Bending Rules on NaNo This Year

I know this will catch me flak from quite a few people in the writing circles, but for the good of my books, this has to be done.

My NaNo novel for this year will be a continuation of the one I started last year.

Please hold your fire with the rule that you have to start a new novel every year. A lot of authors just will never tell you if their draft took them two years. So what I’m doing isn’t radical, but it’s just a step-away from my own adherence to that rule.


Simple reason: I could not, for the life of me, find the time to finish the draft clean before today, and if by October 1st I’m not done with the first draft of the prior year’s NaNo novel, then I can call it a hopeless cause. Usually, by Oct. 1st, I have a completed first draft of the book I’ve started the prior November; that is always the case with every other part of The Index Series. But unfortunately, this year just got straight-up crazy-busy, and I couldn’t manage to set aside the time for writing. Usually, I’d even write at work, during the slow days, but this job, unlike my other job, is very demanding. Not a bad thing, but if you’re trying to finish a book, it’s a detriment.

I will see what I can input between now and Nov. 1st, but I am aiming for a total wordcount of 130,000 words. I have 63,138 words written now. Whatever I write to hit 130K will put me over the finish line for NaNo.

The most important thing for me is to finish the draft. I think that unless I release the screenplay version of Book 1 that I’ve been planning to do, or Book 5 (which I too have to finish editing!!!), I will be breaking my annual-release streak that I had going since 2009. Granted, this year was more of a re-release (considering new cover and edit job on Book 1), but still. It feels almost like I’m stepping away from where I started with it.

Really. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for 8 years so far, and won it each time. And that’s great; it got the story that I want written out of my system. But I want to keep writing and write it smart, as well as write it. What’s the saying? Work smart, not hard. I want to work smart on this, and since I do the best of my writing in November, then I figure that the best way to do this is to do this when I write best. So two NaNos it is.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, I refer to the National Novel Writing Month. Eight years I wrote my ass off for a month, of these came seven and a half books, of which four are out and available for sale. And if I didn’t follow my friend Candice Watson’s advice in actually going for NaNo in 2006 and writing my first book, none of that – hell, none of a lot of things – would’ve happened.



4 thoughts on “Bending Rules on NaNo This Year

  1. Interestingly enough I was reading somewhere that this year the OLL is saying that working on a novel already started is a-okay. I just can’t remember where I saw it. And honestly, being a NaNo “rebel” is a thing that has been going on for awhile. Some people do novels, some do short story collections, some do scripts, some do poetry collections. I hope you get your novel finished this year. I’m going to try NaNo again myself. I want to actually get closer to winning, or actually win, this year. I just hope the craziness of my life allows it.

    1. Thank you :) The problem is, unfortunately, I can never seem to find the time to finish it. I’m having some doubts about winning this year, actually, and it really wouldn’t surprise me if this will be the one year where I won’t keep my win streak. At the worst, I may even work up the rest of the scripts for my series! First one may well go live tonight!

  2. One, I’m doing the same thing this NaNo: I’m going to keep on working on the novel that I’ve been writing since last year’s NaNo. I don’t play by your rules!

    Second, the novel “The Night Circus” was written and edited over two NaNos; I also read once that “Water for Elephants” was started in one NaNo and edited during another.

    Before someone calls out the NaNo Cops they should see where THEIR project is at, and worry about that.

  3. Bah. Nothing wrong with continuing an existing novel. 50K words is 50K words whether it’s the tail end of a half-finished work or the beginning of a new one. Good luck either way and hope you finish it this year!

Comments are closed.