I've been writing stories since I could pick up a pencil and form letters on paper (or whatever else my pencils and crayons would make a mark on). But besides my abysmal attempt at a story when I was 11, my first complete novel didn't happen until 2012.
I had just finished college, and managed to get my first job in retail as a Christmas Temp. October was running out and November approached. I'm sure a couple of you are familiar with National Novel Writing Month which takes place annually in November. I've attempted Nanowrimo every year since 2010. It's not easy, and it's not for the faint-hearted.
I did not win in 2010 or 2011. I got to around 15,000 words and 21,000 words respectively and gave up.
But in 2012, I had my first win. I barely scraped past the finishing line with 50030 words, but I did it. And my story was, I thought, finished. How did I win that year - what was different on that third attempt from the previous two years?