• Daniela Sylmae

Writer's Journey | Chapter 5: When She Wrote 50,000 Words in a Single Month

This November, I challenged myself to write 50,000 words of the second book in my trilogy 'Fables of Maanosa' and with 1,375 words written on the very last day of the month...

I won NaNoWriMo this year with a total of 50,269 words written. My WIP (work in progress) is now at chapter 19 and, to be completely honest, far from the end.


True to the fantasy genre, this novel will need about another 40 to 50 thousand words to reach its end. So, I'm nowhere near finished with it. Not to mention, I now have major rewrites of the outline and the first draft now looming overhead, but that's exactly what I expected and wanted out of this challenge.


My outline for Fables of Maanosa is really just a bunch of bullet points with ideas loosely connected to one another, so as I wrote this November, I really used it as my backbone for when I was stuck.


If I had a tough time thinking about what to write next, I'd just go back to my outline and work from there. That was a tremendous help, and I honestly doubt I could've completed this challenge if it weren't for that outline.


However, with nothing but NaNoWriMo on my mind for the past thirty days, I spent countless hours thinking, analyzing, and brainstorming for my trilogy. So much so that I finally figured out the climax and ending to the entire trilogy, something that has eluded me for over two years now.


With all these new ideas and connections I was making, I realized I was deviating more and more from my original outline to the point where it was no longer serving as my backbone.


This last weekend of NaNoWriMo, I really struggled writing, because I had no outline to go off of. I know I honestly won't be able to finish this novel until I have a working outline again, and I'm perfectly happy with that.


November gave me more than just a 50,000 word head start on the second book of my trilogy. It gave me insight into my trilogy that I've never had before, because my focus all month long was on that project. It's an invaluable reward for a writer's challenge.



Though I wasn't very consistent with my daily word count, I'm proud to say I kept steady progress all month long.


I plan to go more in depth about what I've learned about my writing process in another blog post, but I will say that overall, having trackers have been incredibly helpful in keeping me engaged with NaNoWriMo.


For example, I had my own personal word count tracker on my wall that I updated every night as well as a color-in tracker for every thousand words. I also had a reward tracker for big and small rewards I could look forward to every 10 thousand words.


That's all thanks to Bethany Atazadeh and her writerly care package! She had a fantastic November package that had all sorts of fun goodies and interactive worksheets that I used all throughout the month. If you're interested in checking out her writerly care packages, check out her website here.


Thank you to everyone who supported me during this intensive writing month. Even a simple "How is NaNo going?" made all the difference for me. It helped me feel like I wasn't wasting my time for pursuing my dream, and I now have more energy than ever to make this trilogy an incredible adventure for every single one of my readers.


We are a long way from publication, my friends, but this is a big step and I'm taking the scenic route. The view at the end of this hike will be worth it.