The Reason I Finished NaNoWriMo Early
This past weekend was actually four days long for me, so I had quite a bit of free time. Instead of being bamboozled by this sudden abundance of free time and staring blankly into space not knowing what to do with myself, I thought I might finish NaNoWriMo early. (So that I could trick myself into not procrastinating on XIII.) It felt funny to finish the minimum word count (1,667) in less than an hour in the morning, then have all day to do tons of other things that had nothing to do with writing. I could easily squeeze in extra hour of writing and get twice the minimum word count.
So I wrote, and it went well because I finished on Sunday. I now have a bunch of interesting little stories that have alternately confused me about worldbuilding and have helped me with it. I also have one story that I think could become an entire novel in itself. (I might save it for Camp NaNo or NaNo next year.) A bunch of new characters appeared, too.
But what I noticed about this year’s NaNo was that it definitely turned out to be more about characters and settings than it was about plot (probably because it wasn’t just one story, but a series of short ones). I learned things about my existing characters that I did not know before, and I think that will definitely help me out immensely when I revise/rewrite.
If you have some free time here and there, use it as writing time. But staring off into space is OK, too – after all, that’s where ideas come from.