Well, stick a fork in me, I'm done - with Nanowrimo that is. After watching "The Day of the Doctor" Saturday night I took advantage of the creative energy, rushed home, and cranked out the last few hundred words or so. I've uploaded an excerpt of "Fantasy vs. Football" on the Nanowrimo wesbite.
This was an interesting writing experience. I realized very quickly I didn't know nearly enough about football to be writing on the subject, and I didn't know quite enough about table-top gaming (despite experiencing more of the latter than football). Despite this handicap, I did the best thing I knew I could do ... I ran with it.
This was the first Nanowrimo I wrote purely and completely for fun. And once I got past the factual inaccuracies mentioned above, it was a great deal of fun. I'm still not completely sure what I'll do with "Fantasy vs. Football". I had intended to re-write it as a comic book, but midway through the story I realized it might make a good middle-grade level book, and in the final chapters I thought it might make a good YA novel. For now, I'll just let it sit - getting a healthy amount of distance from a novel is the first stepping to getting perspective.
There is one thing I've learned for doing Nanowrimo three times, but it will probably get me trouble. So here it is. I don't believe one month is long enough time to develop a novel. Don't get me wrong - you can certainly write a novel in a month, but you can't necessarily develop a novel in one month, at least not fully. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try - quite the opposite - you should use it as an opportunity to try as many new things as you can. But people intent on using this as an opportunity to write the next Great American novel or magnum opus fantasy epic should understand the results will be unpredictable. I suppose if you knew everything that happens and everything your characters were going to say and you do, you could write it in a month but (and this might be the discovery writer in me talking) . . . where's the fun in that?
So if you're planning to do Nanowrimo next year . . . or you're struggling to get it done this year . . . have fun. Experiment. Figure out what works and what doesn't. You might not to get a better novel out of the process.
But you will become a better writer from the experience.
(That's it for this rant. Check out a new Blue Yonder this week!)