29 November, 2011


It is (nearly) the end of November and I am pleased to say that I have finished Draft Zero of my new novel, Thousand-Word Things. Having written it as part of NaNoWriMo, I needed to do at least 50 000 words of it during November, which I managed to do by the 22nd of the month. Today I finished the story completely at a smidge over 60 000 words.

I don't feel particularly victorious, I have to say. Although I am pleased to have "won" NaNo this year, I really didn't have an excuse not to. Many people have managed to get to 50 000+ words while holding down a full-time job and looking after three small children. I have been able to concentrate mostly on writing while just looking after one small husband.I feel a bit like I cheated!

It's been a great experience. It's forced me to write in a way that I wouldn't usually write, and encouraged me to take more risks than I normally would. With limited time for plotting and planning, the only way to make it work was to get to know my characters and let them develop the story themselves. The best bit of this is that I'm really excited about what I've created. Obviously, it needs to be expanded to the length of a full novel, by fleshing out the plot in places, and the writing quality isn't the best I've ever done, but I love the story and the characters and I'm excited about creating a proper novel from this beginning.

My plan for now is to read what I've written - I haven't read back a single chapter yet - and then to spend a month or so mulling over its potential while I crack on with some other things. I have the first draft of a short story crying out for attention and I'd like to start tidying up some previous compeition successes to try and get them published. But then, come January, I hope to get back on the Thousand-Word Thing case, with my own deadline of 31st March to have a finished novel.


  1. How exciting :) Well done for not only reaching 50000 words but also having a completed story. A whole new novel by easter - sounds very exciting, as does the idea of more published works even in short story form. Good news all round...

  2. That's pretty amazing! Keep going... Jance

  3. Congratulations, Chloe! Finishing ahead of schedule and way over the word count, too - very well done.

    I'm glad to hear it's been a worthwhile experience for you and it sounds like your plan to put it to one side for a while is a very sensible strategy. Good luck with your other projects and I hope you're pleasantly surprise when you go back to your NaNo.


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  4. *surprised.

    Stupid rubbish proof-reading skills.

  5. Thanks everyone! I didn't really think it would be worthwhile as I prefer to write well than write fast, but the NaNoWriMo experience has surprised me.

  6. That's amazing! I don't think I'd ever be able to write that much! Are you going to publish it somewhere that we could read it?

  7. It's not in any sort of readable state right now! It needs a lot of work to even make it into a proper novel first. I won't be publishing it online because a lot of agents and publishers don't like taking on a book that people can already read for free elsewhere. But I'm hoping one day you might be able to pick up a copy in Waterstones!

  8. First of all my friend, congratulations on completing the challenge. It matters not whether you had more time than other folk because I know from having just done it myself that a lot of it is down to personal discipline.
    Unlike your good self I've posted my chapters on my blog because I have no fear of getting it to publishable standard anytime soon. I will be ediitng it over a long period of time.
    I totally agree that it is a great experience and I am already full of ideas of how to alter my long suffering first novel.
    Push on with your other project. I'll keep tabs on your progress.

  9. Thanks Tom. Well done to you too, Winner! Having now read my novel I am less confident about geting it to publishable standards! But I'm still going to give it a go. I must pop by and read your efforts soon...

  10. Well done, Chloe. Don't worry about the publishable standard at this stage - the most important thing is that you now have a body of text to work with.


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