NaNoWriMo: From the Trenches – Finale

NaNoWriMo: From the Trenches – Finale

crowded books on shelves unsplash nanowrimo

The interior of the brain after Nano

NaNoWriMo: End of Week 4

A big hooray for everyone who had a go at writing a 50,000 word novel from scratch this November, and an even bigger hooray to those who actually managed it.

Three out of the four of us have crossed the 50k line, experiencing a mixture of exhaustion and relief at finally being able to sleep again.

Now the work really starts…

Bashing out a 50,000 word draft is one thing, finishing, editing and rewriting it is quite another. I ran mine through a Word spellcheck – there were seven instances of a double “the the” alone. 

Bear in mind that spellchecking finds at most about 20% of your actual errors and typos, for the rest you need an editor with eyes like a hawk. You can try to DIY it – and we’ll have a future post on some methods you can try – but there’s a reason that something called a “copyeditor” or “proofreader” exist. Thousends fo resaons.

…and then it’s time for fame/money/fortune

Naturally we’ve all been polishing our Nobel Prize acceptance speeches, secure in the knowledge that our NaNoMasterpieces – hastily written through blurry eyes with every word padding trick in the book – will soon be catapulting us to global renown.

Other things on the task list post Nano:

  • hand exercises to prepare for all those book signings
  • putting up a shelf ready for a truck-load of awards
  • buying a private island to escape one’s adoring fans


Camaraderie and community

More seriously, what we all feel we really got out of the month was the the sense of support and comradeship through regular communication with fellow-sufferers. Nano very much encourages finding writing buddies and setting team goals, and holding real-life meetups. There are also chat channels where you can communicate, rant and be encouraged by other authors around-the-clock. If it’s 3am in Australia you’re not alone – the rest of the world is usually up and about.

There was also a recognition that there’s pretty much always time to write. You can always grab five minutes. The idea that you need a clear four hour interrupted period of quiet time at your desk is a myth.  What people actually struggle with finding time for is the the time to think.  If you have a burst of inspiration then a scene practically writes itself.

But sustaining that level of imagination and creativity amid escalating fatigue and sleep-deprivation is very hard. Going for a walk was a key way to reboot the ideas machine, but that assumes you have the time or energy for a walk. I’ve barely got enough energy to climb in my new private jet to head off on my global book tour…



1 Comment

  1. 2 December, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Haha, Lisa. Fame and fortune must be just around the corner for someone as energetic a wordsmith as you. Congratulations to you and Peter from our Friday meet-up on finishing your novels with both books and bodies in such good shape. Even though your minds must feel like crowded houses with so many characters continuing to chatter beyond The End. From what I've gleaned of your stories, publication can't be too far off - once you've worked over those initial drafts a few times. Well done to you both!

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