Well, I took on the challenge for the 8th time and I think I'll manage the 50k words that count as 'success'. But it took me ages to get into the swing of the story. Some of my readers have been kinder than others about this!
At the end of the day, I'll know far more about these characters than I do about most of the people who occupy my head during November - which can only be a good thing. But as for the story... I think the main problem is that I've dragged what should have been a long short story out into a short novel. Or maybe I didn't plan enough before I started. Because I didn't plan. At all.
Still, experiences of all kinds - and Nano in particular - are there to teach us stuff. And I now know that if I've been planning a story for a couple of months (which I had), it's probably better to go with that than to try to come up with something a couple of days before the start. And I also know that if I don't have a story well planned, I can't suddenly lift one out of thin air.
I never plan my Nano-novels too carefully because I'm worried about being too restrictive. But it is helpful to have some kind of outline for the purposes of pacing if nothing else!
So, at the end of this exercise, I'll have 50,000 words but not a novel.
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