NaNoWriMo Touchdown

I thought I would know the exact moment that I hit the 50,000 word count – that elusive goal for participants in the National Novel Writing Month challenge.

For some reason I assumed the computer would flash like railroad crossing lights and bells would peal madly. At the very least my inner consciousness should have given me a giant cosmic high five – right?

Turns out, it slipped past me as easily as a sail boat, gliding right into the next channel of adventure. I saw it approaching, then it was long past.

I’ve asked myself how it happened and this is the best answer I could conjure.

I had gotten to a place in the story where I felt a little stuck. This wasn’t the first time though. Following my predetermined plot got a little forced about midway and my heroine wasn’t cooperating. Finally I deleted about a thousand words and let her have her way. It paid off. She took over, grabbed me by the hand and together we skipped happily along until we neared the 48,000th word. Accidents happened, an eating disorder showed up – it had previously been alluded to but my intention was to leave it in the past – and she demanded that she repair all of the damage herself before reconnecting with her love interest.

Operating from muse instead of my plot was fantastic until she went home for the holidays – or wherever it is that muses go when they abandon you.

And then she returned.

The answer became clear.

The satisfaction of the moment my heroine thought she wanted left her disappointed and empty. And she and I went racing back through words so quickly I didn’t take time to look at the count.

So my friends, I have surpassed the goal of 50,000 and am determined now to finish the novel entirely before November disappears and sanity returns.  But it does seem to mock me a little. If I can write this much in November, what about the rest of the year?

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  1. Congratulations. I congratulate anyone who takes on this challenge and for those who complete it
    you have my wholehearted admiration! Good luck with the completion off your novel 🙂

  2. Congrats! That’s fantastic!

    “If I can write this much in November, what about the rest of the year?” I’m thinking that’s probably the point of the whole thing. 🙂

  3. First of all a big big Congrats to You!!!!! ( I mean really big big big big….. congrats to you). You did a great job, as I predicted before. When are we are going to this? After all i am among one of your biggest supporter :). And don’t worry, i am going to make your computer flash like railroad crossing lights and bells would peal madly. Be sure about that.

    By the way what’s your novel all about. Although i know i am going to get one copy of it (at free of cost 🙂 ) from you. But i can’t wait more to know about it in detail.

    1. This one is a romance about a sharp corporate woman heading the acquisition of an independently owned company by a handsome, strong willed southern gentleman who keeps forgetting his manners. Both have secrets and one has an addiction. Greed, suspicion, embezzlement, biting southern wit – hey – I’m from the south – you’ve got to use what you know! I finished @ 64,857 official words today. Yeah! And thanks for the encouragement!

      1. It’s sounding great. Let it be your first novel. Send it to some publisher. The day your first novel will be published, do not forget to send me one with your autograph on it. I am waiting for that day. I know it will come soon.
        Congrats on finishing it. 64857 words, the number is showing you gave it your heart body & soul this time. Great Job Renee, Keep Going & Keep Writing … the way you are doing at this moment. Best Wishes to you from my side.

  4. Renee, this is so cool. I love your explanation of the process and my kudos to you for moving forward even after being abandoned. I hope someday that I too can take on the November challenge. Next year? Congratulations.

  5. Wow, 50,000 words…I can’t imagine!

    I loved this post and your description of how the character and her story ran away with you. I’ve read of that happening with other novelists…can’t quite wrap my thoughts around it, but I’m sure it really works just as you describe. I’ve never tried to write fiction, more than short prices when I was in school. I’m impressed!
    And good for you for your success! ~ Sheila

    1. I once heard another author – only one though – describe characters taking over as schizophrenia not writing. It broke my heart. My characters become so real they sometimes turn their backs on me if I let them down and stubbornly stick to a predetermined plot. It’s more fun this way however. Thanks for the kind words.

  6. Bravo! (Or would that be Brava? My Spanish deserts me. Or is it Italian … it sounds a bit after-Opera-ish.) Can you do it every month? Depends on how much of your life you feel you put on the back burner to accomplish this and whether any of that would trouble you to do all the time. If it’s a joy, and not a task, then keep it up!

    1. You know, I think I could do it every month if I didn’t have this thing called a J-O-B! So I’m looking forward to honing the craft for retirement. I love your Opera – ish Bravo – Brava! I’m singing Haleleujahs as I type!

    1. It needs tons of editing I am sure, but it has a beginning, a middle and an ending that I love and hope others would as well. Did I mention it is a romance? Strong southern characters, biting wit, a little addiction, embezzlement, confusion, sex?

  7. I love this post. I love how you described the process of writing the novel. And, congratulations and your achievement! I have not checked out this NaNoWrMo thingamajigggie, but I will. I have the deeeep desire to write some books, and have written some bits and many pieces over the years. But I don’t have one complete book, yet. I need something to get me focused. Also, I relate to your puzzlement about having written or your intention to write x-amount in such-and-such a period of time and then questioning why this couldn’t have happened sooner or some other way. Ahhhh, the mystery. Keep at it. You are a good writer!

  8. Thank you so much for those beautiful words. Your blog posts are always so well written that I have no doubt you would be able to produce a lovely novel. I think the challenge forces me to move past the parts where I get stuck and the encouragement from nanowrimo is such that it helps me over those humps. And since it is more about just producing words on the page than a final draft, it helps release the inhibitions I have of writing a sloppy sentence or repetitive language. That can be edited out. Just get down the bones – somebody said that but my brain is currently mush.

  9. ~applause~ I’d be pleased as a peacock even if it’s a bittersweet victory. You succeeded a grand goal. I look forward to hearing more about your writing adventures. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I think it helped to stay focused and into the story. Sometimes we let our energy dry up by not giving it appropriate attention. Which is the gift of the challenge – yeah!

  10. That’s amazing! Way to go! The best feel of all is to reach your goal without realizing. Suddenly it’s there and you’re still going, like the Ever Ready bunny. Well, you’re down to the wire. Can’t wait to see the published version. 😉

  11. Congratulations on reaching your goal! It was fun to read about your muse going home for the holidays. Glad she returned, and I wish you all the best as you write toward that final line.

    1. Thank you so much. It does feel good. I like your name ‘happykidshappymom’. Too few people realize that if her children are happy, mom probably is too.

  12. Congratulations! I’m deep in end of the term projects so I’m in awe that you have a J-O-B, wrote a novel and still had time to drop by my site. Thank you for visiting. I will definitely make it here more often to read about your progress. What an undertaking.

  13. Congrats on winning!! It’s strange when you push SO hard for a goal, accomplish it, then find out that it was really all about the journey in the end, not the destination.

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