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.