What a long arduous month this has turned out to be. I loved the Nanowrimo challenge, but it was a bit harder going this year than last year.
The first few days, I had a wonderful start. I was writing over 2000 words each day. It was going so well that I even asked a writing friend to read the manuscript (something the Nanowrimo people urge you to avoid). The writing was fun and not too stressful.
Then came a troublesome sinus infection. Still, I fought on.
On the Monday before Thanksgiving, the whole thing took a turn for the worse. I ended up wrapping up all the pieces of the puzzle too quickly and the novel seemed to limp to an end, well short of 50,000 words. (Last year, when I worked on my novel about the secret drawer, I wrote the full 50K goal without even getting to the climax of the story.)
Thankfully, I had an interview with a local police officer lined up for that Tuesday. When I left her office, I felt much better about the book. I had a few new wrinkles to weave into the story and more clarity as to when the story should take place. I needed to avoid the DNA expertise because it would solve the plot problems too quickly. I shifted the story back to the beginning of the 1980s (an easy time to set it in, since I was a teen back then).
However, all that shifting meant that I had to write in scenes that had been left out, shift other scenes to later in the book and revamp a character or two. The novel began to feel like a jumbled mess.
Thankfully, I managed to make the word count goal by 1 p.m. this afternoon and even wrote the final words of the novel. However, when I pasted the document into the word count submission box, it only attributed 49,906 words. What????
I wondered if the counter failed to count things in red (since this is what they suggest doing with comments you want to add to remind you to re-work something later). I figured this could be a real problem, since I had typed in the name "Town Drunk" in red every time his character came up - because I am still waiting for a lightning bolt from the heavens with the perfect name for this character. I went back and turned the red to black and it still refused to accept my word count.
I finally managed to tweak enough to have 50,261 words. The counter read it as 50,023 ... but I'll take it! I printed out the certificate and here is my fantastic winner's badge:
I am vowing not to let this manuscript sit neglected. My first order of business (after getting more sufficient sleep to fight off my wicked sinus infection) is to rework the manuscript to the point where I can send off a final installment to my writer friend (he's patiently waiting for more and says he is "intrigued" - a good sign). Then, I want to have the manuscript ready to send out to some possible publishers by February, just in case I get noticed in the Young Adult Novel contest I entered. It may not be the best novel ever written ... but it is not bad, and it is the first one where I've actually completed a rough draft. That's success, in my book!