National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) was in November, and you may remember that the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel during between November 1st and November 30th. I boldly (or insanely, depending on how you look at it) took on the challenge.
Since I typically write picture books and middle grade novels, I adapted the challenge for my needs. My goal was to write two middle grade novels in November, totaling 50,000 words.
So how did it go?
I finished the first draft of one brand new novel, about a brother and sister who discover a portal in their hall closet that takes them to 1983. It was quite fun to write, since the girl in the story is 10 years old, and I was 10 years old in 1983. (Go ahead, do the math. I dare you.) I really enjoyed adding in many references to 80’s hair band music, parachute pants, big hair, the Atari and other “new technology”. I’m sure some of it will end up being removed in revision, but I enjoyed it just the same.
So, one novel draft down. Check! Unfortunately, this first novel came in well under 25,000 words. So I wasn’t at the halfway point yet. Sigh.
This was when I decided to ignore the word count, and write until I was done. Good plan right? I began writing the second novel, a continuation of another novel I have in revision. In this draft, a 13-year old girl travels with her dad for two weeks as he completes his cross-country truck driving job, hoping to experience “the world,” and become a better writer.
I got a good start on this second novel, and then life got in the way: birthdays, Thanksgiving, family visits, etc… all wonderful things that ended up putting a halt on my writing progress.
So in the end, I did not meet the 50,000 word goal. And I’m okay with that. I now have 2 novels to revise, and one to finish writing the first draft. The draft is just bursting to get out of my head, so I just have to make the time to finish it.
Perhaps this will be the year of the novel for me. Wouldn’t it be a great year if I could start it in revision, and end it with an agent? Let’s cross our fingers.