Things I Learned during NaNo

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So, after two years of thinking about it, I finally participated in NaNoWriMo this past November. It was a good experience and I learned some important things.

1) I simply cannot write with a ton of people writing around me. I’m not sure if it’s too much “creative juice” flowing in the air, or what, but I went to two big write-ins and wrote probably a total of 600 words at both together. I might try it again next year, though, if only to see if it was too overwhelming because it was the first time.

2) If I’m going to write AND finish a book I need to write out a more detailed outline. I’m a pantser, though, so I noticed that even with the little outlining I did for NaNo, I still ended up going into areas I hadn’t planned. But with a more specific outline I would probably be able to come back to where I thought I needed to be.

3) Even though I really wanted my story to be two person POV, because I thought both people deserved the attention, it is utterly painful to write and read that way. I might rework my story so that the first half is one person’s POV and the second half belongs to the other because there just isn’t enough for two books in this particular story. (Have to thank my friend Alicia for that idea, btw.)

4) There are other writers out there. Yeah, I know, it should be obvious since I practically live in a library, but I never knew another fiction writer, and knowing is definitely helpful. It’s encouraging to meet like-minded people, even if they aren’t writing the same genre as you.

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