End of NaNoWriMo 2018 + 100th Post!!!

12:40 AM

At last, the cold, gray and dreary month that we all call November has faded into the past.

While everything else outside has been dying, inside the writer's workshops, things were very much alive. Some wrote fast and furiously, others took great care with the few little words they made. But all worked their hardest to to spread truth, light and hope through the written word.

Before I get in the nitty gritty details, I would love to give a big huge shout-out to the Pen Dragons, which is the NaNo Hangouts group that was hosted by Christine Smith @ Musings of an Elf. I knew several of the other writers already, and the rest immediately became great friends too. They are an awesome group of gals, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in the future.

I also want to give a huge shout-out to all of you readers who have been following me through this journey, especially for the lovely comments. I know it's really difficult to keep up with commenting this month and I appreciate every single one of those lovely notes :). *Hugs to all*

Best part of NaNo:

- Word Warring with several of my fellow Pen Dragons

- Creating a lot more plot scenes

- Those few precious scenes that I actually broke 1000 words [like on my best writing day (November 6, 2018) with 1885 words].

- My romance plotline went much better than I had expected.

- The encouragement we all gave each other, especially during the last couple of days.

What I learned:

- Even if I think I know the basic plot and where it's going to go, that doesn't prevent the blank page syndrome.

- Having the panster take a break and let the plotter take control for a time to figure things out prevents plot trainwrecks, plot sinkholes and writer frustration.

- I need to make a map of my locations. Really really soon. (Does anyone have any good map-making tips???)

- That I can overcome the plot roadblocks if I spend enough time developing the novel before and during writing.

- As long as I have some kind of note that corresponds to a scene idea, it can still be mentally recalled....maybe not as clear as when it first popped into my head, but at least it's there!

- That I seriously need to invest in a laptop before next NaNo.....being tethered to a desktop really does have it's limits.....especially in sitting position, LOL.

- Villains from sequels will occasionally muscle their way into the story that you are writing - after all, they want to be the star too!

- A night writer being forced to write during the day due to her job may be the worst thing ever.

With that said, how did "writing" go?:

My good friend Keturah Lamb asked all of us Pen Dragons at the end of NaNo this question: If there was one word that described this year's NaNo, what would it be?

And friends.....my word was slow.

If y'all had been following my rather boring, robotic, and very skimmable update posts, you probably noticed that there were several days in which I never even made 100 words. 14 days in the entire month, to be exact.

I actually started out strong on the first day, but the inspiration train was in and out for most of the month. Some days were really good, and I was able to write a 1000 words scene. Others, I was lucky to get 50 words down.

I did manage to write more plot-related scenes in this writing session than during my first writing session for this WIP (Camp NaNo April 2018). Though, to be quite honest, a lot of them were centered around Janina and Ealdread and their growing relationship. I think this is because the romance is more "set in stone" than the other half of my plot (which deals with political intrigue....of a political system that I'm still drafting, LOL.)

I still felt a lot of the same frustrations that I do with a lot of my stories, but especially with the low word counts. There were several days when I could only write bits and pieces because I had no idea where I was going or what order that the scenes would go in. So many arcs and plotlines snarled, I dreaded it would have been another trainwreck like with SOI back in July 2017.

Around Day 16, my pantser side took a step back and let my plotting brain take the reins. After spending a few days in a slump, my writing picked up a little again towards the end of the month.

All in all, at the end of NaNo, my word count was 12,906 words. 

I didn't make it even close to the 50,000 that I was hoping for (and I know that I can squeeze into that novel....). I checked back over to April 2018 stats and discovered that I wrote only 2000 words more this month than in April. To be quite honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean, it is an improvement but it's a small improvement.....

Even though my word count still stayed rather small, I felt much more confident in writing this story than I have in any other. I think if I keep working at it steadily that it will turn into a pretty decent novel.

In fact, I really think that this story may be the elusive debut that I've been chasing after......(if it be His Will).

Now, if I take the total word count from November, and add it to the total word count after April NaNo (and March prepping), the actual novel word count is 28,373 words.

Whoo hooo! My draft is now officially novella length!!!

This being my third drafting session on this same WIP, I was hoping for a more substantial and coherent draft. While it definitely has a great start, there is much more that needs be added in. Instead of a quarter, it's now probably closer to a third done. Maybe. We'll see.

So....what's next? 

Writing is going to take the passenger seat to some other things this month, including helping my mom around the house, Christmas preparation, church choir, and job hunting.

For those readers who didn't read my recent posts on my personal blog, I resigned from the dairy about 2 weeks ago. My last day actually coincided with the last day of NaNoWriMo. It wasn't a light decision to make, especially since at the moment I don't have any other job opportunities on the horizon. But, I truly believe that it is for the best for all parties concerned and that I need to move on to other pastures. Please pray for me!

That is not to say that I will be neglecting blogging and writing altogether this December.

The immediate goal is to catch up on some badly neglected blog tags and commenting. With the occasional day to work more on The White Rose whenever the fancy strikes.

The next thing is to re-examine my writing goals so I can make my goals list for next year. This will include looking at each of the 8 WIPs that I have and deciding which ones will be considered for publishing and which ones are for more personal use. I already know that one of those goals is to bring The White Rose up that promised 65K that I was supposed to get at NaNo.

With the end of the year approaching fast, it's time to start wrapping things up....including this post, LOL.

I've rambled on far enough - tell me how your NaNo (or November) went! What plans do you have for this December? What do you want me to write about in 2019?  

Scribbingly yours,


P.S. As I went to go to publish this post, I looked over at my stats and discovered that this particular post is my 100th published post! I really can't believe it.....100 posts in almost 2 years!

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  1. NaNo definitely is a chellnge! I got more than half 0 word days, so you did amazingly! The White Rose sounds so good so far!

  2. Oh, wow! Congrats on 100 posts!! :)

    I’m glad you stuck through NaNo! Even if you only hit 12k, that’s still more than you would have had if you hadn’t written. Good job!

    And good luck with the job situation! I’ll be praying. . . .

  3. 100 posts! That's so awesome! *throws confetti*

    Aw, don't feel bad about being a slower writer! A lot of writers are slower rather than faster too (*points to self*), and there's nothing wrong with it. :D

    Great post! It's crazy that 2019 is almost here. O_O

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

  4. Congrats on 100 posts!!! Whew! All those posts...

    But hey, 12K is great, all things considered. Story arcs and plotlines can just get super confusing...

    December, I just plan on relaxing and getting caught up on last minute piddly things that need to be done. Like putting all my t-shirts in the closet, since it's officially cold out now! :)

  5. Congrats on 100 posts, Catherine! I have been following your update posts for NaNo. I just had little time to comment because November was so full and busy.

    And, yeah, almost 13k is an awesome word count!! :)

  6. Yay for 100 posts! And, hey, slow isn't bad! It's so the way you start building up that habit to write every day. That's the big thing, just writing as much as you can and building that up. It's been so fun chatting at Pen Dragons, though I'm not very social online haha! I promise I'm an extrovert in real life ;D Have fun catching up!


  7. You did so well!! Great job!

    I really enjoyed our word wars. They were so much fun (and very helpful when I was struggling for motivation)!!

    Keep writing strong, girl!! And congrats on 100 posts! That's so awesome!!!

  8. YAAAAAY YOU DID IT! It doesn't matter the word count, all that counts is that you got words in. I, for one, am very proud and I can't wait to (finally get to reading what you have in the document hehe my bad)


  9. Congratulations on your first ever NaNo, Catherine!! The White Rose sounds like a wonderful potential debut novel.


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