Winning NaNoWriMo has always been easy for me. The thing is, this year I had a different, much more important writing deadline. It’s official now, I failed to complete a draft of Munchies in time to slide it to Kij over winter break. The late push has been extremely fertile; just yesterday I wrote a scene that is both touching and gut-wrenching. I’d say more but then it would be a spoiler. Poor Agatha.
Meanwhile, there was NaNoWriMo. Really, you’re not supposed to extend an existing work, but that rule’s been largely ignored from the beginning. This year I also ignored that rule. The kids at NaNoCetral also suggest many ways to pad word count; I abused those suggestions and invented a new one all my own.
The ultimate result coming out of November: some really good scenes — a few even approaching publishable quality — but not a novel to ship. Those scenes, and a crapload of other words. I’m claiming victory this year, but it’s the first time in more than a decade that I’ve felt a little defensive about it. I didn’t win the way I like to win.