Finally: NaNoWriMo win

Note: This was supposed to be for November 2014, but there were a lot of things that needed to be prioritized, hence the delay.

After ten years and countless beginnings, drafts, heartbreak and frustration, I’ve done it.

I finished writing 50,000 words in 30 days and finally have that purple bar on my NaNoWriMo profile proclaiming me a winner.

A photo posted by Kat Sales (@saberkite) on

It wasn’t easy, mind you. I had long given up on ever achieving a NaNoWriMo win. It was ok not to finish the first two or so years, but when I went past year 5 without even half a manuscript, I was ready to bail.

But still I kept up. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was envy at the friends who were able to finish. Maybe it was the desire to actually do something about my dream of becoming a published novelist. Whatever the reason, I said to myself, “Year 10. You have to win this.”

And thank God, I did.

I tried to write daily, even though I was lazy. I am quite grateful for my phone, in which I installed Google Docs. It was where I did most of my writing while stuck in traffic, or waiting in line for something. I didn’t have a forumla, or a pattern. I just wrote. Initially, I was writing chronologically: from the start of the story, up to the middle, and then to the end. Eventually, I just wrote what I thought would fit into the story. At one point, I was writing something, and then I changed my track and wrote a scene that was way into the future of the characters.

By November 29, I 30,000 words. It was still 20,00 short of the goal, but it was by far the most I had written for NaNoWriMo. Even adding up what I wrote in the past years doesn’t even reach half of that. I was already quite happy with that, but spurned by other writers who were going for completion at the last minute, I figured, what the hey.

In 14 hours, I wrote a little over 20,000 words. I could say that I didn’t know how I did it, but actually I did. First, I knew where I was going with the story. I may not have the details panned out, but I knew where I wanted to direct it to go. Second, I filled the story with a lot of blabber. It wasn’t just about the main characters, but it was also about the people around them. Third, I changed formats. I wrote mostly in the third person and had a lot of descriptive parts, but I also included things like an excerpt from the main character’s blog, and the comments written on it. Fillers, yes, but it helped me reach the word count goal. I’ll cut those out during the edits.

The story isn’t finished yet, but I’m pushing to do so ASAP. I will definitely do self-publishing, but hey, if I get a book deal, why not.

But I’m going to concentrate on finishing the story first.

Feels good to have it done more than half-way. Oh, and on that note, I won the Newbie of the Year award in our local NaNoWriMo region. 🙂