Saturday, December 8, 2012

NaNoWriMo in a Blink

NaNoWriMo 2012 is over. Somehow, unlike past years, this blog was silent throughout the entire month. I was dreadfully irresponsible regarding my blogging. Yes, that does usually happen during the school year, but it's no excuse, and certainly not during NaNo. So this is to recap the month, which was full of firsts and frustrations, tied with a bow of success!

 I am not teaching a writing class this year, so had no students to 'force' through the YWP. I also did not lead it as an after school program, for various reasons. I did put up a poster to chart my own progress, and I spread the information out to some other interested teachers, but as far as I know, I was the only one in the school writing. (I did get a surprising bit of interest in my progress, so will probably repeat that next year, and may again be the staunch supporter of the school's YWP.)

However, this year, I decided to shoot for the full 50k. Then, I had an extra surprise: my wife decided to write! It was a very different experience, pursuing our goals together. Then, we decided to get more social than I have in the past. We attended the regional kick-off party, the "Evening of Scribbling Recklessly" (all-night write-in for our region), and even the TGIO party on Dec 1. We made some friends, got well acquainted with our fantastic MLs, and both succeeded in writing over 50,000 words!

My wife wrote an Elven Fire campaign, similar to The Beginner GM, which was my project from last year. I wrote The Mayan Millennium, and was surprised at how much my characters took over and guided the work this time around. Pleasantly surprised, I should add. I think they made it a much better story than I had planned! I'm glad that I didn't abandon it at the beginning of NaNo and switch to something else. I stayed faithful to the work, and it rewarded me well. I finished Mayan at 50,090 words.

Another new thing? I used the writing program Scrivener this year and LOVED it. It's a fantastic program that any writer would benefit from trying, in my opinion. Winning NaNoWriMo allowed me to buy it at 50% off it's usual price. Great deal, and now I own it.

What's next? Well, I'm planning to submit a story called Slave Princess to the quarterly Writers of the Future contest. Slave Princess is a novella that was never posted to my website or otherwise much advertised, mostly written for a friend during a failed NaNoWriMo attempt in the past. However, I've dug it back out of the dust and am now editing and revising to send it in to WotF. After that, I have two novels to edit! Mayan Millennium and On Common Ground. One of them will be going to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, and the other will get agent-shopped and then self-published (if it isn't picked up first) this summer! The question is, which one gets what?? Yet to be determined. I'm horrible at choosing between great options!

Also, my amazing wife has taken up a hobby of cover artwork! She did several NaNo covers through the forums, and modified / finished a cover concept that someone else offered for On Common Ground! I love the new look, front to back.

Oh, there's one more thing that will be new, but started in November: the website! is getting a redesign, courtesy of Stephanie from I am super-excited about this, and will try to keep updates posted here as it happens. (If you have any thoughts about features or pages you'd like to see on the site, PLEASE comment and let me know so I can get them included in the big redesign!)

Happy Holidays, everyone.