Of course, it’s not really a novel. 50,000 words is very short word count and it’s far from being finished. I am only about two thirds through the plot so far. Bits of what I have aren’t bad. Bits of it, written as I tried to get to know my characters a little better, would need some pretty severe editing and some of it needs to be culled entirely!
But none of that really matters because the essence of NanaWriMo is to write fast without fear or the self-editor’s red pen at your back. When you undertake this challenge, you write for you without worrying about where it might be taking your characters or plot. You write when you really don’t think you have any more words. You write every day no matter what your diary looks like because if you don’t then the hill that you have to climb the next day will be even steeper.
Not many people finish. Last year, almost half a million writers began on November 1st but only 40,000 of them managed to log the full quota of words at the end of the month. That’s because it’s tough. There’s no getting away from it. But it’s like anything else, if you want something enough you will always find a way of getting to it. I have a little sign stuck on my wall. (See below.) This is my motto (although obviously I deviated from it slightly for November.) Perseverance and resilience. Isn’t that what we teach our children? Well, it turns out that it’s just as important for adults too.
So what next?
Well, I quite like Chrissie, Lucas and Paula and the imaginary island of Kinsay that I have spent the last month creating. I think I will go back at some point and start again with what I have so far and see if I can turn their story into a half decent book. But for now, I must return to the projects that I was working on before I interrupted myself. Lots of half finished projects is fun but it won’t get me to where I’m going.
I shall award myself the rest of the day off and tomorrow I shall get back on with the job in hand, the editing of Postcards from a Stranger. So it’s bye bye to The Lighthouse for now but thank you. It’s been a blast!