Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

When The Story Ends Earlier Than Expected [Camp NaNoWriMo]

I challenged myself to write 50,000 words of a new novel this April for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Halfway through the month, I’ve made it to 40,000 words. I’m sure I’ll be able to reach 50,000 words by the end of this week. Then, I can either finish the novel by April or just sit back and relax and watch everyone else scramble past the finish line on April 30th.

While I’m almost “done” with the overall challenge, I’ve come to realize something about my novel. Is it a problem? Well… I haven’t decided yet.

When Your Story Ends Earlier Than Expected [Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017]

I outlined half of my novel in March. When April 1st came around I only had about 10 or 11 chapters outlined. When I got to that point in my novel, I outlined the next couple of chapters before writing anymore. That’s how I’ve been working all month.

It’s been going well and my novel has been going at a steady pace, which is something that never happens. It always goes too fast and I end up having to add in more detail when normally most people would have to take details out.

50,000 words is a good word count for a novella or a young adult novel. Unwritten is a literary novel and I’m not quite sure if it would be considered young adult or not. So, I’m not entirely sure if 50,000 words would be considered “too short.”

Of course, I still have to actually finish the novel, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to end in the 50k range. Maybe it’ll reach 60k, but I’m thinking that might be a stretch.

Then I’ll have to edit it, and of course, the point of editing it to take things out, tighten it up a bit. So who knows how long the novel will actually be?

And I realize this is something I should be thinking about when Camp is over and when the novel has ended, the story is complete. But it’s still something I can’t help but think about.

I don’t know about any of you, but as I near the end of a novel, I start thinking about what I’m going to do with it. Will it go on Wattpad? Will I attempt to self-publish it? Will I query agents and try for traditional publishing?

If it’s going to be a novella I’ll most likely try to self-publish it or post it on Wattpad. Then again, I think Unwritten is a decent enough novel with a good message to be traditionally published.

But I guess, we won’t know until the time comes.

In the meantime, I’m trying to add in as many details as I possibly can. Which is good for me, because my description of people and places are usually non-existent. I have to say that I think this is one of the better first drafts I’ve ever written.

How’s Camp going for you? How are your novels treating you? Let me know in the comments below!

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

22 thoughts on “When The Story Ends Earlier Than Expected [Camp NaNoWriMo]

  1. Don’t you just hate it when that happens. I’ve had to do that often with some of my previous attempts too and you can’t imagine what would happen next. Your plotting doesn’t extend past where you “ended” it.

    Goodluck though!

  2. To me, it seems like you have a steady plan as you’re writing. I respect your ability to do all you stated in this entry. My own story has been mostly on “wait” mode because I can’t move happily past chapter one. You mentioned writing your outline as you progress with your story and that seems like a really great idea. I’ve thought about that but always thought it wouldn’t work. I may have to reconsider my plans.
    Also, I think it’s great you’re progressing so smoothly. I can’t wait to see what you end up completing. Very exciting! Good luck!

    1. Thank you. I do think I have a good system going. It works for me.
      It couldn’t hurt to try outlining as you go. At the very least it will give you new ideas to work with. Whether you use them or not is up to you, of course, but writing them down and playing around with those ideas can do wonders.
      Thank you, and good luck to you as well. 🙂

  3. I have that same problem, where I have to add details later! I feel like as long as I get the flow of the slow and where it’s going, later I can add in descriptions or smooth out transitions and dialogue. I just keep telling myself that. I’ve only ended the story short of my word count goal a couple of times. My goal this Camp is only 20K and I barely outlined, more because I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the story to go (it’s a prequel, so I know the events, it’s more about what is the main point of the story and how do the characters change). I know I’ll need to go back to rewrite almost every chapter… *sigh*

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one with this problem. I hear so many people saying they have to cut 50k words from their manuscripts and I’m always adding in more details, lol.
      Prequels are tough to write… but even if you have to rewrite every chapter, at least you got the bare bones down. Good luck!

  4. This is my first time on a NaNoWriMo event, and I signed up and started only yesterday, lol. I’ve set myself a conservative goal that I should be able to reach in time, but I’d love to be one of those people who need to shorten their story.

    1. Better to start late then never, lol. What’s your word goal? I’m sure you’ll be able to reach it in no time. 🙂
      But yeah, I rarely have the problem of shortening my novels.

      1. I’ve set it to 15,000 words, but if I move at a good pace I might be able to get to 25,000. It’s a short story, but who knows? I might flesh it out and continue the story this November.

  5. Great post Rachel. Just wanted to let you know that your posts are showing up in my Stumbleupon searches pretty regularly. You’re getting some traction on that platform. Good job.

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