NaNoWriMo – final days (11/22 – 11/30) + what I learned this month

So, NaNoWriMo ends today and I just validated my novel on the NaNo website, having written 60.041 words this month (even if NaNo says I wrote 60.144…).

  • 11/22: Today was a really good day: I wrote 3.109 words of Lysander and Rhy fighting (my new hobby when it comes to this novel, it seems). NaNo wordcount: 51.916 from the last three weeks + 3.019, 55.025.
  • 11/23: Did my best but wrote only 1.538 words. NaNo wordcount: 56.563.
  • 11/24: Now that I finally hit 50k, writing has become a lot harder. Wrote only 1.537 words today. NaNo wordcount: 58.100.
  • 11/25: Another lazy day. Wrote only 1.088 words. NaNo wordcount: 59.188.
  • 11/26: Well, I added 24 new words to the novel today. Better than nothing, right? NaNo wordcount: 59.212.
  • 11/27: Nothing written.
  • 11/28: Nothing again.
  • 11/29: Nada.
  • 11/30: Today I gathered what I was left of my energy and wrote 829 words to reach 60k. NaNo wordcount: 60.041.

This week I wrote only 8.125 words. Why? I had no idea of how to reach the next plot point, so I spent days hitting my head against the wall trying to come up with something. Two days ago I finally opened Scrivener and made myself plan the scenes I have to write to finish this story. They are 15, which means that I still have to write ~30k words or so. I’m writing the first one of this 15 scenes right now.


I learned two things this month: first, you can’t edit a blank page, and second, the first draft is shit.

Yes, I know; these aren’t exactly new things, but after spending years trying to write the perfect first draft while ignoring everyone who said that was a bad idea it was liberating to just write and not think about how good the result was going to be. This first draft is shit, and I’m okay with that. I’ll rewrite everything once I finish it (and I’ll finish it by January, I promise), and having the skeleton of the story already done will make things a lot easier.

So, overall I’m really happy with this NaNo. It was my first time participating and I enjoyed it a lot. Will certainly partipate in the future too!

This week’s excerpt:

Lysander blinked. “I think… I think he was a king.” He hesitated. He wasn’t a he, of course, but how would he call him? His mother had told him about how neutral the elven language was, but avronian wasn’t like that. There wasn’t space for genderless people in the human language. He pushed the thought away from his mind. “Maybe the one who built this place, I guess.”

Now by his side, Rhy frowned. “Do you know elven?”

The prince almost snorted. I wish. “No, of course not, but I know a few words. Reading so much about them kind of helps with that,” he added upon seeing the surprised look on Rhy’s face. “There, I can read ruler before what I think it’s his name. It sounds like a name, at least.” It was his turn to frown. He barely noticed that Rhy observed him with a half amused, half confused expression. “Then there is library, his name again, children and, of course, Sakramest, the elven god of mysteries and lord of the night, and I think this word,” he pointed at the last one, and the less visible. “Means enter.” He paused. “Does that make any sense?”

“Library, dead elven king, children, elven god of mysteries and enter,” repeated Rhy. “Maybe he was really the one who built this place, I guess. It’s his library. I can’t make sense of the rest though.” He grinned. “You’re the one who loves elven stuff here.”

Ignoring the last part, Lysander bit his lip. “Maybe it is talking about the children of Sakramest, which were the elves, I think. And apparently only them can… enter here, I guess? But why-”

Lysander stomach dropped and all the air was knocked out of his lungs. He gasped and stepped back, but Rhy was looking at the image of old elven ruler and didn’t notice anything. The prince stayed still, his breathing quickening, and tried to push away the fear, the panic, he felt making its way through his body. Only children of Sakramest can enter here.

That’s how he had opened the secret passage. He had elven blood.

And so had the monsters, apparently.

“I don’t understand why they would need to have a place like this,” Rhy was saying, and Lysander forced himself to pay attention. A panicked scream was making his way up his throat already, but he pushed it away, suffocated it. “How would humans even reach this place before the Awakening? Unless,” he added. “There was some kind of invasion or war before that that I don’t know about, I guess. Do you know anything about it?”

Lysander tried to answer – yes, he did know of the floating elven cities being invaded once by human forces, but it had been so long ago no one really remembered anything about it other than the fact that it had happened – but his throat was dry, and his lips were sealed. Rhy turned to him, eyebrows raised at his silence, and then he frowned. “Lysander? Are you well?”

No. He wanted to scream or run away – his secret had never been so exposed, and he realized with a start, his life had never been so close to what could possibly end it. If Rhy realized what was happening… If he knew… He took a deep breath and cleared his throat, but the words didn’t come out; they seemed to get lost between his throat and his lips, and the Seeker was waiting.

Only children of Sakramest can enter here.

His eyes were back at the words on the wall and he looked away quickly, but it was too late; Rhy was already staring at them again too, the frown in his face deepening.

Lysander saw it happen; saw when his eyes widened in shock, saw when his brown skin turned pale and when he stepped back, surprise and a hint of fear and, below it, disgust, taking over his face, his characteristic grin gone. “You opened the door,” he whispered, voice so full of horror that Lysander couldn’t help but wince. “You have elven blood.





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