Monday, December 14, 2009

My NaNoWriMo Experience by Yamile Mendez

Is it December already? Really? Because I feel like on November 1st I boarded the NaNoWriMo train, and I've missed my stop. My experience with Nano this year was completely different from last year's for several reasons. Last November I hadn't ever written a full novel. This year I worked on my third. Last year I let myself be taken over by the words; this year I had a plot and a plan I was working on. I set the rules for my story and tried to follow them.

Last November I wrote 51,000 words that showed me I had reached my goal. This year I didn't only reach my goal but exceeded it, and guess what? Even though November is over, my story isn't. This means more writing, but now that I have the habit of writing everyday--or almost-- I plan on finishing shortly.

This year I also used several tools that I didn't even know existed last year. For example, the Utah Word words: Utah County against Salt Lake against Elsewhere.

Through twitter I found out authors Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan, and his wife Justine Larbalestier (Liar, blogged daily with wonderful tips for Nanowrimoers.

I didn't attend any of the write-ins taking place across the valley, but next year I will for sure.

Now that Nano is over, I found another wonderful site,, that gives a plan for revising your novel, with daily tips and directions.

This year I felt I was part of a writing community, and even at home I had my 9 year-old working on his own project. He got sick the last week in November, and unfortunately didn't reach his goal, but only for a couple of hundred words. He set himself another goal for the end of the year, and I don't doubt he'll reach it.

My novel will not be even close to perfect when I finally finish it later this month, but I'm proud of it because it was created from a tiny idea that I fertilized everyday without fail. I hope it will become the tree it is meant to be. If it doesn't, there's always next November for a new opportunity.

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