In my post Stories, Photographs and the Challenge to Write I stated I was going to step up to the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Well, it’s December now…
So what happened?
Like everyone else I began to churn out phrases and paragraphs on the keyboard. My evenings and weekends were occupied with smoking keys and faraway looks.
On November 21st I logged 51, 203 words! It helped that I had a few days off work during Thanksgiving week!
Four days later I was able to officially validate my word count. A little purple label with the word WINNER displayed on my page! Not too shabby if I do say s myself!!
So what did I take from all this? A number of things…
The creative process may surprise you. It certainly surprised me!
As part of my profession I write everyday. I’m accustomed to paring down content and being efficient. Very different from a process where email pep talks tell you not to worry about editing at this point in time, and, to stretch your imagination as far as it will go!
At one point my husband said he wanted to talk to me about something but he decided against it when he saw that the keyboard was burning up. I wonder if I had my eyes closed. There were times when I’d reached a zone…I was picturing sentences in my mind long before I could physically typed them.
My book was based on a very personal topic. It was a look at the my daughter’s world, the world of autism. I was attempting to tell the story from her point of view.
So how did I do?
I didn’t realize how much I really needed to write about this.
I had to remind myself that I was writing fiction, even though I was injecting vastly personal viewpoints into the content. Still, as my daughter can never validate what was written, I hope my writing represented a realistic view of what she may have seen or felt throughout the storyline.
There were days when I felt drained, exhausted and exhilarated.
There were chapters that were more like poetry and potential song lyrics. That was a pleasant surprise.
So what next?
I have over 51,000 words to review and edit! As I was constantly reminded, November was for writing, December and beyond is to continue editing, shaping and refining.
…and yes, I plan to continue doing just that.
Many thanks to those who gave encouragement! Perhaps there will be another post when I will say that the editing has gone as far as it can go, and the story (or should I say book?) is ready to be published.
I hope so!
In the meantime I can definitely say, “I DID IT!”