28
Nov
09

NaNoWriMo 2009: Finish Line

Twenty-eight days and 62,731 words later, I’ve crossed the finish line, my friends. I’ve completed work on the first draft of Opening Night of the Dead, my 2009 National Novel Writing Month project, with three whole days to spare.

I finished the story last night at about 12:30 a.m. I actually hit the required 50k a few days ago, on November 24, but I wasn’t finished with the story yet so I barged forward. I actually had my two most productive days of writing after I hit the 50k mark, with a burst of creative energy on Wednesday the 25th, then a slower day for Thanksgiving. Then yesterday, with the ending in sight… I’ve never been surfing, but I imagine that last burst of a novel is similar to catching that big wave and just riding it as far as it will take you.

I’m especially proud because, although I’ve met the 50K word requirement every year that I’ve taken this challenge, this is the first time since 2005 (when the project was a book you may have heard of called A Long November) that I actually finished the story itself and didn’t just make the word count prior to the end of November. That’s a pretty big deal to me, I have to admit.

“So Blake,” you ask, “What do you do now?” You’d think I would take a break, wouldn’t you? Sure, maybe if you didn’t know me at all. I am putting aside Opening Night for a while, though. Every writer learns some things about his own technique and style after a while, and one of the things I know to be true is that I cannot begin editing a project as soon as I finish the first draft. It’s still too fresh, I’m still too in love with the little lines and the little beats that a more objective eye can tell need to be changed — or even removed — to make for a better story. I need at least a few months before I can even think of beginning the editing process.

So what will I be doing instead? Well, two projects are in my immediate future. First, I’ve got to write my annual Christmas Card short story. I’ve got the plot, even the title, all planned out. It’s just a matter of putting pen to paper on that one. The other thing I need to do is get heavy in the edits for Cross-Purposes, to get that book polished up and ready to record to present in the Evercast in early 2010. Cross-Purposes, I should remind you, is my 2008 NaNoWriMo project. So that should give you an idea of my usual editing cycle.

So one project ends, and it’s back to an older one. But hey, this is what I love to do. So wish me luck, friends. It’s back to the grind.


2 Responses to “NaNoWriMo 2009: Finish Line”


  1. 1 J.R. LeMar
    November 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Congrats, man! Good for you!

  2. 2 bigwords88
    November 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Congratulations. Feels good to be over the 50k, doesn’t it? 😀

    Good luck with the edits.


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