As the final hours of NaNoWriMo come to a close, I must take a few moments to reflect on the experience. Don't worry ... it' ll be short. ;)
For my very first NaNo I have to say, it was pretty darn fun. I was as dedicated as a working mom can be, and even finished with days to spare. I've never written a first draft with a deadline before--well, not with a thirty day deadline, anyway. So knowing I had to have the 50k words down by Nov. 30 was a little daunting.
However, I think it really pushed me to get the story out. I feel bloody awesome! I just finished an entire story in a month and now I'm ready for the first round of edits! *grins* Now, I'm not one of those peeps who think that, now I have my first draft, I'm ready to query. I'll put my ms through a few rounds of revisions and beta readers. I'll even take a month break from it so I can return with a fresh perspective.
So what I've learned from NaNo, is that I can write a story pretty quickly if I know what I want to happen. I went in with a full chapter outline and character sketches. I never got writer's block because I knew what was going to happen (for the most part). With each chapter I set the scene, then let my characters have free reign and see where their conversations took them.
A little about my WIP--the story formerly known as Sapphire--I changed the name to Starsong. What do you think? Does it have any appeal? Before I wrote the story I wrote a logline, which pretty much sums up the gist:
All-American teenager, Wynonna Pinks, never expected to fall in love with the oddball neighbor kid. As if teen love isn't intense enough, her new love's devout Muslim upbringing will make some awkward waves for them in their small Bible Belt town, leaving them no alternative but to focus on the harmony that brought them together in the first place.
It's a contemporary literary story, so it focuses mainly on dialogue and the angst of a teen romance with conflicting religious backgrounds. The focus is not on the actual conflicting beliefs of Islam and Christianity, but on the ordeal of trying to make a relationship work when everything is against it.
So that's it. I'm wrapping it up at just about 70k words before revisions. I'm sure it needs some major work after writing it so fast, I don't even remember everything--which makes it exciting during the first round of edits ... then by the fourth time around I wanna puke... lol!
Thank you, NaNo! I've learned that I can crank out a story with dedication and diligence. But with the understanding it is nowhere near ready for submission. I'm looking forward to tweaking it into shape.
How about you? Did you learn anything from NaNo? If you didn't do NaNo ... what are you working on? Tell me everything!