Writing update: my experience doing nanowrimo for the first time, and what I accomplished

So. I did nanowrimo in November. And although I didn’t win, I still ended up writing a lot, so here is my very late wrap up post. I want to be able to look back on how I did, what I thought of doing it, so yeah. I’m going to talk about what I got done, what I’m planning to do next, and really anything surrounding the whole experience!

Did I win?

No. I was less than a thousand words away, but in the end I had a little over 49 thousand words. However, that was much more than my original goal which was 30 thousand words, so I’m happy with what I did.

I did meet the goal that was most important to me: finishing the first draft. I really wanted to actually reach the end of the book, and even though there are about a million plot holes, and the first ten thousand words are in a different point of view than the rest of the novel, I finished the story, reached the end of the draft.

My original idea really slowed me down, because it just wasn’t fun for me, and I wasn’t enjoying writing it.

Because that was going really slowly, and I was struggling to move forwards with the plot. I decided to switch to fantasy, and added some magic to it. (And completely changed everything about the plot.)

Once I did that, however, the plot just flowed better, and I was able to push through the story and had a lot of fun writing it.

What did I end up writing about?

I originally was going to write a young adult contemporary novel about a girl named Seph that took place over the course of a year, starting before the covid-19 pandemic, and ending in the fall of 2020.

However, I soon realized that I wasn’t having that much fun with it, and about halfway through the month, I decided to switch perspectives, to Penelope’s perspective. Penelope is Seph’s older sister, and as I was writing more about her, I began to like her a lot more.

So I decided to switch to her perspective, and I eventually went to 1st person because I’d originally being writing in 3rd person. And then, well, I just added in some magic and turned it into fantasy, and the rest of the month was really fun!

I think that what I learned was that it’s important for me to write what I want to write about. One thing that was really helpful for me during the month was also to just move forward, and not worry about making everything perfect, or really even having everything make sense.

What will I be doing next?

I haven’t really done much on my nanowrimo novel for the last few weeks because I needed to step back and focus on some other things, but I am going to try and do a little writing over the next two weeks. I mostly need to rewrite the beginning because that is still in the other perspective, and doesn’t really make sense for the story.

In January and February I want to work on rewriting parts, really fleshing out all of the characters, and adding depth to the side characters. I don’t really have any meaningful side characters, and my main characters don’t have much that much distinct personality.

I also want to spend some time world building more, and really writing out everything I have figured out about the magic system and all that. I’ve written a fair amount down, but it’s kind of all over the place, and there are a lot of inconsistencies.

Wrapping up:

I learned a lot doing nanowrimo for the first time! There are definitely things that I’ll want to do better next year, and I think that I’ll overall be more prepared having done nanowrimo once.

I’m really happy with what I did in November, although part of me wishes that I’d just written another 800 words, to reach my goal.

I think that I know what I need to work on with my writing, and that I really need to add more side characters, because I only really have four or five characters overall that mean anything.

Did you do nanowrimo this year? Have you done it in the past? Are you working on any writing projects right now? Chat with me in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Writing update: my experience doing nanowrimo for the first time, and what I accomplished

  1. This is such a great reflection, Aria! I’m glad you were able to achieve and pass your personal goal because that’s really what’s important. It’s also great that you learned to move with the flow and changed your story to fit how you were feeling. I do that sometimes with my book, but I’m kind of in a slump right now because I don’t know how to move forward with the plot I planned to write and I don’t want to stray too much off course. I’m trying to continue the story so it makes sense with what I’ve already written, but I’m also not feeling that. So I’m just stuck lol.

    But anyway, this was a great post!! Good luck with the editing stage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rukky!

      Changing the story to fit with how you’re feeling is really helpful (although now I feel like my book is going in 18 different directions πŸ˜‚)

      Good luck with continuing your book!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on doing your first NaNoWriMo, that’s awesome!! And it isn’t about winning their goal but taking part and getting what you want out of it so yay!! And you did so well at surpassing your original word goal!! Congratulations!!
    I really liked hearing about your journey and I can completely relate to the draft having lots of plot holes and changing your plot drastically at one point 🀣

    “write what I want to write about” and focus on moving forward are two great pieces of advice, that can be easy to forget at times but SO important!!

    Good luck going forward with your new goals πŸ’•. I haven’t made much process with writing at all this year, so getting back into it is my new goal πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Sophie!!

      It’s so hard to actually have a cohesive plot that makes sense. Most of my draft is 1st person fantasy, but then there are those twenty or so pages that are more contemporary from a whole other point of view, and I’m not sure how I’m going to fix that πŸ˜‚

      I hope you have fun with writing more if you have a chance soon!

      And thanks for commenting πŸ’•πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post. This is probably why the advice ‘just write’ is often thrown around, because you actually do get most of your learning experience through the act itself. Oftentimes people want to learn as much as they can before they start writing, but I feel that you can only get better by simply writing, and most of the time that involves starting from where you are. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Sometimes doing a lot of research can be overwhelming, with all of the different things that people throw out there, but just writing is the only thing that is actually going to get you writing! You’re welcome πŸ™‚


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