NaNoWriMo ended yesterday, and I’m proud to say I won, finishing the story at 50,097 words at about nine last night. It was a lot of late nights and long weekends, but it was fun. I kept track of my time as best I could, and it took me about 80 hours of writing time for that 50K+ words. It helped that Angela and I were both writing novels—I can see where it would put a strain on a marriage to have one person tied to the computer that much for a month.

I learned a few things in the process:

  • I think I could write about 1,000 words a day with little trouble. At the rate I was writing, that would be about an hour and a half. That’s not that much time out of the day, but it would be a significant amount toward blog posts, articles, short stories, novels, etc.
  • My greatest weakness as a writer is descriptions. To give you an idea, I finished the story (as I had it in my head before NaNoWriMo) in about 25K+ words. I was showing what happened without setting the scene.
  • My greatest strength is dialogue. Most of the novel is dialogue—some of it is kind of clunky, but there are also some gems in there that hit just the right note.
  • I know absolutely nothing about guns, which is going to be a problem if I’m going to be writing contemporary thrillers like this one.
  • I like to write.

I’m going to take a break from this novel for a few weeks, then go back to it and see if I can revise it into something worth submitting to publishers. If I can, great. If not, oh well. It was an adventure, and adventure is good for the soul. I’ll most likely do it again next year unless, of course, I’m being chased by weapons smugglers. Then, no way.

(323. Sorry, old habits die hard.)