JJ Writes, writing

NaNoWriMo – How Did I Do?

Nanowrimo is over! I can finally get back to life!

Okay, so I actually stopped with about five days left so I’ve been back to real life for almost a week now but it’s so weird waking up and having to decide what to do today rather than just – write!

So how did my Nano go?


Well, initially I set my minimum goal to write 6 chapters of my new story. I figured that would be about 25k. I never go into nano setting my expectations too high. As a spoonie and chronically ill writer, I know there’s going to be limits. Personally I use nano as a place to jump off from, a boost to get me over the first bump of the story and not simply to write 50k in a month regardless of what I’m writing.

Going in I had the whole story planned out and had a chapter plan written. For me that means a couple of bullet points about what happens in each of my 20 chapters plus who the POV for each chapter is. I also had eleven of those chapters fully outlined, which for me is about 1k word outline per chapter.

I stopped outlining at eleven chapters for three reasons:

1) I was running out of time to do more! November was fast approaching.

2) It was a good place to pause as something big just happened (pirates!) before the next bit of the story kicks off

And 3) because I couldn’t see me reaching eleven chapters in a month. (Yes I wrote 13 chapters last time but that was a prequel and this is the real thing, and it gave me a migraine on and off for three months afterwards)

Well, I wrote eleven chapters!

It ended up being about 45k when I finished. Which means I didn’t ‘win’ Nano but I mean I totally won because I wrote half my story!


I decided to stop there rather than try to rush outline the next couple of chapters and squeeze in the last 5k because I’d rather get it done properly so I don’t give myself a much harder time editing than necessary.

The thing is, I definitely could have written more time wise. It was more illness wise that I was being very careful and pacing myself. There were plenty of days where I stopped myself from another writing session in the evening, I could easily have written another thousand words on a fair few occasions but looking at my phone screen for too long in a day gives me a migraine so I was preemptively stopping so that I lasted the month.  The bonus of this is that I never really felt pressured at any point which again, in my book, is a win. The downside is that I don’t get that pretty certificate and cool badge that declares me a winner, even if I did win.

As for the story itself, I haven’t read it but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going. I think that’s because I tend to over plan (1k chapter outlines anyone?) so actually sitting down and writing it was – mainly – easy enough. A few scenes that came out of nowhere sneaked in as well and I’m actually really happy with those additions too, they flesh out some of the characters and link everything together even better.

The pirate attack was very exciting to write and I already feel bad for what I’m doing to my characters even though it’s going to get much worse (*evil laughter*)

Now to outline some more chapters and keep going! Only 9 chapters left…..

My normal plan is to write a chapter a month (plus a chapter of my fanfic a month) but I’ll have to see how it goes as if I get a few outlines done I might be able to up that to two a month. Either way, this draft will be done by July again. Same as my previous one. I seem to start during Nano and end in July which gives me a couple of months to edit and plan my next one before the cycle starts again!

I still haven’t thought of a name for the book. Some people seem to name things before they start but I’ve been planning this story for a couple of years now and…. Nothing. It doesn’t seem at all important to me yet and I don’t have any ideas! Hopefully something will chick one day.


How did everyone else do? Do you plan everything out or did you ‘pants’ it? If you didn’t take part, what have you been up to this month instead? I’ve been trying to keep up with blogs but I’m sure I’ve missed loads. Also, I’m completely behind on Christmas! I’m normally super organised and have all my presents bought and wrapped and cards written by now. But I’ve only just started to think about buying presents and making cards. Eeek!


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