I’m proud to say that I’m part of the horde of writers who spent the last month pumping out word count in between working, trying to launch a book, and generally having some semblance of a life wrapped around 1,667 words a day.
I'd like to joyously proclaim that I made it! I validated my novel Sunday morning the 30th at 50,299 words. Well, I say novel, but it’s really more like half a novel. Either way, I logged 50,299 good words. “Good” meaning what I have on paper can be edited without too much pain or bloodshed.
After winning NaNo two years in a row, I think I’ve figured out a few things that might help others. Last year was crazy, I was on fire. Whole ‘nother ball of wax this year when I started from a full stop. I'd actually planned on working on a different project, then a story that didn’t exist called my name and I went running.
Both years I followed the same advice with the same pleasant result. So, take what you think might help you, and leave the rest…
So what did you do that worked? I’d love to compare notes.
As far as the agent… I mentioned that I was on fire last year. The novel I produced in 8 weeks as part of NaNo was entered into the 2014 RWA Golden Heart Contest by December 10th last year. I missed making finalist in my category by one point. So close, yet so far!
Fast forward to August. I worked on a non-book project with a wonderful, visionary literary agent. Ironically, one year earlier before we met, she spoke at the Writer's Digest Conference as part of an agent panel on alternate publishing options. As a result of her presentation, I was inspired to pursue publishing my debut novel with She Writes Press.
So, this August, after a successful collaboration on a business project, I felt comfortable enough to ask for her advice on what I should do about my NaNo novel: self-pub, or try to go big. I thought maybe she’d read my 4 page synopsis and give me her opinion. Instead, she asked for the full manuscript and read it within one week. After a final professional proofread, she read it a second time and I signed with her in early November. The interesting part: she is the perfect agent for me, and I’m so excited to work with her on this project. I am proud to say that I'm now repped by April Eberhardt of AE Literary for my 2013 NaNo novel. The fun begins in January 🙂
Moral of the story: NaNo dreams do come true!