>Another NaNoWriMo Win

>On Tuesday, I wrote 5,424 words in my November novel, which put me over the 50,000 word goal and made me a NaNoWriMo winner for the third year in a row.

For those readers who missed my earlier post, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a program in which participants write, from scratch, a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November.

It doesn’t have to be a great novel (it’s pretty much guaranteed that it won’t be at this output rate), but it’s a way of putting thumbscrews into the “I want to write a novel some day” dream. Writing with thousands of other people toward a definite goal is a way of moving the act of writing a novel from the “some day” back burner to the “today” front burner. The important thing isn’t quality at this stage; it’s getting a rough draft of significant size on paper.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel; now I have three very rough first drafts.

This year’s novel is about a commercial artist who wants to try to make a name for himself in the fine arts world. But his problems with anxiety, his wife’s infertility, and issues he doesn’t even recognize are making this difficult. Even though I’ve reached 50,000 words and have a pretty good idea where this novel is going, it isn’t finished yet.

Last year’s novel was a young adult novel about a boy named Matthew who is the middle child in a pastor’s family. Matthew is not only in the middle of his family, but he is also in the middle of trouble at school and church. He is concerned about his mom’s health and the book he “borrowed” from his dad’s study that has disappeared into the black hole of his school principal’s desk drawer. This novel is fairly complete, but requires revision.

My novel from two years ago is about a middle-aged woman who discovers that she has an older sister, given up for adoption before her mother was married. The older sister has been experiencing some health problems and contacts the birth mother to obtain a medical history. The protagonist grows through conflict, personal tragedy, and a surprising revelation. This novel isn’t nearly ready to seek publication and will have to have a new title. I began it with a working title of Sisters, but changed that to This Side of Heaven after I discovered the novel’s direction and main themes during the writing process. But I recently saw that Karen Kingsbury has a novel scheduled for publication in January with that very same title! I will have to come up with something else, which is a shame because it was the perfect title for this novel.

At my recent writers’ conference, I learned that most novels published for adults are in the 100,000-150,000 word range. I’m pretty sure young adult novels are generally less, so my Matthew novel is the one closest to a book proposal. But the other two have possibilities that I’d like to develop into book proposals “some day.”

Maybe I should start NaBoProMo (National Book Proposal Month)!

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