NaNo: Week 4...Done!

47,416 words and I'm out. Is the book done? Heck no. But it wouldn't have been done even if I spent four more weeks on it or six to eight months, like I usually do. It's a draft and, by definition, drafts are nothing but a start. And mine usually stink.

Is it any worse than my others, for having done it so quickly? I don't think so, actually. Its shorter, but in some ways, I think it might be better. Working through it quickly made it easier to keep the voice consistent and not lose track of details as much.

There are still a few scenes to be written and LOTS of tweaking and editing to be done when I start revisions in January. My awesome agent is even willing to read this draft - ugly though it is - and add her thoughts. NOTE: Normally, I'd never ask my agent to read something so unpolished (hence this tweet), but I knew she was in a spot where she might be able to do it and her insights were SO helpful shaping How It Ends, so I did anyhow. Though I felt very foolish about it.

So, NaNo? Petty awesome. I got exactly what I hoped for out of it and, if the stars align, I'll definitely do it again next November. Or use word count goals next time I'm drafting. The key, for me, was outlining. I started with a detailed, almost fifty-page outline that had not just the start, end and hook of the novel, but all of the key turning points as well as a couple of scenes partially written. My next outline might not be so long, but I think my days as a pantser are officially over.