Thank god it’s over.
Writing fifty-thousand words in thirty days has been an educational experience.
You learn things. Mainly how the delete key should be removed from your keyboard. Not that you shouldn’t delete things. It’s okay to throw bits and pieces away–but only when you’re editing. Your writing process and your editing process should be separate.
There is the remembering. You’ve forgotten that nothing is perfect. You were scared, but now that realization is planted firmly in your head and you’re free to write again. And, of course, you realize the power of the deadline. Deadlines, especially personal ones, can be powerful motivators.
Probably the most important thing that I’ve proven to myself is that I can finish a manuscript. Looking at the manuscript now, I’ve got about one hundred twenty pages that contain, in total–fifty thousand sixty-two words. My plans about fleshing out and writing stories about all those little ideas in my head no longer intimidate me.
Taking a story idea from inception to completion in fifty thousand words is possible.
Even if the idea is, “I’m going to write about as many genres as possible so that I can possibly have enough material to draw fifty-thousand words from. Themes may include: High school romance. Alternate realities. A Princess in distress. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Elder gods. Evil twins. A ‘rag-tag’ group of rebels. A ‘Chosen One.’ Robotic Ninjas. Cloning dinosaurs. Oh, and Giant robots.”
I honestly believe that this particular storyline was inspired by a girl that I had a crush on in high school. Of course, that character changed completely.
The end result of NaNoWriMo 2002:
I’m outlining a short story now, and saying to myself, “Yeah, maybe five to ten thousand words. I’ll give myself about five days–that should be plenty.”