I wasn't about to follow the conventional NaNo advice that "all first drafts are crap, so all that matters is typing as fast as you can". So if I hadn't "won", I wouldn't be crying. But it feels good that I did reach this goal, and with enough time to spare that I didn't have to worry about weird inconsistencies, like the NaNo website changing the date on me at 11 p.m. instead of midnight, and the NaNo website counting my text at more than 300 fewer words than my word processor counted.
Some days I spent more time on Google than on writing new words. Or asking people things. Trying to imagine clearly how stuff I've never done looks and feels, trying to gauge what a character would find when locked in a long-abandoned spot, to try to use to escape, and reasonable outcomes for those attempts--and whether some of the attempts might prove more lethal than the plot calls for (and what to do about that).
Other times I leapt forward, skipping whole chapters when I wasn't sure what needs to happen for the plot to move forward, and going to crisis points, critical events that I knew had to happen. I found that less uncomfortable than I thought it would be.
And I reached the goal, even after deciding to go with the hardest of three potential projects. So it feels good!
Next, I think I'll spend a little time filling in the holes in the worldbuilding, and go through and make sure that the chapters are in the correct order for the timeline issues that getting the chapters actually written revealed. I'm not going to stop writing new words, but I think they'll flow better with some of this other stuff resolved.
And, of course, I want to catch up on other writing projects. The snakeskin story is my first goal; I also promised to do a 12-drummers story which is due in early December. And I want to finish the sparkly sea-serpent story too. And then there's that story I decided really was a narrative first draft of a short story, rather than a piece of flash fiction. And Fireborn, I can't forget that!
I want to organize my thoughts, what I've learned from NaNo so far, but for now--