Thing One is curled up at my feet, Thing Two is building helicopters, Nick and Mimi are asleep, the snow is falling and water is boiling for tea. My fingers are thawing around a hot cup of coffee. It is one of the perfect mornings that I've dreamed about.
A few posts back I told you that I had participated in NaNoWriMo last year (shortened even more to just NaNo); it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge put out by the Office of Letters and Light to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1 and November 31. They say that 50,000 words is about 175 pages long, that's about the average length of a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery.
I started in late October intending to flesh out one of the story ideas that I've had floating around in my head, but two days before the event started I threw that idea completely out the window and came up with something else. I went from writing about a selfish girl to writing about a group of merfolk. My initial goal had never been to write a 50,000 word novel; my goal was to complete a book---from "Once Upon A Time" to "The End." I've only ever done that if the story was less than five pages long.
I finished my novel at just under 30,000 words, and with four hours to spare. And I learned a lot about myself. For instance, I write better when I have a simple, but detailed, outline. Writing 1,667 words per day is a little bit much for me; I can do it, I can push myself that hard, but it's rough on the kids and that puts too much stress on me. And, probably most importantly, I know my limits. I know what I'm capable of, how far to push myself, and when I need to stop.
I didn't make the 50,000 word goal, but I am calling my NaNo participation a success. Maybe one day I will write 50,000 words in a month; the novel I just wrote (titled "Out of the Blue) might reach that word count after the revision, but I'm not too concerned about that. I have accomplished one of my goals.
I'm setting another goal (as of right now) to have "Out of the Blue" ready for publication and release by December 2013. That gives me the next eleven months to edit it, smooth out the plot, find a spell checker, and get Nick to draw the cover art. We are planning on self-publishing, and I do want to make it available as an ebook. It will most likely be sold for $3.00, and I'm already planning on having some copies printed out that I can sign for gifts or special sales.
Pester me about it, and I will post a few excerpts for you during the year!