Well, it's over. Waahhhhhhh! The last two days zipped by; one moment I was facing two chapters left to write, feeling nervous, excited, and already nostalgic for this unbelievable month of novel writing called NaNoWriMo, the next I'd typed the last word, pressed the Save button, and it was all over.
I wrote 1,420 words this morning for today's chapter, which wasn't the last chapter of the novel, but the second last. I'd written the last chapter, chapter 30, way back on November 1st. But once I was done with chapter 29, I opened chapter 30 to flesh it out based on where my writing had taken me. You see, I'd added a cat somewhere along the way, and it would look awfully strange if that cat was nowhere in the final scene. I had put a cat in the novel's outline, but at first I'd forgotten all about it. And then my protagonist really needed that cat. And so the cat appeared at last.
National Novel Writing Month scared me as I first contemplated it. But it held the only possibility I had of finishing my book, although I never anticipated the results it gave me. I have the ideas, the words hidden deep inside, but due to my brain injury, I do not have the initiation, basically the prefrontal cortex's executive functioning that gets people to do things. I rely on external stimulation, things like handheld devices and computers. But a novel is too big a project for a computer to prompt me on. A planet-full of people all talking, writing, encouraging though was just the ticket -- lots and lots of external stimulation to get me in the chair to write and win. It was wonderful to see several of my writing buddies' banners one by one turn winning purple and to read the tweets from fellow Wrimos as they hunkered down for the final dash to the 50k winning line. Tomorrow, my NaNoWriMo web badges go up on my blogs!
My final validated NaNoWriMo total: 75,972 words. That is over 20,000 more words than my first draft of Lifeliner. I've come a long way in three years.