Well, I've done it folks. I won NaNoWriMo! This morning I copy + pasted all ten of my short stories (including a flash fiction I threw in for fun) into the NaNo website and verified my 50,941 words written in November.
NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. It's exhausting. I can feel the tired in my bones y'all. I have read barely anything this month because I've spent all my mornings writing. I wrote during World Fantasy Con, which was an adventure, I wrote while sad and unmotivated, I wrote with exhilaration today as I pushed myself past the finish line.
I don't know if I will do NaNoWriMo again next year, but I have gotten a lot out of doing short stories instead of novels. There's something really fun in knowing that you only have to live with that story in your head for three days and then you get to let it go, even if it's unfinished or imperfect.
Here's a last excerpt from my dino story, just for you:
I hike myself up onto Darla’s back and kick her into a run. My eyes are burning with dust, my heart is a stone jostling in my chest. Faster, faster. We break the second field, planted with new corn. There’s the gate. In the distance I can see the uncultivated lands of what was once the border. Dissected plains, dark, loamy soil. I swear, urging Darla on. I try not to hear the sounds behind me, creaking wood, the roars and battle screams of dinosaurs on a rampage. I keep on, keep pushing Darla on. My flock needs me. I’ll have to find a way for us to survive until the dinosaurs are past. We’ll need food, grass is a rare commodity. We’ll rebuild. That’s what we do, humans. We survive. We’ll come back and put up more walls, I’ll breed stronger dinos.
And then I’ll go after Ambrose and put a bullet in his head myself.
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Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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