Camp NaNoWriMo – The End!

Made it – and earlier than planned! Pippa Parker book 5, The QWERTY Murders, is now in its full first draft!

I think I wrote my last post on Monday, hoping to finish on Thursday. As it turned out, on Tuesday I got to my planned word count for the day (3000) and found myself IN THE MIDDLE of the climax scene. I couldn’t just leave it, I had to find out how it went! So I kept going and finished up Tuesday with 4600 words and one chapter left to go.

I was out and about on Wednesday morning, so chapter 24 and THE END came on Wednesday afternoon. There’s cake, tipsiness, and a deeply untrendy song, but almost everyone is happy at the end.

So now I’ve closed all my research tabs, put my notes and my outline away, and emailed myself the draft (paranoid, me?). The QWERTY Murders will be sleeping at least for the next month or so, while I get on with other things like launching Caster & Fleet book 6, The Case of the Crystal Kisses, and going on holiday (hurrah!). I might have a go at a cover, but that doesn’t count.

Am I pleased with it? I think so. I’ve attempted a slightly different structure in this one to accommodate more mayhem, and I think it will make for a pacier read. I suspect the book may well grow a little when I edit, to add more detail in some places. But it’s been great to come back to Pippa and her various tribulations, and I’m looking forward to writing book 6!

Would I recommend NaNoWriMo? Again, yes. Before I began, I was worried that I’d lost the knack of doing a draft in a month all on my own. Having a target to reach, and knowing that I had to fit the words around my other commitments like, you know, work and stuff, meant that I had to stop worrying and start writing if I was going to get there. Using a timer and doing 25-minute sprints also helped with shutting off the little niggly voice and getting down to work.

I’m aware that there may be people reading this who are thinking ‘ooh, but that sounds terribly mechanical, as if you’re just bashing out words’. It isn’t like that at all. Setting the timer and allowing myself NO distractions till it goes off makes me concentrate and gets me into a flow state more quickly. And if I’m in the zone and the timer goes off, I just kill it and keep going till the end of the scene. When I get to the point where the words flow, I write better. And while I don’t edit during the drafting stage, I REALLY edit once I’ve let the manuscript sit for a while. My process works for me, and anyone who doesn’t like the sound of it can write their own book in their own way.

Final stats:

  • Words: 50,671
  • Body count: 2 (plus some VERY near misses)
  • Biscuits consumed: maybe 3 but all ginger nuts which are healthy, honest
  • Packets of crisps consumed: still 1 (go me!)
  • Cups of tea: numerous BUT half were decaf INCLUDING the final one
  • Ice lollies: too many to count but hey, it’s been warm! Of course I’m writing this final post as the rain pours down outside. Well done, British summer.

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year? How have you got on? Or are you planning to do NaNoWriMo in November? Let me know in the comments!


The featured image is typewriter by Ak~i, and it is shared via Creative Commons license 2.0.

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