The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


NaNoWriMo Blog Series – Reflection

By: Staff Writers Lucille Njoo and Deeksha Raina

Now that November has come and gone, it’s time for us to reflect on our novel writing. We didn’t get to finish the novel by the end of the month; in fact, we barely got halfway through our 50,000-word story. There were a number of reasons for our sluggish pace. The biggest reason was that we simply did not have the time. Writing 5,000 words a day takes much longer than we anticipated. Between schoolwork, standardized tests, family vacations, and coordinating with each other, it was incredibly hard to find time to sit down together, think, and write. Even when we set aside hours for writing, we weren’t able to pump out enough chapters each day because writing is such a slow process.. At one point, we both accidentally wrote completely different versions of the next chapter and had to backpedal to decide what to include. In hindsight, we probably would have finished much faster if we simply split up the chapters by different characters’ perspectives. Being in charge of two main characters each instead of trying to juggle four together would have been much more efficient.

Nevertheless, the experience was just as fun as we anticipated. It was exciting to see our characters blossom into life and flesh out into complex personalities under our fingertips. What started out as nascent ideas scribbled down on paper grew into characters with layered and deep stories. There were days where we sat and imagined their entire lives and personalities–their quirks, their mannerisms, their styles. We were so invested in our characters that we even drew concept art and spent hours talking about them. By far, creating our characters and writing from their points of view were the most enjoyable parts of the novel.

Although we were unable to finish the novel by November 30 for NaNoWriMo, we don’t regret starting this novel and still plan to finish it on our own. When we started really getting engaged in our story, it became less and less about meeting the deadlines and more and more about telling our characters’ unique stories. Though it was an intense time crunch, we still had so much fun writing together and are really excited to finish the novel. It will probably take us one or two more weeks to finish the novel completely.

Regardless, this was an amazing experience and it really gave us the motivation to write, whether we were feeling creative at the time or not. We do feel a little sad that we couldn’t finish on time, but it was just such a great experience along the way that we’re already planning and thinking of ideas for next year’s NaNoWriMo!

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