I got my little award certificate for reaching the goal of 50,000+ words (actually 51,115) in 28 days.What didn't come with the award certificate?
A complete draft. 50,000 is probably about 3/4s of my book, tentatively titled Lethal Dose. It's a sci-fi, which tend to be longer than other genres except high fantasy. So I'm not done. I figure I have another 25,000 -35,000 words to write.
A perfect manuscript ready to go out. Notwithstanding the manuscript being incomplete, this draft is so rough I would be embarrassed to have my name on it if it went out now. My main character, Adara, is now a guy named Dalen. (Adara became the little sister). Guys think differently so I'm going to have to reword some of the dialogue and inner thoughts. (As if I understood how males think in the first place. My life, surrounded by the males in my house, would be simpler if I did.) I know there are gaps in time- hard to keep track of the days when I'm writing as fast as I can to meet a goal. Accuracy and fine details aren't in the queue. Some scenes will need to be deleted entirely, others reworked.
Pressure. There was no pressure from liaisons to pony up each day to meet my quota of blood, sweat and words, which was good since I missed a large chunk of time from Superstorm Sandy and had to play catch up (which makes me even prouder. Don't I deserve a special golden certificate, for achieving goal under fire?) Not once did I get an email or flag when I visited the NaNoWriMo site to update my count that I was seriously behind a lot of other people across the globe. There was no shame, just little emails from both pubbed writers and facilitators with pick me ups and encouragement in a special mailbox if I wanted to read them. Sometimes I did out of curiosity, but let's face it, I'm anal enough that I'll finish the ms even if it probably should be scrapped. I can't leave unfinished business.
A offer of a contract. I've already told you that the ms is both unfinished and in rough shape. I didn't go into this insanity (50,000 words when you have Halloween clean-up, Thanksgiving prep& dinner, then Christmas prep to do- who in a normal frame of mind would even consider doing this? But obviously enough crazy people do.) thinking that editors will soon be begging me to consider offers, and deluging my agent with promises and gifts. NaNo doesn't work like that. You're on your own to create a work and where it goes after that is up to you; no one is waiting anxiously on the sidelines while you bring up your word count.
The feeling of abandonment. On December 1, our little Central Jersey group had a gathering at the Bridgewater Library. There was candy (to help bring up our blood sugar from having skipped some meals to make it under the wire no doubt), camaraderie as we shared our triumphs and trials, and continuity as we talked about taking our ms or our writing to the next level, and looking ahead to next year. Not once was anyone left out as talk turned from individuals to the group to the organization. The municipal liaisons (as our heroic leaders are called) talked about opportunities for leadership, organizing write-ins (our group had numerous ones), and possibly adding more chapters in the Central Jersey area. If anyone felt abandoned, it was through no fault of others.
Overall, I didn't get coddled, but I got support. Writing is a solo sport, even if it's done in a group. So will I do NaNoWriMo next year? If I don't have a deadline looming, if I'm not out promoting Sirenz or Blonde Ops, or jetting to Hollywood to talk movie deal (as if). So yeah, I think it's a good way to jump start a new project.