I remember my first NaNo. I was sure I wasn’t going to finish, but I was determined I was. Does that make sense? It was true.
My first novel was a mess. It had a bunch of disjointed scenes, a subplot that went nowhere, and three separate endings, with three separate killers. I couldn’t make up my mind. But it was 50,000 words. Success! I did it.
The next year, I was going to write another novel, but had to back out at the last minute. Last year was my second time to do NaNo.
I decided to redo the novel from the first year. Did I feel like I was cheating? Yes, but under NaNo rules, I wasn’t. I could do a previous project, as long as it was completely new. There was very little from the second version that would be recognizable from the first. I had several more murders. I gave my MC a brother, and he had a subplot that worked. I knew whodunit from the beginning. It was coherent. It made sense. When I finished, I felt as if I had written an actual novel.
Over the past year, I have made various changes to it. I still have several more to go. I have a plot mistake that will take me rewriting about half a chapter to fix. I decided to take out my belly dancing class and put it in the novel I am writing next month instead. I am replacing it with a yoga class. I have an idea for a subplot 3 or 4 books into the future, which I want to lay down a bit of the groundwork for in this novel. I hope to finish this draft by the end of January or February.
Once I get that far, I intend to send my baby off to Createspace, where I will order a few proof copies. Those, I will send to the people who agreed to give me some feedback before I write my final draft. Hopefully, it will just involve some polishing. Even if it doesn’t, I intend to have it published before next year’s NaNo.
It is good to have a goal. Do you intend to publish your NaNo novel at some point in the future, or is it just to prove to yourself you can do it? Do you have another goal entirely? Whatever it is, you can do it. I know you can.