Yipiddy-doo-dah-day – I’m a Winner! I’ve done my 50,000 words, so I can now officially call myself a NaNoWriMo winner – and I can download a special certificate to hang on my wall – which I will do with pride, no hiding it away in the downstairs loo for me!
The book – which I’ve called Dark Tide – is by no means finished. I haven’t even reached the final scene yet and there’s still a vast amount to do – rewriting, tweaking, developing some strands, tying up loose ends, switching the order of some scenes and ditching others altogether – etcetera etcetera. But that’s all for another day (or more accurately – another month.) For the moment I’m content to savour the satisfaction of knowing that I took on the challenge and won.
It’s actually been a real joy. To my surprise I did manage (pretty much) to banish the inner editor (that’s the polite name for him) who generally sits on my shoulder and criticises every word I write. I think every writer probably has one – and to be fair, as much as I often hate his presence, I value it as well, because he doesn’t just let me chuck down any old words on the page (though those who have to read the stuff may beg to differ…)
NaNoWriMo doesn’t just give you permission to jettison the inner critic – it downright insists that you do, because if you’ve got just a month to get 50,000 words down, then frankly you don’t have time to worry too much about their quality. There will be plenty of time for all that later, so instead of sitting gazing at a computer keyboard for twenty minutes wondering how best to have a character say or do something – you just make them say or do it any old how and worry about tarting it up later. That’s liberation – well it has been for me anyway.
I’ve promised myself I’m not going to look at the 50,000 words till January. Then I’ll see them with fresh eyes. Of course I may be horrified – I may wonder how on earth I managed to write such unremitting tosh. But I hope not. I really hope I’ll find something of merit, something I can work on and build on and finally turn into a book called Dark Tide. And when I’ve done all that – I’ll get my good friend Wendy to come up with another of her ace cover illustrations – and I’ll self-publish the book.
But for now – where’s that bottle of champagne – I’m a WINNER!