NaNoWriMo Wrapup Thoughts

Okay. Now I can say that I’m officially done.

Thirty days of writing. I think I averaged about 2000 words per day. With the extra day of writing after I hit 50,000, I wrote an extra 3472 words, which bring the total word count of Willow to 53818. Usually, when I work on Willow, I average about 4 chapters a month. In November, I wrote about 8 1/2 chapters, almost two per week. I can safely say that I’m no longer in the beginning portion of the book. I’m about to step foot into the middle arc of the storyline.

Not too shabby!

So, the question for today is, now that I’ve done this experiment and gotten very good results, what am I going to do with it? There’s no question that if I want to finish Willow on a timely basis, I do need to up my word count. If I continue at the same pace as I did in November, either I’d have to give up working on short stories and essays, or I’ll need to find more time to focus on writing.

Looking at it realistically, I’ll have to go for the latter. As much as I love working on Willow, I also want to do other things too (and the fact that I did cheat a little in November by working on a short story to send off proves it). In fact, I have a lot of catching up to do–there’s a couple of essays I wanted to finish by the end of December, and a short story I put on the back burner to do NaNoWriMo that I’m itching to get back to.

It’s weird, though. I’ve also been really itching to get back to work on Willow, too. I took the weekend off of writing to celebrate–because hey, when you set goals for yourself, and you actually reach them, you gotta celebrate. My hubby asked me, “Now that you’ve done this constant freewriting on Willow, are you going to go back and work on that chapter you wished you could do over?” He’s talking about when, around November 13, I had two new characters suddenly pop up and create a major plot change, but at the time, I couldn’t go back and write their introduction into the story. I chosen just to write them in as if I had done their introduction, then go back in December. I’m not sure I want to go back and do that rewrite now. I think wrote enough that once I do the major rewrite, I’ll be able to look at my notes for that chapter and rewrite it better then. If I ever get a huge urge to rewrite it in the future, then sure, I’ll do it. But right now, I got a good groove going.

And finding time just got a whole lot easier. I think I found a good daycare place for Daniel to go to starting in January. My writing schedule plan, then, will be this: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I’ll go back to my normal routine of doing short stories, essays, poetry, etc. during Daniel’s naps, then work on Willow at night. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll devote those days completely to Willow. And once I get those extra hours when Daniel’s in daycare, that will really make a difference in moving the story along.

Overall, what did I think of NaNoWriMo? I had great fun doing it. But I think if I’ll do this next year, I’m going to start a new book, maybe start working on the next book in the Willow trilogy. Or, maybe I’ll just work on something new. Who knows. But one thing I do know: if I can keep up the pace of writing 8 chapters per month, I’ll be done with the first draft of Willow by this time next year–assuming that it’s going to be 96 chapters or less.

So what am I doing gabbing away here? I need to get writing!