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NaNoWriMo: I’ve earned my virtual certificate

By Mike Reynolds on December 19, 2012


Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on a local writer’s trek toward 50,000 words as part of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. You can read the first part here. We gave Mike a few weeks to ice his fingers before asking him to pound out a few more words for us. As you’ll see below, he reached his goal with time to spare. Mike wasn’t the only local writer hitting the keys during this year’s challenge. According to the NaNoWriMo Word Count Scoreboard, local writers have written more than 16 million words as part of the challenge. That’s impressive by any account.

National Novel Writing Month is over and I once again feel comfortable writing words.

It took me 27 days this time around to complete a 50,000 word novel. To be specific, it took me 27 days to write a 50,009 or 50,018 word novel, depending on which word processing software you ask.

Either way, I have an electronic certificate that states I defeated NaNoWriMo once again. This year turned out to be easier than I expected, as the idea I started with left me with plenty of room to add more and more as the wordcount demanded beefing up. The feeling of writing those last word though, is no less spectacular.

This year’s story focused on the everlasting battle parents have when they are demanded to ‘extend the truth’ to their children. Extending the truth, in effect, is lying, but lying is necessary for survival in certain situations. I based my truth extension story in the Christmas time frame and focuses on the story of Santa.

I was able to fit in sentences like “Did Charlotte put mustard on her toast?” and “I just mean when I typed thong into Google, there was no shortage of results I could have looked through,” and finally, “One day, a reindeer was walking through the woods eating holly and mistletoe and then all of a sudden, a baby dropped out of her.”

When I started out on November 1, I thought sleepless children would be the biggest obstacle. But the kids were not as troublesome as they could have been. Generally, they kept their sleep patterns consistent, which afforded me time at night to senselessly pound words into my Google Doc. I made my way through my word count using iPhones, iPads and Macbooks, making spelling mistake after spelling mistake and thinking nothing of it.

What have I done with my story since typing the 50,018th word? Well, I turned it into a PDF and shared it with anyone who wanted to read it. Other than that, I haven’t looked at it at all. Even as I write this, I have very little interest in going back to look at it. For all the fun times we had together, I feel no responsibility yet to help it grow up.

The good people in the NaNoWriMo offices will continue to offer me plenty of moral support should I choose to accept my story back into my life. They even offer a page on what to do with 50,000 words that make little sense together.

For now though, the book shall sit in all of its unedited glory. Wanna read it?