I’ve won Nanowrimo 2016. For anyone whose memory needs refreshing, the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. I cheated, I admit. I’d got a half finished novel, The Three Faces of Holly and decided to try to finish it off. I’d already written about 40,000 words.

So, my second experience of Nanowrimo was quite different from the first. I didn’t enjoy it as much this time around and I did feel less motivated particularly towards the end. I was aiming to write 40,000 additional new words but only managed 25,000. I’m telling myself that it’s 25,000 more words than I would have written for a long time but I do feel I failed a little. Nanowrimo did help to force me to structure the second half of my novel and make me realise that I will be self-publishing it in two parts. Interestingly, I feel it is a worse first draft than my novel last year, Murder and Mittens and will require a lot more rewriting. This is partly because I really worked on the plot of Murder and Mittens in October before I started Nanowrimo. I didn’t do that as much as I should have for the second part of The Three Faces of Holly and it showed.

I used Scrivener for writing and for the sort of project I was working on, a half finished novel, it was great. It was so useful being able to write notes to myself on the scene I was working on and being able to move scenes and chapters around was a godsend. I did miss not being able to read whole chapters at a go. I know you can compile and export the novel into one whole document but I haven’t really got to grips with that aspect of Scrivener yet. For me, it was easier to copy and paste into the Word document that I originally started the novel in.

I finished Nanowrimo early because I wasn’t feeling very motivated, having gone well over 50,000.  I knew I wasn’t motivated when I found a Youtube video called How To Create Stunning Free eBook Covers In Under 10 Minutes by Declan O’Flaherty and spent some time doing just that. You can see the result on this page. Plus there are a couple of projects I want to get finished off before Christmas 2016 if I can. One is the print version of The Little Book of Quirky Christmas Stories and the other is self-publishing my short children’s Christmas stories. I think I may be optimistic in thinking I’ll get both of those done though.

By the way, I did have the bizarre experience of the Nanowrimo word count validator telling me I had written 129,000 words (don’t think so). I wrote 64,584 according to Word. I know they say that Word and the Nanowrimo word counters may differ but not I think by over double the amount!


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