What surprised you the most while participating in NaNoWriMo? [Writing Prompt]
Julie Russell

Surprise! Fast Writing Finds the Plot

I’d known the inciting incident for my novel since July. But I had no idea what happened next, or after that. Or even how it would end. I didn’t find those things out until I started writing at NaNo speed — a veritable sprint for someone whose last book took five years to complete. For once I wasn’t worried about perfecting my prose. My Inner Editor was on vacation for the month; I needed to find out what happened next!

Writing that fast meant I had more ideas on November 4th than I had had in four months. After a week of 1500–2000 words a day, I wrote a synopsis. A few days later I’d written an epilogue, and knew the final chapter. Still sprinting, I kept finding ways to make my main character suffer, more surprises and subplots to sprinkle in as I filled in the story. How fun to write the novel’s climax less than four weeks after starting.

It takes more than the old “butt in chair” to complete a NaNo, I was surprised to find out — better have the seat belt fastened and helmet on, too: that plot is racing in!

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