It's official. I finished my novel! Woohoo! I ended up writing a mystery novel this year for NaNoWriMo, instead of the humorous book based on our home renovation experiences. Mike encouraged me to write something entirely fictional and now that I finally reached the end, I'm glad I followed his advice.
There are many errors in my novel, but I learned so much about plot and character development this year. The need to prepare more before actually writing became quickly apparent when the first victim in the story wasn't killed at the appropriate time. It was necessary to go back and rewrite an entire chapter, because the story couldn't move forward with the character still alive. Some of my best dialog had to be scrapped.
Last year, I had planned to return to my novel in January and begin revisions, but never did anything further with it. This year's novel isn't worthy of further efforts, because my plot isn't strong enough. So although my first mystery will remain a document on my computer that will never be shared with anyone else, it helped me grow as a writer.