I just finished my eleventh novella for National Novel Writing Month.
My fingers are terribly numb tonight. For years, I’ve performed daily stretching exercises in my hands before working on any extended content. The problem is that when you’re busy writing a novel, you do incur the literary equivalent of a sports injury. But man, is it worth it!
National Novel Writing Month is a nationwide challenge for writers to put together a 50,000-word novella in 30 days. If you play your cards right, you can finish your book in time for Thanksgiving and celebrate your achievement by cramming an entire cherry pie into your esophagus.
I’ve been fast out of the gate in recent years and manage to get ahead of my daily word count, but this year was a tough one. A toddler, for instance, can strike your keyboard or demand to commandeer your computer for mind-numbing videos. One must be vigilant. This year, my story was technically over at 43,000 words. To reach the 50,000 mark, I was compelled to (as the Wife put it) “flesh it out” and it somehow came together.
I’d like to think that I did a good one this year, that I have a righteous protagonist and an evil villain with an axe to grind. Sure, I’ll get around to converting this draft into a usable manuscript and gripe as I try to edit my own haphazard writing style, but there will always be a sense of satisfaction that I did it all in 30 days.