Web benfenton.com

So what's it like to... write a novel in 30 days?
My NaNoWriMo story.

On February 4, 2005 at 4:45am I reached my goal of writing a novel 50,000 words long in less than 30 days! What an amazing feeling! What was more amazing was that I wrote the whole thing in only 26 days! Inspired by the book “No Plot? No Problem!” and the companion web site nanowrimo.org, I set my goal and went for it.
This was a huge learning experience for me. When you set out to write a story of 50,000 words in 30 days you have to write an average of 1,667 words per day in order to finish on time. Previously I could have managed only 200 words per day on anything. But what this exercise in creativity taught me was I didn’t need to listen to my inner editor, my inner critic for the first draft. The whole point was to let loose and just get it out there. I surprised myself on the first weekend after beginning the quest, by writing over 4,000 words on a Saturday night. That gave me a comfortable lead which would come in handy later on when I would “hit the wall” at around 36,000 words. There was one memorable low point where I only wrote 68 words for the day. I kept plugging away though, and by the time I reached 40,000 words I got my second wind. Motivated to finish strong, I made the decision last Thursday evening to write to the end, do or die. I drank nearly a gallon of green tea (yes I measured) and for the next eight hours wrote the last ten thousand words in a state of hyper-animation broken only by short breaks to stretch and massage my cramping neck and shoulder muscles and shake out my burning, aching wrists and forearms.
When I typed the last two words and saw the word count on my word processor I breathed a sigh of relief, then promptly did a little victory dance which continued outside to the front lawn where I jumped around and tried my best not to wake up the neighborhood. The feeling of reaching a goal for someone like me who seems to always fall short, was like nothing else. I then sent out an email to friends and family called YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAWWWWWW!!!!! I FREAKING DID IT!!!!!!!!
So what now? Well, the book is in a “cooling off” period where I will let it sit for a few weeks. Then I will come back to my story with fresh eyes. I’ll be able to see things I didn’t see before. I’ll be able to do more character development and weave a better yarn. I’ll enter the re-writing phase which will take a slower pace, not like this frantic breathless push of the last 26 days. And who knows, someday it might even be published. But what ever happens, I’m really, really glad I did it. H
ere's the screen shot.

The End Screen Shot


Copyright 2000-2099 Ben Fenton.com