My Personal NaNo Journey

I discovered National Novel Writing Month through deviantart.com, a website dedicated to helping artists showcase their talent and sell their works. At the time, I was a Literature Senior for the site; in other words, I was a glorified volunteer. I had just an inkling of an idea for a fantasy fiction novel which had emerged from a Dungeons and Dragons game I’d been playing with friends. NaNoWriMo gave me the motivation I needed to put my idea down on paper.

In 2008 (my NaNo profile says 2009 but I transferred the data incorrectly), I wrote 55,000 words of the novel, which I had tentatively titled Prophecy of the Moonbow. As any fantasy fiction writer or reader knows, however, 55,000 is only about half on the typical size of one of these tomes. I revisited this novel in 2015 to write an additional 20000 words, at which point I’d reached the end of the story. While I didn’t technically “win” NaNoWriMo that year, I’d accomplished my personal goal, so it was a win for me. Prophecy of the Moonbow, also sometimes called A Wish Turned Prophecy because I can’t decide which to use, requires a significant amount of edits and additional content to flesh out the story. Like most would-be novelists, I have yet to get around to those edits.

In between spurts of working on Prophecy, I also worked on a novella, Drug Plan, which was a reworking of a short story I wrote for a university English composition course. My NaNoWriMo profile says I wrote about 20,000 words, but I believe it was closer to about 36,000. Either way, I didn’t officially win that year either, but I had once again reached the end of the story. Unbeknownst to me, that was also the end of the line for that story. It turned out that Drug Plan was very reminiscent of Breaking Bad, which at the time I didn’t know existed. I was very disappointed when I found out about my rather insurmountable competition and abandoned the project, at least for the time being.

In 2016, I hit upon a novel idea that I felt very passionate about because it was based on true events I had recently experienced. It was a contemporary women’s fiction novel about a young mother struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. Its working title was The Year I Lost My Mind. I wrote just over 50,000 words for this novel in 2016, and over the past year, have been rigorously brainstorming and outlining a second draft.

At first, I intended to work on an entirely new novel in November 2017, but I came to realize that my first draft needed a lot more new content than I’d originally suspected, more than enough to reach another 50,000 words. So, I will tackle the same novel, retitled Finding My Rhythm, this November.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I had been hosting National Novel Writing Month write-ins for a couple of years when I finally got around to filling out a Municipal Liaison application in 2017. Now, I’m an official ML for NaNoWriMo and couldn’t be happier to give back to an organization and an event that has done so much for my own creativity and productivity!

This may go down in history as the most boring blog post ever written, but in case any of my novels ever do get published, it may have a completely different historical significance.

Thanks for reading! You can find me and friend me on nanowrimo.org by clicking here.

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Jessica Trudel

Jessica Trudel has been a freelance writer and editor for over a decade. She is an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, and a supporter of the arts in Northern Ontario.

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