My First NaNoWriMo

I joined NaNoWriMo in October 2008 because that’s when Kris discovered it and told me all about it. I skipped that year, though.

I didn’t feel as though I’d prepared enough to write a novel when I had only just found out about the challenge a week before it started. So, I hung around on the website all month long lurking in the forums and getting to know the community.

It wasn’t until November 2009 that I decided to give NaNo a real shot.

My First NaNoWriMo

I wrote a novel called The Others. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken of this story on my blog since I started blogging in May 2012 and by that time The Others was already a memory.

I remember planning as best as I could the October before. However, at this point, I had never actually completed a first draft of a novel before. I didn’t even know how outlining worked best for me, so I didn’t have my system all worked out just yet.

But I did it! I wrote 50,000 words that November on The Others. The only downside to it was that I had no idea you needed to validate your word count.

So, when November 30th came and went, I was disappointed to see that I had no certificate. Kris asked if I validated my novel and I believe I responded with, “What does that mean?”


I won, but it’s just not official. You have to take my word for it. I wrote 50,000 words, but I never completed the novel. There was a lot more to it.

The Others was an interesting story, from what I can remember about it. There have been novels about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), or Multiple Personality Disorder, and I thought I would write one with a twist.

Those kinds of stories are always told from someone else or the main personality as they try to figure out what’s going on. The Others was told by the various personalities inside the protagonist’s mind.

I promise is sounded much better than how I’m explaining it right now. I remember the basic gist of the story, but I can’t remember too much else about it. Other than the fact that the main character’s name was November… very original.

I don’t have the novel anymore. This was a time when my desk was in the basement of my house and I only saved my stories onto my flash drive.

In January 2012 (I think) my flash drive died. I lost a lot of novels and I was devastated.

Though, now that I think about it, the flash drive might have died in January 2013 because I vaguely remember talking about it on the blog… I don’t know.

Either way, that’s why I have Google Drive, Dropbox, and my flash drive now (except now my USB ports on my laptop don’t work anymore, so my novels are kind of stuck in my flash drive until I get a new laptop).

Maybe I’ll go back and try to write The Others again, maybe I won’t. It was a fun idea to explore and maybe someday I’ll expand on it. But it won’t be anytime soon.

What did you write for your first NaNoWriMo? Do you still have it or did you stop working on it after NaNo? Let me know in the comments! 

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16 thoughts on “My First NaNoWriMo

  1. Too bad you lost it, I like to look at my older works from time to time to remind myself that I’m doing a lot better withe each one.
    I remember my first NaNo, it was only in 2013 afterall 🙂 By November that year I already had experience in July camp of same year, so I was more or less prepared and went beyond 50K. I remember I really enjoyed it, especially getting to meet some bloggers who were doing NaNo too (It was also my first year with my blog).
    The story was a YA fantasy about a girl that becomes the hated witch of her supposed fairy tale. The story came out quite different and much deeper than expected and I still intend to revise it.

  2. My first NaNo project, which I tackled in 2009, when I first learned about it two weeks into November (similar to you, I heard about it just before it started but thought I’d try it out for fun), was Puck’s Choice. I was actually proud of myself. I came in two weeks late and managed to write 23K.

    Then I put the book down and didn’t finish the first draft for over a year… When I picked it back up, it took me only another month to finish it up, and then it took me another couple of years to edit and re-write it before it was published in 2014.

    I did not “win” NaNo until 2013, when I outlined the second Shifters & Mages novel (Jenna’s Story) in October and hit the ground running in November, and I’ve “won” every year since then. I’m still extremely proud of how well I did in 2009 though.

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