This will be a slightly different version of Throwback Thursday, because I’m tackling multiple past/current projects!
My NaNoWriMo timeline, under the name musemorgan (which you can become writing buddies with if you want!) goes as follows…
2010: My very first NaNo. I was a sophomore in college, taking Organic Chemistry and Calculus II at the same time, and it was probably the worst time I ever could have competed in NaNo, lol. But I ached to rekindle my writing skills, especially because I was also attending Bret Lott’s creative writing class that semester. I jumped in on November 1st with nothing except a few characters and a loose concept. It was the first iteration of Paradisa, back then called Crusaders. I failed the challenge with only 32,000 words, most of which was outline. Because as I realized, I can’t work without an outline. Only about three chapters of actual prose was written, and barely any of it became part of Paradisa.
2011: Skipped NaNo. I was in Physical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis. My junior year was hell.
2012: Senior year gave me a lot of free time, so I tried my hand at NaNo again. This time I did have an outline, but I also had the benefit of living my story. The Shadow of Saturn was a memoir about my internship at NASA, because what happened to me at NASA was often so serendipitous that it all could have been scripted. A lot of natural parallels between people, etc. This was the first year I won NaNo, just barely eking out 50,000 words. If you’re wondering what happened to that story, well – I never finished it. I got about 10 chapters into a rewrite, and nailed out a final, full outline, but it is a massive story. If I ever finished it, it would probably be 150,000 words. But I hope to finish it someday, and perhaps self publish.
2013: This year, I wanted to actually finish a novel. Because I knew that if I half-finished one, like in 2012, it would sit in my drawer forever. I outlined Paradisa and set a goal of 100,000 words. Unfortunately, November is INSANELY busy for me, with AtomaCon, Thanksgiving, and a week-long business trip I took in 2013. I did not make my 100,000 word goal, but I still topped out at 65,000 words. I took December off and finished the first draft of Paradisa in January 2014.
I’m still working on Paradisa, as you all know, but I’ve decided to throw myself into something new this November. I’ve uploaded the basic details of Wake, which I’m in the outline stage for. I’m setting my goal word count at 70,000 words, because I think that’s what it will take to finish this novel. It’s going to be a short, simple book. Or it might not be, in which this post will probably show up as a Throwback Thursday next year :P