NaNoWriMo 2016: A recap

So, for the first week and a half or NaNoWriMo, I was able to write pretty much every day. Then we had an election, and things pretty much fell off the rails after that. I’m still recovering from that, and might spend the next four years in recovery mode. That’s the nature of the beast.

On top of that, my best friend in the world had her second little girl at the end of the month. So I’ve been playing god mommy to her and her oldest daughter, and that has been one of the most worthwhile uses of my time. But it killed the last week of NaNo (she was born on the 28th), so I’m sad to report that I did NOT meet my NaNoWriMo 2016 goal.

This is not to say that I didn’t kill it though, because I did. I finished NaNoWriMo with 275,971 words, which comprised the first drafts of four books.

Never Been Kissed came in at 74, 768 and was the longest one by far.

Never Been Touched was 67,047. I already know I want to flesh out one of the subplots of this one.
Never Been Healed was the second longest at 69,015.
Never Been Loved may have gotten a little shafted at 65,141, but come on, my second god baby was born!

In the middle of writing Never Been Kissed, one of the characters moved me so much, and then his natural love match poked his head in. I thought I was good, things were clear, and I’d be done in the four books. My life never works like that. So there will be a book five, Never Been Better. That one still needs planning, but the second quarter of the year should see that drafted.

As most of you know, I dictate my drafts. If you want to know how in the bejeezus I wrote 275k in one month, the short answer is Pomodoros. The Pomodoro Method, popularized by Francisco Cirillo, advocates that you work for 25 minutes and take a  minute break. After four of these, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. I started using this to do the tedious but important parts of my legal work years ago, and my writing fell pretty naturally into it. I tracked EVERY single writing session I did, all 272 of them, and I averaged 26 minutes of writing in a 31 minute writing session. Coincidence? I think not. I averaged 1,015 words per session, and wrote for 3.9 hours a day.

The biggest factor, by far, is the sheer amount of time you’re willing to put into it. I’m getting older, I have more responsibilities, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this in the future. That’s FINE! I want to try for five books this year, and then I plan to pull back pretty hard. So I may spend a good amount of this year editing last year’s drafts while gearing up for what may be my last hurrah.

As we get closer to this year’s project, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I’ll let you in on some of the planning. And muses. Muses are fun.