I know it's not technically a contest, but that's what they say if you hit your 50K word mark because you won in the promise you made to yourself. I won't lie; I'm bummed. I really wanted to do this. Mostly because it was the one thing this month I was doing that was solely for me. But also because I wanted to take that leap into getting my story on paper (virtually). I have thoughts about that under the cut.
However, two good friends did win: novembersguest and my dear friend Linda. Either by sticking to an allotted word goal each day, or by pure dedication and determination, both hit 50K words of their novels within the month of November.
Congrats, ladies! You certainly deserve a round of applause. That is hard, hard work. And now not only do you have a draft of a story you can do whatever you want to with, you have the confidence of knowing that you did this! *BRAVO!* If anyone else out there (whom I either didn't know were competing or won and I wasn't aware) also hit their 50K mark, my congratulations to you as well. You have my admiration.
I definitely learned a lot with this experience. For one, just because I have an idea and an outline doesn't mean I know how to execute effectively on either one. And two, I need more time. Looking back, I should have tried for the "x" amount of words per day approach. As it was, I had a total of 4 days this month in which to write. I'm not exaggerating. Friday the 11th, Friday the 25th, Saturday the 26th, and Sunday the 27th. I managed to get 28K words in that time (5K of which I hated and wanted to scrap, but kept only for word count...they won't be in the draft I let anyone else read), but realized something important.
This is so much harder (for me) than writing fanfic.
Mainly because there are limitless parameters. I can write a 10-20K chapter in two days when it comes to fanfic.I know the people, places, things involved in telling that story. And I know whoever is reading knows all of that, too. I don't have to sell you on it, explain it to you, describe it to you. I just write 'Impala' and you have a picture in your mind.
I mean, I usually spend a few hours researching and writing up an outline in order to accomplish that amount of words in that amount of time, but I went into this month with that understanding...and it just didn't work the same. Once I wrote those 5K words that first day, I suddenly knew what I didn't want and the rest just flowed out of me. Just not in enough time to hit 50K by the 30th.
But that's okay. Because I have a really good start on this story now. And after I get through the scene I stopped in the middle of, I'm going to ask a couple people to give it a read and let me know if they'd still read it, even though there's no Dean. *wink* And, I know that I need to give myself more time and not try to cram 50K words, plus training for a marathon, into a month where there are insane work deadlines, sick husbands, hospital visits, and a holiday. I know others worked around huge obstacles to make the mark, I just couldn't this time around.
I felt a little like a loser yesterday, to be honest, but then I read over what I'd written and I really liked it and I thought about what is coming up this weekend with the marathon and realized that what I've done is okay. Not what I set out to do, but better than where I was one month ago.
So next up, post-marathon, is a return to fanfic for a bit because omgimissedit. I'm not kidding. This was a really stressful month work-wise and fanfic is magic when it comes to dealing with stress. And as I'd train, my mind would automatically go to one of the story plots I put in this post. So, I'm excited to return to writing my hero. I actually banged out a quick one-shot for a different fandom as a gift for a friend who was in need of a pick-me-up. Still working out if I'll post it or not -- it's for Hawaii Five-O and I don't really watch that show. I've seen like 4 episodes total in two years, but...she's a good friend and I wanted to cheer her up.
Plus, selfishly, it was like sneaking a piece of candy while on a diet.
I won't be abandoning my story, though. Because I finally have it cruising at a speed I can maintain with characters I like and events to come that I am really looking forward to writing. Just have to see if they are people other people want to read about. *laugh*
Thanks, all, for the luck you sent my way and the faith you showed in me. I hope to see many of you when I pick the fanfic (virtual) pen up once more next month.