I did it – it’s not a huge shout, or anything like that, but I am truly proud to say that the goal I set myself for the NaNoWriMo challenge has been reached. Two books, completed – a total of 129,472 words in twenty five days (after edits).
I am thrilled. I love the writing process. I adore my characters and I love that the ideas seem to flow, for the most part, fairly easily. I am the first to admit that I don’t write complex books. My stories are always love stories – some relationships easier to bring together than others. They all contain the true mate trope, which makes some elements easier and some things harder to resolve. They all have an HEA for the MCs.
What I did find interesting was that there is a really strong correlation between how easy my MCs find their true love and how things are going in my own life. When I was writing Book 4 of the Cloverleah Pack series (Calming the Enforcer) and Book 3 of the Bound and Bonded series (Total Submission), I was going through a lot of personal problems. There were personal and family health issues to worry about, my marriage was going through a really hard time and in both books the story lines were hard to come up with. A couple of my readers even noted that in Calming the Enforcer especially, the angst in the story was stronger than it was in previous books. My MCs had a harder time coming together personally, than they had in some of my other stories.
I chose to write the true mate trope because I wanted the outcome to be guaranteed. It was the journey that two men took from lust at first sight, to true love that was important to me. But I also wanted an outside story – things going on in the worlds I had created that helped bring the two MCs together, but were also growth elements for all of my characters. In Calming the Enforcer, those outside elements were there, but I wasn’t as happy with them as I was with the other books.
By the time I took up the NaNo challenge the health issues were becoming more manageable although unfortunately my marriage was terminal. I am really lucky that I have been able to stay friends with my now ex-husband, who is an amazing man, but I wasn’t aware of how much stress I was under, until we finally made the decision to call it a day. We split up towards the end of the challenge. Dean’s story – Book 5 of the Cloverleah pack is, in a lot of ways, a lot lighter, a lot sweeter (although still really hot) and any angst or problems all came from outside influences, rather than between the two men themselves. I really like this book and think it’s more in keeping with books 1 and 2, rather than 3 and 4.
I mention all of this because I think it is because the storylines were lighter, that the books were easier to write. Ergo, it was easier for me to reach my goal. Being excited about what your characters were going to do next, is a great incentive to sit down and write every day. I don’t plan my books before I write them – at all. I have some ideas, obviously, about what I would like my characters to go through, and I know how I want them to end up, but the journey they take is a complete mystery to me, until I sit down and write it.
I’m not likely to do this again – write two books simultaneously at such a fast pace. I wish I could, but honestly I do think my books would suffer, and I don’t want that. My fingers were sore for two days by the time I finished, but the support I got along the way from the online community and my readers is what made the challenge all the more pleasurable for me. Maybe next year for NaNoWriMo I’ll write a whole stack of interrelated short stories or something, but I won’t be writing two books at the same time.
All in all I had fun. I have two books I now have to get ready for publication. I have made new online friends and I have learned that if I want to keep pumping out 5,000 words a day on average, then my acrylic nails will have to go. But whether you have never written a book before, or you are an established author, I think the NaNoWriMo challenge is a great way to remind yourself of how fantastic it is to be a writer.