National Novel Writing Month is officially over. If you've spent any time around the writing community you probably know that the month of November is a big deal. November is National Novel Writing Month, loving dubbed "NaNoWriMo", and the event itself consists of a push to write 50,000 words for the entire month. That's 1,667 words per day. For a lot of authors, myself included, that's a much faster pace than we're used to.
This is the first time I've actively participated in NaNoWriMo and made a concerted effort to get those words in. Spoiler alert: I didn't make 50,000 words. I didn't even make 40,000. Or 30,000...
For the month of November I logged 29,760 words. Which is actually pretty good for me. The graphic below shows my daily word counts. You can see I did pretty well in the beginning of the month, but fell off quite a bit toward the end. There were several days I didn't write at all. And while I didn't come anywhere close to 50,000 words, I still did a lot of great work that I'm incredibly proud of.
My project focus for NaNoWriMo was Book 2 of my Mortals & Shadows series. (If you haven't read Book 1, Ashes, Ashes, you can find it here or here.) I've struggled to gain traction on this project, and it felt like NaNoWriMo would be a good time to put some concerted effort and focus into it. To my surprise the words came much easier than expected, and I was coasting along pretty well. There was only one problem. I didn't much like how the story was turning out.
Once I realized the story wasn't how I imagined it the decision was simple: I found the point where it deviated from my plan and cut out everything I'd written after that point. That turned out to be my last eight chapters, encompassing 15,000 words. Yikes!
Even though it was hard to see so much work get shunted aside and my total word count drop so low, it was absolutely the right decision to make. I've had so many ideas to make the story bigger and better than I thought it could be, and I'm much happier with the direction it's heading now. In some ways it feels like starting over, but I'm incredibly glad I did it.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over I will no longer be tracking my daily word counts, but I'm hoping to at least keep hold of the faster-paced writing I've tried to develop these last few weeks. I have so many stories to tell, and writing them faster will get them out into the world, and into your hands, faster as well.