Saturday, November 29, 2014


I won NaNoWriMo 2014.

That's my second NaNo win. The first was in 2011, when I dove in with the true "no plot, no problem" spirit and wrote a complete first draft of a young YA/upper MG novel called Truth or Dair: A Liar's Tale. I really should revise that book. I know some ways to fix it now, things I have learned in the last three years.

This time, I plotted first. I'd had my premise for a while, but I was scared to write it. I was scared because...

  • It's from a boy's point of view, and I have never written as a boy before.
  • It deals with Tourette's, and I didn't want to mess that up.
  • The premise calls for a lot of kissing. A. Lot. Of. Kissing. And, yeah, romance is a weakness for me, as a writer.

My friend and fellow Middle Sister, Sasha, was doing NaNo, and I was so excited for her. I've heard about her book for a couple of years. It sounds so good in my head, like The Book Thief meets Inkheart maybe. I'm just going on her talking about it, because I haven't read the draft yet. The point? I really wanted to support Sasha doing this. I remember how it felt to finish my first rough draft. I know how it feels every time I finish a first draft. It is glorious.

It isn't glorious because of the draft itself. Let's be honest; there is a dang good reason no one publishes first drafts. But once I have a draft, I can turn it into a novel. I can play with it. It's like I have created Legos from scratch and it feels as if no one ever in the history of the world ever thought of Legos before. But now I have them, and I am going to build.

I am going to build... a BOOK!

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So, yeah... I wanted that for my friend. And I needed a kick in the tail to start my new story. I have learned to find accountability, because I NEED accountability.

Making a public declaration that I was doing NaNo was my accountability this month. I have a lot of pride sometimes. Too much in certain areas, I'm sure. So I wasn't about to admit defeat. Between the specter of public failure and the need to encourage Sasha, I was kept on track, and I have 50,000 words now. It isn't a complete draft, but it covers the first two plot points and is in way better shape than my first NaNo novel from 2011. So I'm calling it a win.

To celebrate, I have watched a bazillion episodes of New Girl and prettified my fingernails.

Happy NaNoWriMo friends!

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