Thirty days. Fifty thousand words. And, on November 27, I passed by my fifty thousandth word with three days to spare. Thus, another NaNoWriMo completed. This year also felt different. Throughout October, I didn't feel like my heart was in the challenge. Yet, once I got going, the words flowed. I had four days where I had absolutely no progress at all; three were due to illness, including a disastrous second weekend of November, the fourth because I was being interviewed on CKCU about NaNo. I prevailed.
Somehow, the words came to me. I had very little time spent agonizing on where I was going, unlike previous years. Oddly, this year's story, Beaver Flight, didn't really have much of a direction. In the final weekend, I jumped to a twist that was going to be the end of the novel, then had the major revelation that I wanted in the story's sequel. The change of timing came as I realized that a novel was the wrong format for Beaver Flight. I had come to see that the story would work better if it was serialized, such as a series of short stories or as a webcomic. Jumping ahead allowed me to get to the twist at a time when I needed the word count. The decision to make that jump was easy.
The future of Beaver Flight is to lay fallow for a bit. I will come back to it at some point, either to rework it or to build on top of what I've done already. In the meantime, two previous NaNo projects, Crossover and By the Numbers, will get my attention for editing and cleaning. This doesn't mean that the work put into Beaver Flight was a waste of time. I wrote, and discovered that I could easily do two to three thousand words an evening on average.
Will I NaNo again? Probably, depending on what next November looks like. I need to have a story in mind far sooner than Hallowe'en, have the world created, and have a role for all the characters in mind. Poor Renée in Beaver Flight didn't get much to do and started to feel like a fifth wheel. Victoria started taking over scenes; sending her out to be the aliens' prisoner gave others on the moon more screen time. Next year, I should work with a solo protagonist, with a reasonably sized supporting cast. And, as always, experiment a little more. Change things up.
Most importantly, keep having fun.