Tomorrow is the official end to NaNoWriMo 2011. For me, it's another year nearly over and another novel begun.
It takes a lot more than thirty days of writerly abandon to write a novel, but it's a good start. There will be months of hard writing and editing ahead, but the hard part is done.
The first draft looks and reads more like a chapter-by-chapter plot outline with chunks of dialogue, place and character descriptions and a few action scenes plugged in here and there as sign-posts.
The opening lines that were so casually written, erased and rewritten in the margins of my outline will probably find their way to the cutting room floor in the editing room in my mind, but for now they stand as a sign that the planning stage is over and real work of writing has begun.
There will be days of nearly blank pages, of using more red-ink than black before it is done. There will lost ideas and poorly constructed paragraphs, missing punctuation, mindless meddling with perfectly good sentences ... and adverbs looking for a place to hide.
Right now it's time to brew another pot of coffee, grab another plate of seasonal cookies and get back to writing.
So, so long NaNoWriMo. It's been fun. Bon Voyage, and we'll see you next year.