November is done. The 50,000-word goal has been tallied and the winners are trying to decide how to relax again. I finished my 50,000 words on day 23 and finished at a point in the book when my Main Character was dealing with a very painful situation.
The problem was, the book was not done. I felt somewhat accomplished for finishing, but only a little. I had actually done better in word count for NaNo camp than the official NaNo contest. I was able to complete 75,000 words for camp and the book, a first draft which would have to be added to and cut from, was finished. I felt a little odd claiming victory when my book was not finished at the end of the month this time.
While the goal is 50,000 words, the ultimate goal of NaNoWriMo is to finish a novel, which I did not do. My manuscript has a minimum of 30,000 words to go, which makes it less than 2/3’s done.
I’ve been editing my novel from camp and have gone through it no less than 7 times. Due to the fact that I am new to writing, I took my editing in waves. The first edit was for clarity, and it added quite a few words to the word count. I found that scenes that looked beautiful in my head were not explained enough on paper to convey what was happening in my thoughts. The second edit was to add contractions throughout. I’m not sure why, but I tend to write without them. The third edit was making sure the point of view remained the same throughout scenes. Obviously, a more experienced author could do this along with the contraction and clarity edit. The last four edits were done as my beta readers returned information for me. I will do one last read-through out loud in the next few weeks and then I’ll begin looking for a literary agent.
The main point is this, 50,000 words is a wonderful goal and I’m glad I had success. I still feel like I failed a little. The second point is, even if you do finish your manuscript, you are still not done in one month.
Congratulations to all who finished and to all who didn’t. If I have one word of advice for those who didn’t make it, it would be to keep going. Just because you didn’t finish your novel, or maybe didn’t finish 50,000 words, keep going anyway. The only way you truly fail is if you give up. No one can ever critique work that is never written.