NaNo Update #4: I Made It! No, Wait. I Didn’t.

I was there–at 50,000 words in my National Novel Writing Month entry and I was five days early to boot. I was with my regional NaNo group when I hit the magic mark. I drank in the applause when our Municipal Liaison made the announcement. I had won. And then I lost it the next day.

Blame it on my first chapter. I never liked my first chapter and I just had to go back and fix it. I did a complete rewrite. It wasn’t the greatest piece of fiction in the world, but it was a marked improvement over the original. I cut the original chapter one and pasted it into a fresh document (always save your work, even the parts you don’t use). I inserted the new first chapter and guess what? My word count dropped to 49,700. I looked at it again. I added details to it–a dash of setting here, an amplified piece of dialogue there and soon I once again surpassed 50,000 words.

I hated the ending as much as I despised the opening chapter. I vowed to rewrite the last chapter as well, but this time, I’m only adding words and not taking any away.

My plan is to finish polishing the draft on Wednesday and upload it for validation (that’s what they call it on the NaNo website) on Thursday, one day ahead of the November 30 deadline.

This was my second NaNo and my second “win,” but I found this year’s competition much more challenging than last year’s, but equally rewarding.

How are you doing on your NaNo novel?


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6 responses to “NaNo Update #4: I Made It! No, Wait. I Didn’t.

  1. Aghhhhhhh. Rewriting that first chapter before validating is like weighing yourself as soon as you get up from the thanksgiving dinner table! However, I am glad you crossed the finish line a second time and plan to validate and collect that ribbon before you begin the rewrite. This is going to be one. awesome. novel. Hope you share (and can’t wait to follow) it’s road to publication. Bask in the glory…….

    • Amy,
      Thanks for your comment. You don’t know how frustrating it was to drop below 50,000-or maybe you do. My colleagues warned me this was going to happen, but I just had to fix that chapter. How is your NaNo novel going? I bet you can see the finish line.

  2. Diane

    Congrats, CG! My internal editor struck during week 2. Is your novel complete at 50k or will you be writing more? I’m playing major catch up as I’m just shy of 40k and it will be a close finish. I’m jealous and look forward to reading your novel in the future. 🙂

    • Diane,
      Thanks for your comments. I don’t feel I’m done yet. I wrote a really bad final chapter and I want to go back and polish it. Plus, there are some scenes I’m not happy with, but I don’t dare cut them out. I should be done by Thursday. Keep writing and you will make it. I wrote11,000 words from Nov. 22-25, so it can be done. Good luck!

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