Finishing a NaNoWriMo Novel in November?

So, I know I’ve been writing, well, a TON lately about National Novel Writing Month. That’s partly because I can’t wait for November, being as I’m a first-time WriMo, and partly because I figure the more I write about it ahead of time, the more I’ll oblige myself, emotionally, not to quit halfway through. At this point, the utter shame of quitting after everything I’ve said about NaNoWriMo here on the blog will be great motivation to plow on through.

In some ways, it’s nice that there’s no real consequence for quitting. In others, that will just make the prospect of quitting all the more tempting. So, I write about NaNo to create leverage on myself. At this point, I’d be kind of mortified to throw in the towel. If I have to for my emotional/mental health I will, but…. I’m praying I won’t have to. I definitely don’t want to quit just because it’s hard or I feel burned out.

Anyway…. I feel like I should specify (though I might have said this before) that my NaNoWriMo goal is 50,000 words, not a finished novel. My shortest novel is 120k. There is no way I can job hunt/prepare for my oral exams and write that much in a month. Not when I also have a release on November 9th!!! (Man, I wish I had learned about NaNo sooner, before I scheduled that. Oh well.)

I know every WriMo has a life and other things to take care of: jobs, families, children, ailing parents. However, I’m just shooting for 50k’s worth of the newest project. Maybe that’s copping out, and I feel kind of bad if that’s the case, but I have to be realistic about things and where I am in life right now. I know what my fantasy novels take out of me to write, and I know how long they are. “The Crimson League” is actually pushing 190k. Can’t do that in a month. No way.

So, that’s my goal. The official 50,000 words. It would be nice to think I could finish a novel, but…. It just ain’t happening, folks. At least, with a little research on the NaNo site’s FAQ, I found this:

What if I don’t finish? Or hit 50,000 words but I’m only halfway through my novel?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

And the 50,000-word goal is a threshold, not necessarily a stopping place. Reaching 50k and realizing you still have a lot of wrapping up to do is a good thing—it gives you something to come back and work on later. You will still win if you reach 50k but have not yet completed your novel.

So yea! I can officially win if I hit 50k but still have a lot left to write. So that is my personal November goal. And you can bet I’ll be submitting those 50,000 words 🙂


7 responses to “Finishing a NaNoWriMo Novel in November?

  1. Haha! Great post! 🙂

  2. It’s not National Finish Your Novel Writing Month. Just NaNoWriMo. You don’t get any credit for the words over 50k, so you’re not doing anything wrong by “only” aiming for 50k! While I do aim to finish my novels, I don’t have all that other stuff going on – and in August, when I did have a crazy couple of weeks, I squeaked over the line with 50,0037 at 3pm on the last day (thank goodness for the extra day in August!) and was darn glad to do it!

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