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About Me and NaNo

Getting started

I found NaNo through an article in a writer's magazine. Being between jobs that month, you'd think NaNo would be easy. Instead you find yourself guilt-ridden each time you sit at the PC, faced with the nagging question: NaNoWriMo.org...or Monster.com? On the last day of NaNo, after a 22-hour writing blitz, I finished just under the wire with fifty thousand words - and eleven to spare.

The second year, I had a job and although I didn't have another last-minute marathon writing session, when Crunch Time hit, I found myself removing all contractions and abbreviations to boost my word count by 400 - enough to finish around 50,060 or so.

What I Wrote

Year 1 was an erotic story from an idea I'd had for a couple of years set in an Ancient Roman alternate universe. Year 2, I chose a 19th century supernatural romance. This year it's a kind of sociopolitical, sci-fi romance. Or least that's my best guess.

After NaNo

Well, they stunk, of course. I didn't like the characters, the situations they got into, and historical fact was certainly not crowding up my prose.

But still, I print one hard copy and put everything on a CD. I put those plus any leftover notes and scraps in file wallet labelled with the working title and date, and file it. I know that if I ever want to revise them, or cannibalize them for other works, they're there.

Lessons Learned (so far)

  1. Historicals are bad NaNo projects if you don't already know a lot about the era you're writing in.
  2. The solution to word count in erotica is not to throw another sex scene in there at random. They never take as many words as you'd like.
  3. Write down descriptions of your characters, especially the secondary ones. There was one in particular where I couldn't remember in Chapter 12 the hair color I gave her and had to go back several chapters to find a description.
  4. I don't have to come back to a work to revise it or finish it right away. Or 6 months from now. Or ever.

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