Wrting Advice: Finishing


As I have already said, National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November! This past weekend I went to one of my region’s NaNoWriMo prep sessions. This one was all about preparing for the month ahead and for surviving the whole process. I thought it was a great prep session, and one of the things that really stuck with me was the importance of finishing.

Now, the way to “finish” National Novel Writing Month is, technically, to reach the 50,000-word goal before midnight on November 30th. But another way is to finish the actual story that you set out to write in that time while also reaching 50,000 words. This means that, by the end of the month, you are able to write the words “the end” on your manuscript. That point may come around 50,000 words, or you may end up writing more than that during November and also reaching the end of your story.

To be completely honest with you, I am not very good at following this advice. I have participated in NaNoWriMo seven times before and have never come to the actual end of the story I’m writing. I’ve reached the 50,000-word goal, but I haven’t finished my story. In the past, this hasn’t really bothered me because I’ve done NaNoWriMo for fun. But recently I’m becoming more interested in finishing a first draft and crafting a good story. This year, I hope to finish the story that I’m writing within the month of November, so that I can work on editing it in the new year.

To close this post, I want to include a quote from Neil Gaiman. Gaiman said, “Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.”

Happy writing!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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