NaNoWriMo 2009

1 Dec 2009


So, November is over. And, fifty-thousand and some words later, I’ve managed to do it again. In the middle of Sunday afternoon, I wrote the last words of Homeopath, a somewhat odd tale of intrigue, rage, and maybe murder. But maybe not. In any case, it’s definitely written, and it’s definitely more than 50,000 words, and so I’ve won NaNoWriMo 2009. Go me.

This year, I’m not going to post the entire thing immediately. Instead, I’m going to have a break from it for a while, then revisit and edit it in a month or two. So, no novel in this post, I’m afraid. I can, however, tell you some thing’s I’ve learnt over the last month:

  • Planning helps; I didn’t plan in any detail, and ended up wandering around for 25,000 words setting the scene before I got on with the plot.
  • Writing in the first person gives me the urge to constantly point out that I don’t necessarily share the opinions of my protagonist. Make of that what you will.
  • Emacs and MarkDown make for a pretty nice editing environment for prose. Isolator is also handy.

The main thing I’m intent on taking away from the experience, though, is getting back into the habit of actually doing something substantial - writing something, programming something, practising something - when I get home from work in the evening, as oppose to just collapsing in front of the TV. NaNoWriMo imposed a structure where this wasn’t an option. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep it up now that it’s finished.

Finally, two graphs (because graphs are traditional). This first graph shows my progress over the course of the month; basically, things went a bit pear-shaped early on, but I managed to make the time up over the subsequent weeks.


The second graph shows my daily writing rate; the red line marks 1,666 words per day, which is the average rate (more or less) than you need to keep up to make it to 50,000 within the month.


Fascinating, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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