Monday, December 1, 2014

How I won NANOWRIMO 2014 and A medium Announcement

Just Call Me Dragon Slayer

Or in this year's case, evil-pious-human-sacrificing-lying-clan-leader-slayer. For the second year in a row, I've managed the daunting task of writing over 50k words in 30 days. I slid into the winner's circle like a baseball player sometimes does a base bag, bleeding and limping a little.

Even though I beat the plot monster for the second time this year, it feels different for a number of reasons. Some were positive and some negative, but ultimately I accomplished the goal.

The Weird Stuff

Rather than writing an entire novel, I wrote the second half of one and the first half of another in a series. This was not my original plan but it did help me move the plot along. It also has me conflicted. Should I pause the completion of the second novel to edit and rewrite the finished first one? So many interviews and articles I read say that series are great but in order to sell it, you have to sell the first book first. How much effort should I put into this second book?

Aside from the dilemma mentioned above, I also have reservations about how well I really know my characters and if I've kept them consistent enough for the second novel. It almost hurt to writ the 20k words of the second novel because I had no idea how the third POV character would respond to the situations I dropped him in.

I've always, always, always been a pantser and a linear writer. This time, I couldn't begin to tell you how much brainstorming and mental scene rewriting I did before committing it to my word doc. I also skipped several scenes  due to my uncertainty in one of my POV characters. I gotta admit, I still didn't like it. Guess this solidifies my drafting style for me. I can't rush all that glorious imperfection.


The Great Mess

One thing I truly enjoyed, and told several local writerly friends, is that the creative process was fantastic. I'd spent so much time rewriting and editing and submitting all summer, I'd lost my spark for the reason I write at all. I LOVE IT! Nanowrimo gave me that back.

It also reminded me of what I was capable of and pushed the envelope for me. Last year, my full focus was on Nanowrimo (with the exception of Thanksgiving). This year, I also has some serious personal stress going on and was freelancing part-time. I kept reminding myself that I was actually writing MORE then 50k because I was selling 3-6 articles per week in addition.

It is within the good stuff that I must apologize to my personal blog readers. November was a complete negligent month where this blog was concerned. But now, I'm back!

A major high-five to all the National Novel Writing Month Winners! You've shown you have what it takes and I'm proud to be among you!

A Medium Announcement Among Some BIG Ones

When I started to write this blog and reflected on all the awesome sauce that has happened in my writerly circles this month, I realized that my announcement might actually only be a medium announcement. Before we get to that, some major kudos are in order.

Kendra Young and Nikki Roberti
These two very good friends of mine have given word that they are both, in fact, agented!!!! I couldn't be more happy for them and I wanted to tell everyone!
(Plus, this totally gives me hope for one day being in their shoes.) 

Now, My Medium Announcement:

The Query Helper is striking next week! If you've participated in NANO this year (and even if you haven't) take a stab at a query letter for your shiny new chunk of writing. Then keep your eye out on my blog, twitter, and facebook pages for the notice to submit. I'm going to help out five people.


  1. So excited for you, Emily and for your friends!! And I like your "medium announcement!"

  2. Congrats on winning Nano!!! And two years in a row. Legend.
    Merry Christmas Emily.

  3. Thank you Shari and Sandie! Merry Christmas to you both!