Happy With My Epic NaNoWriMo Fail

Sunday December 1, 2013

Just before the start of November I made a last minute decision to sign up for National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge to write a minimum 50,000 word novel between November 1st and 30th. Unlike the 3-Day Novel Contest, you don't submit your work for judging and there are no prizes - NaNoWriMo is just about using an online community and a deadline to get yourself motivated to get a first draft down on the page.

I've participated in and "won" NaNoWriMo twice before, but both of those books have been sitting around for years in need of major rewrites. I decided to sign up again this year when I looked at the rules and realized you're allowed to work on a revision of a previous work, as long as you start your prose from scratch. So I decided to use this November to completely rewrite one of those languishing NaNo books. I knew I'd be off to a late start, since I still needed to figure out my revised outline AND finish off some other projects before I started, but I still thought I could pull it off.

Turns out I couldn't.

In fact, my word count sits at zero. I have been working on the book this month, but all of that work is still at the character development and outlining level.

Still, I'm not upset, because it's got me back into a story I love but have been hesitant to touch for years. And I REALLY like where the new developments are taking me.

On that note, for anyone else working on middle grade fiction, I recommend the book Writing Irresistible KidLit by Mary Kole, and you can check her website KidLit.com for ongoing tips.

So did you participate in NaNoWriMo? If so, how did you do?

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