Does it get any better than that??

I  apologize for leaving so many of you in suspense–I “won” NaNoWriMo on November 29, writing 54,810 words of a novel, with an ending! Still another 40,000 plus or minus words to add for it to be a complete novel. That’s net words, not total words. For every word I add to the novel, I anticipate deleting or replacing at least two words. This is all supposition on my part, as I have never completed a full-length novel in my life. Ever.

After I ran out of the outline I developed in October and I had to transition from plotting to pantsing my NaNoWriMo novel (creatively titled “Gabby” after the protagonist), I anticipated that the writing would become tortuous. It didn’t.

While writing from an outline (plotting) was faster than writing without one (pantsing), it just wasn’t as much fun. For me. Pantsing allowed me to develop plot turns and character personalities, as well as add new characters, as “Gabby” took on a life of her own. I found myself writing what the novel asked for, what the plot needed, what the characters were calling for, and not what I had predetermined through an outline.

I know, I know, I have just created an outline of my novel by writing a first draft. I get it. If I had only spent that time writing an outline instead of a first draft of a novel, I would now be ready to write a not-so-rough draft of the novel. One that is closer to being ready to publish than “Gabby” currently is. But I know it wouldn’t be the same novel. (And would I even be able to stick to an outline for an entire novel?)

With “Gabby,” I experienced a major breakthrough.  I allowed my husband to read it. No one, except for my dear writing group members, has ever read anything that I’ve written. He read it, said he loved it, and claimed he was not biased in the least. The biggest compliment from him? He said I had him on the edge of his seat, anxiously turning pages to find out who did it. Does it get any better than that??





About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction and domestic suspense writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I spend half the year in NH with our youngest daughter and family and the remainder of the year in Arizona with our other two daughters and their families. This arrangement allows my husband to golf year-round. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own!

Posted on December 6, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Eleanor Ingbretson

    No, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s some accomplishment, getting the suspense of the story through to someone NOT in our group, not trained in reading a first draft and after writing by the seat of your pants for a whole month.
    Now begins the fun part.


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