Plotting Advice,  Take A Break

My NaNoWriMo History

So, I’ve mentioned National Novel Writing Month before.  Basically, if you weren’t around for that post, it’s the most amazingly awesome writing event ALL YEAR.

I’m not rabid.  It’s just that epic.

The idea of writing 50,000 words in a month is super intimidating to some people, for good reason.  That’s a lot of words!  But hey, 2016 will be my 9th year as a participant, not including all the Camp NaNos I’ve attempted.


And so far, I’ve lost more than I’ve won.

Purple is winning.  Yikes.

But that doesn’t stop me from coming back!  Because even on the months I lose, I still walk away with more words than I would have otherwise.  Let’s face it: real life is like a pushy child.  It gets you in its grabby hands and cries until you focus on it 100%.

And then your writing suffers.

But NaNo is proof you can do both!  November is the month where you remember why you love to write.  So don’t be discouraged.  And if you’ve never attempted NaNo, take heart in my bad years.  It’s better to try and fail, right??


So here’s my breakdown.

  • 2008
    • Wrote a story about a thief who “steals” a princess from a neighboring kingdom.
    • Notes:  I loved anything high fantasy.
    • Average Word Count / Day:  1,718
    • WINNER!  51,556 / 50,000 goal
  • 2009
    • The year of the lost novel.  NaNoWriMo redid their site in 2012-ish, and all the story info before then was deleted.  I know I participated, but I can’t remember what my novel was about!
    • No stats.  For above depressing reasons.
  • 2010
    • A girl witnesses her best friend’s murder, and then is hit by a car.  She powers through amnesia to recall the murderer before he comes for her too.
    • Notes:  My dramatic college years.  Turns out I suck at murder mysteries.
    • Average Word Count / Day:  1,670
    • WINNER!  50,112 / 50,000 goal
  • 2011
    • A cynical witch, a talking cat, a polite dragon, and an exasperated thief are forced together from three separate worlds to solve the problems of Fantasyland.
    • Notes:  My last-ditch attempt to recapture my love of high fantasy.  It didn’t work.
    • Average Word Count / Day:  735
    • 22,055 / 50,000 goal
  • 2012
    • The Grim Reaper’s personal assistant juggles a clingy fiance and a desperate killer while trying to keep her suddenly-mortal boss alive.
    • Notes:  My first (and last, as of yet) attempt at Chick Lit.
    • Average Word Count:  1,045
    • 31,353 / 50,000 goal
  • 2013
    • After a shocking stage accident, a second-rate actress wakes up in the world of her show. Her (suddenly kickass) costars are monster hunters, and they expect her to be the third in their trio.
    • Notes:  First draft of Occupational Hazards!  Which means this is the first NaNo story to push me in the direction of publishing.  It was terrible, but worth it!
    • Average Word Count:  1,746
    • 52,396 / 50,000 goal
  • 2014
    • In an effort to save her twin sister, a supernatural skeptic joins forces with two monster hunters to stop a devastating spell.
    • Notes:  I knew the first draft of Occupational Hazards sucked.  So this was my FIRST EVER attempt at rewriting one of my novels.  It’s all a learning process!
    • Average Word Count:  1,267
    • 38,035 / 50,000 goal
  • 2015
    • N/A
    • Notes:  I finished my last rewrite of Occupational Hazards on October 24th.  The idea of starting a new book on November 1st was awful to me, so I floundered for an entire month about what to write.  It was hands-down the most apathetic NaNo I’ve ever had.
    • Lesson learned: don’t finish a book in October.

So there you have it!  My whole NaNo history, minus a few blank spaces.

As you can see, my record declined as I got older and real life got more insistent.  And that’s okay, because I also got more ambitious.  For the first time in my life, I’m attempting to publish something, and that’s exciting!  And it never would have happened if National Novel Writing Month hadn’t pushed my boundaries.

Have you participated in NaNo?  If so, go add me as a buddy!  If not, join, then add me!!

What are you planning to write this November?


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