Nanowrimo- Did I win? Am I alive? Do I have snippets?? (Yes, I do)

*crawls into the room on hands and knees and collapses on the floor*

WELL. I didn’t specifically say that I was going to completely disappear for a month and a half (because…I didn’t know myself), but judging by the subject of my last post, I doubt anyone is particularly surprised.

But I know what you’re wondering: Did I win Nanowrimo??


(If you want to burst into uproarious applause, I won’t stop you.)

But the crazy thing is that, while I finished the month of November with just over 51k…I WASN’T DONE YET. Which is…weird for me. Before now, the longest book I’d written was 52k. (I write short books, ok?) So I assumed that if I wrote 50k in November I would be finished with my book and free to crash.

NOT SO. At the end of November I was feeling so burnt-out, but I couldn’t put the thing away yet. I didn’t want to completely lose my momentum.

You see the problem, yes?

Long story short, I continued writing almost every day at a much slower rate until the day before yesterday when I finally FINISHED THE STINKIN’ THING.

(…You can applaud again here, if you want.)

Clocking in at just over 66k, it’s about 25% longer than anything I’ve ever written. So yes, I am reduced to a dead blob on the floor, but I’m also quite proud of myself.

But enough of this blather! Let’s hear some more about the actually writing, shall we?

I’ve never done this before (with Nano or any other book), but I decided to keep a writing journal in which I wrote a page or less about how the writing was going at the end of the day (only for the month of November, though. As soon as we crossed into December, it completely flew out the window).

Here are some snippets from that journal.

November 3

What do people at castles do?? Read documents and go to meetings and sit on thrones and eat meals at super long tables?? Help. I’m so upset that I can’t have crock pots and cheap awful hotels. I miss writing contemporary.

Clearly adjusting well to the setting. (But don’t you ever get that where you see a crock pot or a spatula or a neon sigh with half the letters out and you think THAT SHOULD BE IN MY BOOK…but then it can’t be because they don’t have those things in the genre you’re writing?)

November 4

I enjoyed writing the dinner scene (even if all the other people at the table were actual cardboard cut-outs. Who invited them? We don’t know and neither do they.

Yeah, we have no clue.

November 6

I feel like things are starting to get better–I mean obviously. I just introduced the CAT.

One of Roland’s cousin’s had a cat, so Roland automatically adopts her. She has nothing to do with the plot, but I love her dearly.

November 7

Whenever I have a cat in a story I just…talk about the cat.

I mean, what else should I be talking about??

November 8

So I’ve pretty much abandoned actually trying to make people sound old-fashioned (except sometimes I still do, so woot for lack of consistency). Suddenly seeing the appeal of writing like a Disney movie where they live in castles but use modern lingo.

…Not that I was trying that hard to make them sound old-fashioned to begin with. Mostly just replacing “I guess” with “I suppose” and “maybe” with “perhaps”.

This is how the professionals do it, kids.

November 11

When a king summons his nephew to talk, where the heck do they talk? The freaking throne room?? I conveniently left out any specifications of place. Which is great writing, am I right?

So tired, guys. I’m just so tired.

Didn’t write at all this morning–because I was busy writing down a pretty rad dream where I almost fell asleep in a dirty laundry pile. But my name in the dream was Roland, so it should count towards my wordcount, right?

It was SUCH A GREAT DREAM. Seriously. It had more plot than some stories I come up with when I’m AWAKE, how did this happen.

(Also, I’ve been having several dreams lately where I’m falling asleep/wanting to sleep. I’m so sleep-deprived that I’m even tired when I’m ALREADY ASLEEP. Help.)

November 14

Me: Roland is finally gonna start investigating, searching for clues, getting info from different people!

Roland: *talks to one person*

Roland: Ok. I know exactly what happened now.

…Why are you like this?

Why is he like this?? We’ll never know.

November 18

So, the jester exists solely to say cryptic things to Roland and I’m having way too much fun with it. Seriously. Half of my notes are just random cryptic/shady things the jester says at one time or another.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the jester yet, but he’s kind of the greatest. Why was he so fun to write??

November 19

Roland continues to hear one small hint and proceed to construct an entire explanation and just…why, child. But, as my motto for this book has become: We’ll Fix It Later.

It’s my motto, my slogan, my catchphrase. It’s actually the subtitle of the book.

November 24

I was getting tired of all the scenes just being people sitting and talking or standing and talking, so I thought “Hey! Let’s make them be doing something during their conversation! Like…like sword fighting! Sword fighting is cool!”

…except now I’ve set myself up to write a scene where they’re essentially fencing the whole time and…???

Thrust. Parry. Parry. Thrust. Stab stab. No clue what I’m doing.

But it will be dramatic, hey? Does anything else matter?

(Don’t answer that.)

Being dramatic is ALL THAT MATTERS.

November 25

Sometimes Roland randomly has to scream into a pillow and just…whatever floats your boat, child.

Yeah…he kept doing that.

November 27

So he’s traumatized again now, oops.

Basically every book I ever wrote in a nutshell.

Overall, considering that this was my first ever attempt at writing a mystery… I’m pretty proud of the result. It certainly needs a lot of work but, as I frequently screamed at myself in my writing journal, it’s a first draft!! There’s a quote I read once about how the first draft is the author telling the story to themselves, and that’s exactly what this is. Now that I know the story, I can start shaping and refining it (but not for a while, because good gravy I am putting this book down for at least a six month nap).

What that you say? You want snippets? Well, I suppose, if you insist

That awkward moment when you realize you’re moving into your dead cousin’s room…


Aunt Eleanor! She basically hates everything, and I love her 🙂

Tough luck, kid. You’re the protagonist. You’re stuck here.

At least somebody was confident the mystery would eventually be solved (’cause I wasn’t).

That’s it for now, folks! *disappears in a cloud of confetti*

Did you participate in Nanowrimo? If so, how did it go? Do you tend to write longer or shorter books? Have you ever written a mystery? Would you be chill with staying in a room that had belonged to your dead cousin? Do tell!

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21 responses to “Nanowrimo- Did I win? Am I alive? Do I have snippets?? (Yes, I do)”

  1. Haha, I’ve definitely been there with wanting to jump ship as far as settings. I write fantasy set in medieval England and want to write fantasy set in China. I write fantasy set in China and want to write fantasy set in England.

    Your snippets are amazing!! And your notes are hilarious

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! Finishing NaNo AND your novel is a huge accomplishment!

    And I love the journal snippets as well as the usual snippets! So fun! (“So, he’s traumatized again now, oops” is probably the single most relatable thing I’ve read all day. XD)

    Also, why is writing medieval so haaardd? WHAT DID THEY DO WITH THEIR TIME?? What are all these castle rooms? Why can’t they use modern slang? WHERE ARE THE CROCKPOTS?

    I can tell I’ll like Aunt Eleanor, too. And the cat. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congrats on winning NaNoWriMo!!! You’ve portrayed the novel writing process perfectly—FIX IT LATER. Literally my life motto. I’ve never finished an entire novel, but I do have an old outline sitting somewhere in my laptop. Maybe I’ll join the challenge next year!
    Also, the snippets are awesome! I’m already in love with the cat, and wow, poor Roland. He and Aunt Eleanor don’t seem to be on very good terms with each other. I wish books had special editions with the author’s notes included, they are a delight to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Considering getting FIX IT LATER tattooed to the backs of my hands where I’ll see it when I’m typing…then again, maybe a tattoo would be a little drastic. How about stickers?
      You should join next year! It’s a lot of work and panicked screaming, but it’s also lots of fun and worth it in the end 🙂
      Aw, thank you! Yeah, they’re not on great terms–which is sad for Roland, but it’s great for me! *showers my characters with conflict confetti* Ahhh, I would love editions of books with author’s notes! So much FUN. *gets way to excited thinking about it and falls over*


  4. Ahh, congratulations on all your writing accomplishments!! I’m cheering you on from afar right now.🥳 Your snippets are AMAZING, you left me wanting more, oh my goodness- also, the cat humor is wonderful and perfect and I was actually sitting here looking at my computer screen smiling. :))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen so many version of the sentence “I see ___, I ___,” but I have yet to see the one I needed for this post — I see snippets, I click.
    Okay, if Roland’s solved the mystery, does that mean he’s less busy now? And if he’s less busy, can I sign up to have cookies with him? I’m not sure exactly how that works — is the agenda in the throne room or where the king meets with his nephew? Ahahah anyways, YOU DID IT. Oh my goodness, Temperamental Writer. I hope you’re getting some more sleep now :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too! I love reading people’s snippets ❤
      Eh, I guess Roland is less busy solving mysteries and more busy being generally traumatized at this point, but if he's anything like me, I'm sure he's doing a lot of therapeutic baking. I bet he could make you some cookies 🙂
      Thank you! (I slept in this morning and it was GLORIOUS)


  6. Congrats on winning NaNo AND finishing your book! *applauds and applauds again* Your notes were a hoot and something I wish I had done! (Next year, definitely!) And I loved the snippets!!! Awww, poor Roland getting traumatized… *grins* I tend to traumatize my characters. A. LOT. We writers can be such evil creatures at times. XDDD I hope rewrites/edits go great once the book wakes up from its nap! ;D

    Merry belated Christmas! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you thank you! *bows to applause and bows again* Keeping notes was so much fun, and I would certainly recommend it 🙂 Writers seem to have a reputation for traumatizing characters who absolutely don’t deserve it…a reputation that is totally true and justified, of course. Thank you! I hope so too (but definitely a long nap first XD). A Merry belated Christmas to you too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. *bursts into UPROARIOUS APPLAUSE* Many congratulations.

    Poor Roland. Seriously, I love him. And the jester. And the cat.
    And your writing journal is HILARIOUS. Like. Oh my goodness. I’m grinning so much.

    It appears that the mystery DID eventually get solved? So that’s good. I’m sure everyone’s very relieved and I commend Roland and the jester and the cat, who probably did most of the work. And…you. I guess you did a lot of work too. *shakes your hand*

    (When can I read it though)

    Liked by 1 person

    • *bows to the applause with such enthusiasm that I fall over*
      Thank you! Yep, the jester and the cat are pretty much the best characters. (My younger sister read it, and they were her favorites.) Hehe, I had a lot of fun with that journal.
      The cat certainly did most of the work–dare I say ALL the work? I mean she didn’t exactly DO very much, but I think her presence itself was integral in solving the mystery. All the characters should give her more credit.
      (When can I edit and revise it though *screams*)

      Liked by 1 person

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