I completed NaNoWriMo 2020.
For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to spend the month of November writing 50,000 words of a novel – while the main goal is to write a 50,000 word first draft, other goals include writing 50,000 words for an existing project, or just writing 50,000 words you never look at again.
Why did I do this? Basically, November 1st arrived, and I saw people making posts about doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve dabbled in fiction writing before, and NaNoWriMo has been on my bucket list for a while, but it completely slipped my mind this year. I wasn’t planning on doing NaNo, but after seeing the posts about it, I said to myself:
“Fuck it, I’m doing NaNoWriMo.”
So I did. I had a couple false starts, starting two ideas that weren’t working out. Then, I started writing about one idea that took on a life of its own. Because of the false starts, I technically started late, and most days I was writing 2,000-3,000 words a day instead of the usual 1,667. That’s definitely a lot more than I usually write, and between the daily word count and the late start I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.
But, on November 30th, I made it over 50,000 words. Around 50,700 according to the website I use to write, and around 50,200 when copy-pasted into a Word document. Closer to 55,000 if you count the words from the false starts. I’m counting that as a win.
So what’s the novel about? A lot of things. Fighting Nazis. A horrible global virus. People who think differently than other people. The ethics of emerging technologies. How much values can shift over decades or centuries. And several other topics.
It’s possible that some events in 2020 helped inspire this story.
Is the novel done? No, not even close. If I did want to finish this, it’s going to be several months at minimum. Right now it’s not even a finished first draft, let alone a complete story. I feel like there’s a lot of research I need to do to make the story as realistic as possible. And without giving too much away, a big part of the story is about contemporary people reacting to a radically different society – and that probably means a lot of contemporary readers reading the story and giving their reaction.
To be fair to myself, all of that is probably normal, since this is my first serious attempt at writing an original story.
What’s next? In between my other projects, I’m going to spend the month of December only working on the first chapter. Put all of my efforts into that chapter, make it as high quality as possible, and then send it to about a dozen people. Based on their reactions, I’ll decide if this is a viable novel or not.
After, that I’ll see what the future holds.