About those 50,000 words…(@NaNoWriMo)

You might remember I put my hand up to participate in National Novel Writing Month, where the goal was to write 50,000 words during November.

Generic-180x180I thought it would be a great opportunity to churn out a few words for Rephaim #3. I didn’t think 50,000 was realistic for me, so I set out to hopefully manage 25,000 – 30,000, which would’ve really kicked my working draft along.

So…how did I do?

I surprised myself. I didn’t hit 50,000 words but I managed to get down 42,800 or so. So now I have more than 60,000 words in my first draft, and I’m rapt. Book 3 has a lot going on – lots of reveals and plot twists, all to set up for the big finale of Book 4. So getting a rough draft on the page has been top of my list of priorities. Once I have that, I can then pull it apart, play with it and then polish up the writing. And now I’m 42,000 words closer.

Thanks to NaNoWriMo – and the support of my NaNo writing buddies Mia K Rose and Nomes – I’m much further progressed than I thought I’d be at this point. And I’m quietly happy with how the plot developments and story arcs are coming together. LOTS of tweaking to do, and more to write, but I just love having something to work with.

The great thing about having a month dedicated to writing – that you publicly commit to – is that you actually do it. You tell family and friends, you prioritise around it. And you have fun. I really enjoyed the process. Some days the words came easier than others, but I never forced it. At the end of the day, the target was nowhere near as important as getting it right. No point writing 50,000 words I’d just have to re-write because I rushed. But the story started to flow, and that’s a beautiful feeling. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty chuffed to have passed 40,000 words too).

Thanks particularly to Mia – and our 5,000 word weekend challenges. Mia hit her target – flew past it actually. It definitely helped having writing buddies to chat with about progress, frustrations, small victories.

So, if you’re a writer looking for an excuse to lose yourself in words for a whole month, I recommend NaNoWriMo next year. I’ll be back (working on Rephaim #4!).


  1. Mia K Rose says:

    You’re welcome. 🙂
    And yes, those 5k weekend challenges we set ourselves were great incentives and really helped with motivation.

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About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in the Scenic Rim with my husband and a retired greyhound.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston

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