Well, I crossed the 50 kiloword mark, and in NaNoWriMo terms, that means success.
How this was the same as previous NaNos:
I’m thrilled with my results. This is like interval training for writers, and I cranked out lots of words. Many of them crap, but some good stuff buried within. Every time I do this, I’m more impressed with the end product, even if it is a terrible first draft.
How this was different than previous NaNos:
As I crossed the 50k line, I wasn’t at the end of the story. Not even close, I estimate the full story won’t finish until 80 or 90k. That’s new (to me), and much more realistic for contemporary novels. Also, as I crossed 50k I wasn’t in a state of near-collapse. In prior years, I had pretty much done a word count, noticed a number slightly larger than 50k, hit save, then put the entire project away for months. This time felt more sustainable. I don’t think I’ve ever finished by the 27th of the month either.
What happens now? I have a few short-story ideas that have been nagging at me, which I will indulge in, and some reading to catch up on. But well within December, I will keep slogging on this project, probably with slightly less abandon. For one thing, I’m itching to make a map of what I actually got done, to make sure it’s really clear how everything will wrap up in the next 40 kilowords or so.