Friday, December 3, 2010

Final NaNoWriMo Update

I couldn't spend the month of November speaking about doing NaNoWriMo on this blog without letting you know the results. On Sunday, November 28, I completed the first draft of MISSING. It came in at 51,669 words, thus making me a NaNoWriMo winner for the second year in a row. It's not the word count I'd hope for, which was closer to 75,000-80,000 words, but I'm satisfied with 51,669 for now. I wrote the basic storyline, learned about my characters and myself as a writer, and have a great start of a new novel that I can come back to, rewrite, revise, and edit until it's a polished product.

I know many people when they finish such a big project want to do a quick edit and get it out there, but personally, I advise against this. I read somewhere that it is best to leave that first draft for at least 30 days and do nothing with it. Then, you can come back to it with fresh eyes and a better perspective. I tend to leave my first drafts for a year or more until I come back to them. It's not necessarily because I want to, but I move on to other things and have a hard time going back. In the end, I'm really glad I have because I've grown so much as a writer since I wrote my first two first drafts that if I had edited them earlier, they wouldn't have been good. Now, I know what to write and how I write and what I need to do to revise, edit, and polish them to shiny novels (that'll still need more work if they're ever accepted to be published).

So, now I have my third completed first draft of a novel. It isn't pretty. It needs a lot of work, but I already have ideas for it. When I go back to it, I can fix it up, so it'll be all awesome. I hope.

Now, it's time to write some flash fiction and new short stories...and work on rewriting one of those previous first drafts. *winks*


Aubrie said...

Congrats on winning NaNoWriMo! You're right to let the story sit for awhile! (That gives me time to read it, too)

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Aubrie! And, this story will be sitting for a long while. I must admit that when you go back to a story after a year that it makes it so much easier to revise and edit...or at least it does with me. Of course, I'll be completely rewriting VIRTUOSO. So many new plans for that novel. I can't wait!

Cats! said...

That's awesome that you finished! Congrats! I agree with letting a MS sit for a time before edits. Works good for me too.