Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update

To stay on track with my goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by the end of November, I should be at approximately 25,000 words by the end of today. Wow, that is a lot of words! Let's see how I am doing. Drum roll, please....

As of this morning, I am at 18,914 words.

That is 6,000 words short - a lot of words to write in one day to get to 25,000. Probably not going to make it by the end of today. But here are my thoughts so far about this endeavor.

1) I don't think I have ever written this many words in one creative project before. One unit of curriculum has four or five lessons in it. A four-lesson unit I wrote for 2007 came to almost 11,000 words. Maybe a policy manual that I wrote in my last full time job might have come close, but I don't think so. And 18,000 words of fiction? I am feeling pretty empowered by the effort and my progress so far.

2) I saw an email about a short story contest this week, and for the first time ever, I didn't delete it outright. Why? Because I am actually writing a story. It is no where near ready for submission, but I am 18,000+ words closer than I was 2 weeks ago.

3) The idea of NaNoWriMo is to just write. To save editing and revising and research for December. Even if I have to write three pages describing the room the character is in - or make things up about something I need to research later, just to keep the pen (yes, pen - but that is a topic for another blog entry) moving while my brain catches up is okay, even though I know those pages will never survive a round of editing. I write things and think, "That's lame" or "This is so dull, no publisher would ever want to publish this." But those things aren't the point. The point is the word count. The point is setting a goal and finishing it. The point is to just write and write and write.

And that's what I am doing.


  1. Keep up the good work! I know you can do it.

  2. Thanks for the great ideas for those moments when I don't know what to write. I have a lot of those moments where I sit there staring at the page thinking "okay, what should my character do now." Great idea to just describe something. It may get cut later but who cares. Keep it moving -that's my new motto - it has to be because I'm way behind.

  3. Thanks, Karen. They aren't original ideas (although I can't remember where I read them), but they are working for me now and then. I still hit a major block last week and had no idea where to go next. I had printed off this thing on the "snowflake method" that I found online and spent some time on that, just writing a one sentence description of my story and then a paragraph that just detailed the conflicts or turning points or something, and that seemed to help. It wasn't a major investment of time or even an outline, but that little bit gave me the direction I needed. There was more to the exercise than I had time for, but I think, since it worked well, that I will use it again when I have a project that isn't on quite so tight a deadline! Happy Writing!