We’re at the end of the line. It’s December. NaNoWriMo 2019 is in the rearview mirror after a long, arduous climb. Cryptids have been murdered (sorry, guys), nervous queer nerds have almost kissed (they’re taking their time, it’s fine!), and the bees continue to be magic as all get out (which is super cool, trust me).
So, where is Honey and Haunt standing? And what’s next?
Final Word Count
Once again, apparently the word count in my Scrivener file and the word count Pacemaker gives me are in disagreement, BUT. That doesn’t matter, because 50,080 words versus 50,064 words is still over 50k! 🎉
The part I’m most proud of, though, is that I actually crossed that finish line on the 27th! I broke 50k three minutes before my laptop tossed a low battery warning for me, and it allowed me to rest for the last three days of November, which were arguably some of the most exhausting, time-consuming days of the year. It worked out PERFECTLY, and it’s also the first time I’ve finished before the 30th. Yay for big milestones!
And to celebrate that early win, have a small snippet I stuck on Twitter. Everest and Roa have been mutually pining for pretty much the entirety of the project, and they’re KILLING ME. But they’re nervous, so they can take their time. Skittish slow burn is just the right amount of cute to balance out all the ominous murder parts of this project!
LESS THAN 700 WORDS LEFT UNTIL WINNING NANO! Also, have these two goofs who've been mutually pining for, like, this entire project, and just now figured out how to be a whole range of emotionally vulnerable for half a second. (CC: @ainewrites come get your disaster monster kids) pic.twitter.com/X4f0WFneo4
— Meaghan 💛 (@hailandwellread) November 28, 2019
Is the First Draft Done?
Maybe I’ll stop asking this question of myself next year. Maybe not. But the answer is no. Because I didn’t go in with a strong enough plan, I spent a lot of time swapping POVs and tenses and all that fun stuff, which means I have more like 30k in the POV and tense I settled on (which is still subject to change as I keep fine-tuning it all).
But I loved every minute of bopping around, trying to find the heart of this story, and I can’t see myself shelving it any time soon. It’s been so much fun to build this odd little PNW community of cryptids (I’ve especially enjoyed picking on poor, sensible Bigfoot), and my human characters in particular have been a delight, charging into the story in ways I didn’t always expect when I set out.
Ultimate Favorite Character?
At the end of the day, I have to say Roa. As much as I adore my entire cast, Roa is the cornerstone of the whole thing, and she’s got some fun depths and conflicts to her that I didn’t discuss in my weekly updates, since they’re deeply relevant to some plot twists. Plus, she’s something of a challenge. I’ve found I write a lot of characters uncertain in their own abilities and skills, whereas Roa is incredibly confident in what she can and cannot handle. It’s really an exercise in conflict management (and creation lol) to write a character like her, and it makes it extra fun when I get to challenge what she thinks she’s 100% right about.
Plus, Roa gets to do a super spoilery secret thing, and it just rocked my world to come up with that scene. Hurt/comfort? Check. So much magic? Check. Devastating full circle foreshadowing complete? Check.
Roa is GOOD, folks. She’s so good.
Honey and Haunt in the Future
I mean, like I said, I won’t be shelving this any time soon. However, I do need to sit down, think about what I want to keep and what I’m missing, and do some revisions before I plow ahead. It seems maybe a little counter-intuitive to do this now, rather than after having a finished draft, but I need to get my plot points completely solid before I move on. Not having a full outline when I started at the beginning of the month has kicked my butt once again, and the next step is damage control (and shaking my head at Past Me).
But Honey and Haunt is not going away. I have too much fun throwing these disaster kids into the woods with some knives and hungry creatures and their own worst fears, so you can count on this project hanging around until it’s well and truly complete. 💛
Are You Doing NaNoWriMo 2020?
As if this is a question.
Now that I’ve gone five years strong with NaNoWriMo, why stop now? I love what this month forces me to do, especially since my drafting process the rest of the year is so sporadic. NaNo gives me structure that I struggle to hold to outside of November, and while I’ll hopefully improve on that front in the future, it’s nice to know I have at least one month a year where I’m guaranteed to crank out new words.
Of course, this far in advance, I don’t know what project I’m going to work on, but that isn’t something I have to think about just yet. Tbh, December is for rest after that dash for the finish line, and I can worry about planning and drafting and all that good stuff come January.
So there you have it, a wrap on Honey and Haunt! This makes five years in a row of NaNo, and I’m incredibly proud of my accomplishments. I hope you’ve had some fun on this year’s NaNo journey, too! 💛