,000
11/19	1,785	27,044	31,667
11/20	1,050	28,094	33,334
11/21	0	28,094	35,000
11/22*	5,118	33,212	36,667
11/23*	5,430	38,642	38,334
11/24*	2,413	41,055	40,000
11/25*	2,802	43,857	41,667
11/26	1,921	45,778	43,334
11/27	1,715	47,493	45,000
11/28	2,604	50,097	46,667
11/29	1,942	52,039	48,334
11/30	639	52,678	50,000

*Days I did not have to JOB.

As you can see in the convenient chart, I hit the goal on November 28, which is a pretty standard day for the times that 50k is my personal goal. I then finished the novel on November 29, on the bus ride home that night. Holy cow, but I was in a zone! Something about writing intense, violent scenes does something incredible to my word count.

Don’t judge.

So what about those words on November 30? Well, you see, there was one last write-in that night, and I wasn’t about to miss it. I also wasn’t about to become one of those annoying people that distracts everyone just because I was done writing. I know how important the final write-in of the year can be; in fact, so many in our group managed the goal during that time that my hands started to hurt from applauding everyone. Seriously, there were many.

Because of all of the above, I wrote an epilogue of sorts that will not be included in the final novel. I only wrote it to keep me occupied during the designated writing times.

Then on Saturday, December 1, we had our TGIO (Thank Goodness It’s Over) party at a local public library. It was a pajama party with lots of food, laughter, and reminiscence about the month prior. In that spirit, here are the highlights from November:

Orange write-ins at Starbucks, every Friday: This is my favorite weekly write-in, because two of my favorite people are always there: Nyx and bonetti.

The Train to Oceanside! We write on the train to the end of the line, have lunch at a diner at the end of the pier there, have a writing session (most years — this year the train up was delayed, which meant we didn’t have time to write and catch the train back), then write on the return trip to Anaheim. It’s always a blast, and usually pretty productive.

IKEA! (What??) I said IKEA! We invade a local IKEA store (with management awareness and cooperation), split into tiny groups of three, and write in the room displays. It shows off how the IKEA furniture could be used in a household of writers. Always productive, and this was the first and only time I was “on track” until I finally buckled down Thanksgiving weekend. Speaking of…

Thanksgiving weekend! I wrote more than 10,000 words between Thursday and Friday, which caught me up. It helped that I got that Friday off and I was able to hide out at Starbucks all day.

Grand Californian Hotel: At the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, one of the hotels is easily accessed from Downtown Disney. It was built in the architectural style of the Arts and Crafts movement (whatever that means), and it’s a beautiful hotel. They have a huge Christmas tree in the lobby (beautiful!), and there is also a gingerbread Californian Hotel this time of year as well. Normally, we are able to snag a bunch of the sofas and chairs in the lobby, but this year many of us ended up outside in the chaise lounges.

Normally, that is an unproductive write-in, because I spend the whole time talking with Nyx and her mother. Mom is not a writer, but she loves the Grand Californian. Unfortunately, this year they did not attend. On the bright side, that made it a much more productive event than usual.

After the official end time of the write-in, a bunch of us had dinner at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney. This was a social event (no writing at the dinner table) and was tons of fun. The food could be better, being overpriced resort food, but it’s not bad.

The downside to NaNoWriMo (on a personal level) is that– at least for this year– my work friends and I were not able to schedule our monthly Game Day. I attended as many of the Game Nights (Thursdays) as I could with my other gaming group, but I miss my Pathfinder!

But what about the novel itself? I think, overall, I’m satisfied with the story. It accomplished all it was meant to for me, at least. Is it a quality story? Please. Look who wrote it. Of course not! I haven’t even re-read it, and I already know of one continuity glitch that needs fixing. (I skimmed the beginning trying to find a really bad sentence for one of the TGIO activities.) I am sure there are at least ten more.

I have set it aside for at least two weeks (probably three), and then I will go through and make the changes I know it needs before delivering the ebook to the people who donated to my NaNoWriMo fundraiser page. (Next year I plan to do it under my pseudonym so I can plug it here.)

It already has a cover. I’ll need to change my author bio to reflect that I have finished this book.

Another National Novel Writing Month is in the books. This was #20 for them, #14 for me. It is my sincere hope that next year, you will be one of us writing a novel in November. It’s a ton of fun!

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