Eloo's National Novel Writing Month adventure, the 2010 version.
NaNoWriMoLoo. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think? But it doesn't just sound good, it means something as well - National Novel Writing Month: Eloosive.
I'm planning on posting my NaNo story this year, as I write it. This is probably not a good idea. Unsurprisingly, that's not stopping me.
I'll be using the author's guidance to track my word count and I'll be updating this first page with any thoughts I might have on each day's writing. A novel writing diary of sorts, I suppose.
The chapters will not be typical Protag chapters. Each one will just be whatever I've written for that day, so it could end mid-paragraph, or mid-sentence, possibly even mid-word! For the first week they'll likely be about 2,000 words each (that's the goal, at any rate).
You're welcome to follow along and see how things go for me over the next thirty days. I only ask that you keep any critiques and editing advice to yourself for now.
Note: EXCEPT WHEN YOU SEE I LEFT OUT A WORD.
Man, did that ever drive me nuts last year when I spotted those mistakes after the month was done. Every word counts, after all.
Anyway, November begins in six and a half hours. The race to 50,000 words is about to begin.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oct 31st: Final pre-NaNo thoughts
I'm feeling confident. I did this last year and hit 50k in 25 days (I know this because I kept track on a spreadsheet and I'll be doing that again this year - and the years to come, most likely). It ended up at 55,557 in 28 days. It's hard to say, but my gut feeling is that it's going to take more words than that to finish the story this year.
I've got two pages of handwritten notes to work with. One has an outline of how I think the story will go (and probably won't), the other is a list of characters and some notes on each. Oh, and there's a third page with a few thoughts on my opening scene. Until a few days ago I really had no idea how/where/when I was starting the story and decided to fix that, rather than stare at a blank page November 1st and figure it out then. I like pressure, but not that much, thank you very kindly.
November arrives in about an hour and a half. I'll be in bed before then - I'll start writing in the morning. I want to get some sleep this month, after all.
Last year I hit 2,309 words on day one. That's my unofficial goal for tomorrow.
I wonder how different the experience will be this time, now that I've done it once before?
Nov. 1st: It has begun
Off to a pretty good start. I could have stopped writing at the end of chapter one, but I really, really wanted to match last year's day one total. Ended up beating it by a little bit.
First 'oh what the *expletive deleted*, how is that all I've written so far' moment happened at: 883 words.
Number of sentences I'm deeply embarrassed by due to its obvious word padding nature: one, off the top of my head. There are probably more.
Nov. 2nd: Chugging along
At times today I kind of felt like I was slogging my way through this introductory phase of the story. I found myself wanting to skip ahead to the 'fun' parts, or at least the scenes I already have a clear picture of.
But this foundation is necessary (and very likely to be rewritten anyway). So I chug onwards.
I'm worried about my word count for tomorrow, as I'll be helping to install windows in our new home. Oh, did I mention I'm also renovating a place this month? Anyway, at least the next scene is one I've been looking forward to, so maybe that'll help me reach that minimum word count of 1,667 for the day.
Nov 3rd: That wasn't so bad
Windows basically installed, still hit 2k for the day. Thankfully I got on a roll this evening and the momentum carried me just far enough. Now I sleep.
Nov 4th: Mmm, dialogue
Dialogue really helps the words pile up, doesn't it? I have to admit that I get tired of descriptions sometimes - even as a reader I have to fight the temptation to skip ahead to the 'talky bits'.
That's so terrible.
The last... half of today's writing was written listening to Bet you look good on the dance floor by Arctic Monkeys on repeat. I don't know if that influenced me or not. Maybe. Either way, it's a great tune.
I'm now officially one full day ahead of schedule. Which is good, because I think I'm going to need it this year. It's already been, and is going to continue to be, a busy month.
Nov. 5th: Crackin' 10k
Hurray for being over 1/5th done! And for actually stopping writing at the end of a chapter for the first time!
So I've had to totally rethink a major plot point that comes much later in the story, all thanks to what I've written in the first few days. It definitely works better this way, but it just goes to show I never know where I'm really going with a story until I start writing it. Maybe I'm just very bad at outlining.
Eh, it's more interesting this way.
Nov. 6th: Writing is so much easier when you're having fun with the story
Thankfully, I'm starting to have fun with this one. Good thing, too. It would be a very long month otherwise.
Nov. 7th: Some days the words just flow...
... and then there are days like today, where you have to drag them out of you kicking and screaming. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
I am now two days ahead of schedule... and exactly 24 words behind last year's pace.
Nov. 8th: Back on track
Today felt much easier. If every day was like this one... well, I wouldn't appreciate them as much as I should.
I realized today that I really need to get Jerry the hell out of the castle and started on his journey - otherwise this is going to be impossible to finish before the end of November. So I managed to take some initial steps in that direction and I'm looking forward to getting further along that path tomorrow.
Nov. 9th: Now we're getting somewhere
I'd say I made some good progress in the storyline today, and even included some important back story as well (which I was making up as I went along - ah, the stuff you don't even think to plan).
I think I'm starting to get into the flow of this one now.
Nov. 10th: Breakin' 20k
Well, I managed to get Jerry back to the castle. Now just one more day and then I can send him off on his trip to see the dragon.
I'm impressed I've managed to average over 2k per day to this point. But that's going to end this weekend, as I'm going for a visit to Vancouver. Ah well, that's what being almost three days ahead of schedule is for.
Nov. 11th: Trying something new
I decided to try writing for as long as I could without checking the word count today. You know, instead of every hundred, or fifty, or ten (yes).
I managed to get just over 1,100 before I had to see where I was at. This would have been okay... if only I hadn't checked because I was hoping to stop writing soon.
Thankfully I got on a bit of a roll shortly after that.
Nov. 12th: Halfway there...
... and the damned jester still hasn't really started his journey.
Damn it, I just realized I forgot to have something happen at the end of today's writing. Oh well, I'll have to work it in tomorrow. If I can find time and space to write tomorrow.
Aiming for a total of 1,000 words over the next two days while I'm away. Hopefully I can manage at least that much.
Nov. 13th: Actually hit the word target for the day!
Just barely, but I did. Which means I wrote more today than I'd planned to the entire weekend.
Nov. 14th: That's more like it...
Spent the day running errands, then hung out with friends in the evening. Was lucky to get the 859 words in that I did. Was fantastic seeing everyone again though. And still way ahead of the 1,000 words I was expecting for the whole weekend.
Nov. 15th: Smashin' 30k
Got back home later than expected, had trouble getting into writing. Overall I'm very pleased that things didn't get totally derailed this weekend. Aiming to get back up to 2,000 words tomorrow.
Nov. 16th: Now we're getting somewhere
The words flowed today. Hurray for making up for my weekend away with my biggest word count to date!
Nov. 17th: Enter the villain...
At long last, I finally get to write my villain. Though he'll be disappearing again shortly, I'm already looking forward to his return.
The chapter I posted today is actually longer than the word count I indicated in the author's guidance, since I went past midnight to end it at a good point. Plus, this way when I start writing tomorrow I'll have a head start on reaching my target for the day.
Nov. 18th: Jerry has left the building!
It's about bloody time.
Nov. 19th: There is snow on the ground outside my window...
And it's making me want to have it snow in the story. But it's a touch too soon. Though I could say the same about the snow outside my window...
I'm quite looking forward to this next phase of the story. I hope I don't have to rush it too much to get the story finished before the end of the month. I really wasn't expecting to take this long to get to this point.
Nov. 20th: Bye bye, 40k...
Twenty days, 40,000 words. Ten days and 10,000 words to go in order to win NaNoWriMo for my second straight year. Easy peasy.
Ending the story in the next ten days, on the other hand, is another matter entirely.
Nov. 21st: I am tired
It was a long day of working on the home renovations and it was a struggle to sit down and write tonight. Thankfully I got on a roll with a totally unplanned tale from Grace and the words piled up.
Tomorrow we get back to Jerry and hopefully I can really push things along, story wise. But now I sleep.
Nov. 22nd: I am still tired
But I'm taking tomorrow off. Renovating, not writing. I plan on doing a whole lot of writing tomorrow.
Not particularly enamored with today's writing, but you're bound to have days like that in NaNoWriMo. So we just leave it for now and move on, knowing there will be time to edit it into shape later.
Nov. 23rd: I am less tired
And I'm five days ahead of schedule. Should hit 50k on Thursday, then I'll have five days to see if I can finish the story before the end of the month. It's possible, but it'll require writing quality to hit rock bottom and for me to really rush things.
Might be worth it, still mulling it over. I guess I'll see where things stand in a few days. But I really don't want to still be writing this come December.
Nov. 24th: Almost there...
Just under 1,000 words to go. Feeling very... unexcited by that at the moment. Probably because I'm more focused on how much story is left to tell.
Nov. 25th: 50k
And the 50,000th word was: home. As decided by my wife, Kat. I got her to choose it last year and decided to make a tradition of it. This time I was around 800 words to go when I asked, so there was much word count checking going on.
Now I have five days to finish the story. Eek.
Nov. 26th: Onwards we go...
I enjoyed writing today without having to even think about my word count. Now it's just about getting the story done.
I didn't realize it until just now, but it was rather appropriate that I was listening to Resolve by the Foo Fighters on repeat while doing my writing tonight.
Nov. 27th: Oh motivation, where have you gone?
So in realizing that I'm not going to finish the story before the end of the month, I seem to have given myself permission to not even try. This... could be trouble.
I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. But today... I just could not get the wheels in motion. I think I had 100 words written as of 11pm. I think it was at least partially to do with not being into the scene I was writing. We'll see.
Nov. 28th: Oh, that makes sense... let's do that
It came to me out of the blue today that I needed to split the Gypsies up, since there were way too many people around and even I was having trouble keeping track of them all. As soon as I decided the what, the how came to me and I was up and running again.
Two days left to write as much of the story as I can. I'm up for the challenge.
On the 28th last year I finished Lessons In The Dust. Looks like I'm going right to the end this year.
Nov. 29th: Officially a winner!
I validated my novel tonight, to make sure I didn't forget to do it tomorrow and miss out on the awesomeness that is: a) officially winning, b) free proof copy of my book, once I get it, you know, finished.
One more day of writing and then... a break. To work on other things for a while. But I will come back to this. I'm not setting any timeline to do so, I'll just start writing it again when I can.
The goal for tomorrow? To hit 60,000 words for the month. Wish me luck.
Nov. 30th: 30 days, over 60,000 words...
And the damn story still isn't finished. But I am pleased to have averaged more than 2,000 words a day this month. And I am looking forward to getting back to this and wrapping it up.
I'll be back with some post NaNo thoughts in a day or two. But for now... I rest.