Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

No, I don’t know what it means, either. And I don’t like the term “winning” when it relates to NaNoWriMo. It’s very binary, and I think we’ve had enough binary decisions this year. If there is a winner, then there must be a loser, and losing has such bad connotations for those who can’t deal with it.

But, the bottom line is, I completed the NaNoWriMo, 50,000 words in a month challenge. What did I write?

Well, one of the things I advocate about NaNoWriMo is to use it to experiment with your writing. At the end of November, even if you write 50,000 words, it’s unlikely that the so-called ‘novel’ will be in any fit state to progress. More than likely, it will be a very rough draft, a collection of half-finished ideas, loosely held together by crossed fingers and prayers. This year, I decided to try and write a cozy mystery. In my ‘day writing’, I write crime fiction, and cozies are hot, apparently, so I thought I’d give it a go.

In short, I failed to finish one story. I knew who the culprit was, and how they exposed him, but my story had veered off the (very rough) plan I had produced, and as I approached the end of the book, I could see where I was, and where I wanted to be (the proposed ending) were miles apart. Should I rewrite the ending, or bludgeon through, fighting my way back from where I was, to where I wanted to be?

In the end, I did neither. In the interests of writing lots of words, I paused the first book, and started the second, where the words flew from my fingers, with over 4,000 words on the last day, finishing on a total of 51,204 words. Some might say that starting a second novel was cheating, or that it would make me a NaNo Rebel. IHowever,  would have had to write those words on Book 2 sometime anyway. Why not write them in November and get them counted into the NaNoWriMo total? Which is what I did.

So, now we’re already at the 12th of December, what is my roundup on my NaNoWriMo writing?

I love my stories, and I love my characters. They’re not deep enough yet, but on the surface, they’re interesting enough. Things have moved on since the days of Miss Marple, and these days, us writers are expected to write fully rounded characters.

In the short term, I have podcasts to record, books to read for book clubs, a minor health issue to sort, and Christmas meals and parties to attend. But I shall be returning to my cozies, and I shall finish Draft Zero of Book 2, before returning to Draft Zero of Book 1, with updated character information, smoother plot, and a general redrafting of the story. These will be published during 2017. I’m making that commitment.

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