NaNoWriMo 2015 Winner

I did it! I won NaNoWriMo 2015!

NaNoWriMo 2015 winner's badgeWhew. It was a hard-fought struggle sometimes. At one point I accidentally deleted a scene that I’d planned to delete after November, but had already written. Those were 1500 or so words I had to replace with 1500 better words.

But I battled through the 35k NaNoWriMo Despair, and I fought the temptation to fire up Skyrim and forget about this stupid novel. I rewarded myself with chocolate and enhanced my writing with bourbon and generally made myself miserable while writing this novel.

Honestly, sometimes I forget why I decided to be a writer. Novels are hard and painful and a depressing slog of work.

But then I come across some little piece of brilliance in a manuscript and think, “Wow, did I write that? That’s good!” Or I think of another great way to torture my main character, and get to make those stereotypical villain “Mwahaha!” laughter noises while I type away at the scene that is ruining his life. Or I hit 42,000 and think, “Now what?” and my subconscious replies, “Massacre someone’s family!” and I ride all the way to 47,000 on the wave of that massacre.

In case you ever wondered, yes, writers are evil. :D

A few things were different this year, compared to past NaNoWriMo years. This year I was using Scrivener, and actually using it, not just piddling around with a few scenes in it and thinking, “Ugh, I don’t get it!” and switching back to Word.

I’m not saying I’ll be writing every single novel in Scrivener now, but at least I get it now, for the most part. :)

One other thing that’s been different, and I think it’s at least partly a result of using Scrivener–I’ve written this novel out of order. I’ll skip ahead and write a few scenes, and then go back to write the scenes I skipped. I think another reason I wrote out of order this time was that I didn’t plot this novel as tightly as I have plotted previous novels.

Not that I always have to have every little scene in a list, with all the motivations and dialogue bits and everything. But I am an index-card-carrying, spreadsheet-making novel plotter, ever since my first NaNo in 2003. This year, I was pantsing it more than I usually do, and that was weird. To be honest, I think that’s at least partly why I had such a hard time.

But the end result is this: I have 50,461 words that I didn’t have at the beginning of November. I have the structure of the first act of a very long YA epic fantasy serial.

And now I’m allowed to play Skyrim again.

NaNo 2015 chart

So what am I doing in December? I’m plotting the rest of The Weather War! On or before January 1 I’ll begin revising the parts of the novel I have already written, and I hope to have my second draft of The Weather War finished by the end of March 2016.


  1. Congrats! On the 50k win and on using Scrivener all the way through and on almost-pantsing!

    (Though I am curious as to how to managed to delete something in Scrivener without being fully intentional. Nice recovery, though!)

    I pulled out a squeaky win myself, but I’m pretty happy with the words in my project, better than I thought they’d be under pressure. NaNo pushes us!

    • Haha, well, I moved it to the trash and deleted it and then thought, well, crap, I should have kept that for the word count.

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