2016 was my first year out of full-time education. It was also my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month. I never thought to try it before because November usually meant tests, exams and projects.
I actually started NaNoWriMo 2016 about a week late. I had already planned the basic outline about a month in advance, but I couldn’t start right away. I had an entrance exam at the start of November, so I had to focus on that first. I took the rest of the first week to re-energise from the exam before starting to write. The first few days for me were stressful. The story was still new to me and I was still ironing out a few kinks here and there. To make matters worse, I was also stuck obsessing over not being able to finish on time.
Towards the end of the 2nd week of November, I heard about the pep talks written by published authors. I read a few of them and became motivated to write a lot faster. I started to get to between 1.5-2k words a day. I was so excited that the prospect of me hitting the 50k word goal wasn’t going to be as impossible as I first thought.
Unfortunately, did not hit 50k words. I stopped writing a few days short of the deadline. While writing, I had found a few glaring mistakes that I couldn’t leave alone. I messed up the character development of most of the characters. I didn’t write out character bios because I was arrogant enough to think I didn’t need them. Because of that, I ended up making up a lot of things on the fly. That meant that my characters became inconsistent.
I also decided to change a few of the arcs and the roles that some of the characters played. These characters were going to appear many times in the story, but I decided to cut these parts out. I didn’t feel like their roles were necessary. Instead, I decided to focus on writing better dialogue and descriptions.
I’m the type of person who checks back to the previous chapters to make sure that my story is consistent. I don’t like doing plot edits, so I prefer getting it right the first few times. Having so many significant mistakes in the beginning would have made it difficult for me to deal with. Since I was almost done with my first draft anyway, I decided to stop and start my first rewrite. By done, I mean that I covered most of the story elements and only had to add “filler” chapters and pad out the word count.
I’m currently rewriting the first few chapters and so far, it’s been going well, albeit slowly. It’s the the first story that I’ve written that I actually think may have a chance at getting published. I hope this goes well.