NaNoWriMo Winner


Well, it’s official.  I finished NaNoWriMo with over 78,000 words.  Here’s the proof:

Now, those of you who know me have seen the title before.  I’ve only been working on this novel for forever.   I even had a couple of people tell me I cheated because the novel was already complete.  I disagree and here’s why.

I finished the novel last year and sent it off to a publisher who came back and said, “We like it but we’d like for you to consider making changes X, Y and Z.” I considered the ideas and thought, “You know what, I can make those changes.”  So I began. The thing is, the more I wrote what the publisher wanted as far as “Z”, the more I strayed away from the story I wanted to tell.  The very crux of the story, the core, the glue that held the trilogy together was rapidly disappearing.  As I wrote, my gut told me I was going in the wrong direction.  Eight months into the re-write, I tossed it aside.  It wasn’t my story.  I was writing for someone else.  Something had to change.

I revisited what the publisher said about X, and Y and they were right.  Spot on, actually, and I decided to keep those changes.  The changes worked well and did make the story better, but I had to re-write once more to put back in what I removed.  It was harder than I thought.  I actually had to put the novel aside for a while, write some short stories, and let the ideas percolate on Dragon King.  Occasionally I would revisit it but couldn’t get in the right frame of mind to finish it.  That is until November 1, 2012.

I had no plans to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but the time presented itself so I went for it.  I knew in my gut I had to finish Dragon King or at least make some significant headway in its completion.  The first week or so started off really slow in the rewrite/revision…only 4,000 words in 5 days.  Not too good.  I had to give myself a pep talk and put my mind to work.  Today, I completed 78,266 words – rewritten, revised – from two manuscripts that didn’t work on their own, but together?  Well, let’s just say I hope people will like it when I’m done.  I don’t have that much more to complete and I hope to get it back out to beta readers after the first of the year and the holidays are over.

So, in my opinion, I didn’t cheat.  I like to think of it as having two elaborate outlines that I merged together into what hopefully will be something worth reading.  During this time, I also have been diligently writing on two short stories and another one that turned into a novella I titled SUMMERFIRTH.    Hopefully that one will go to betas soon, too.

So what about you?  Did you participate and finish NaNo?  Do you have plans to finish?  I would love to hear your struggles and successes.

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18 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Winner

  1. Congrats! This was my 3rd NaNo (I limped across the finish line at 50,049) 🙂 Your publisher’s story makes me cringe at the thought of submitting it for consideration! I’m in the early stages of editing…

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    1. Don’t be afraid. Polish it the best you can. Send it out to trusted beta readers and critique partners, polish it a bit more and hit that submit button (or package according to agents’/publishers’ requirements and send out), then start on your next piece. Hopefully, you’ll find a publisher like I did who gave me a gold mine critique with a request to resubmit. If not, keep believing in your work and keep sending out. Eventually, someone will grab it. Good luck and congrats on winning NaNo! Great accomplishment. 🙂 You should feel very proud of yourself.

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  2. I think you have a right to feel your sense of accomplishment. I think it is doubly earned since you’ve been struggling with the rewrites on this particular novel.
    As a non-participant, I’m not in a position to judge whether your revision and merge of two works fits the guidelines for NaNoWriMo. What I do know is that it’s an incredible accomplishment.
    I look forward to reading the finished product…from a bookstore in my neighborhood:)

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  3. Don’t listen to the naysayers. You should be very, very proud of yourself. You’ve crafted a novel in a way that most writers cannot. Plus others stories at the same time? Your beta readers are going to be very, very busy (and happy, I’ll bet! 🙂 Congrats!

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  4. Woot Woot! Congratulations Jenny, you rock! It’s not an easy thing to do to write an entire novel under such time constraints – and I personally don’t care how it happened; I’m just delighted for you that it did. So I say hats off and kudos to you! And you worked on other writing too (which is more than I’ve been able to accomplish since my move, lol – and no, I knew I didn’t have the stamina to participate … but one of these Novembers …) Way to go! ~ Julie 🙂 xox

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