Belated NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

The past week flew by and I somehow missed the end of the month. I was so motivated, I kept writing during Thanksgiving break. I really wasn’t expecting that and had planned on just taking the time off. It turned out that I really didn’t want to. While there was a lot of family to catch up with, there were some quiet times too, so I just kept my laptop close and wrote a chapter or so a day.

I was on track to hit 75K by midnight on the 30th, but on that very day, I found out that my brother had HBO and that I could watch Season 4 of Game of Thrones. I wrote a bit that day, but started watching TV around 3 PM and didn’t finish until around 3 am, including a few breaks. My head was spinning, but at least now I don’t have to wait until February/March. (Though I’ll still be anxious to have the DVDs.)

My final count for NaNoWriMo was just over 72K, which is still pretty respectable. Even better, I show no signs of slowing down. I don’t know if I’ll finish a first draft of Book 2 this month, but I think I’ll come close. I just passed the 1/4 mark (or so) tonight, so I’m very nearly on track. The middle is going to be very loooong and complicated, so I’m hoping I don’t get bogged down there. So far, I’m having a lot more fun with this one. Maybe it’s because it’s the second in a series so I can plunge right into the story without spending a lot of time introducing characters, establishing the setting, and so on. Or maybe it’s because I’m actually getting better at writing a novel. I sure learned a lot through trial and error on the first one. In any event, I feel like this book is going to be great and very exciting.

NaNoWriMo Update: I Finished My Book!!!!

nanowrimoI’m still pinching myself- though not literally, because that would hurt. It’s a grand total of 162,563 words. Right now, I have no idea how many will go or stay, or if there might be more. *gulp* I’ve decided to put it away for a few weeks before I look at it again, in hopes of gaining at least a tiny bit of objectivity. In the meantime, I’ll get started on the first draft of book two. I have most of the important scenes planned, and I’m just going to dive in. Right now, my NaNoWriMo word count is at 66,219, so I’ll see if I can get to 75K or beyond. I feel like I’ve got momentum right now, so I’ll try to capitalize on that.

The last few weeks have been amazing. If I ever had any doubts about this being the right thing for me, they are gone. Writing the last quarter of the book was exhilarating, sometimes terrifying, and overall, very emotional. I cried while writing a fair number of scenes. I cried while thinking about them. I didn’t really talk about them, because that would have made me cry, too. And yesterday, when I had written all but the epilogue, I was in a real state. I didn’t want it to be over. Oh, I know I still have a lot of work to do, but for the first time in my life, I could type “The End,” and feel like I had a complete story I could be proud of.

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NaNoWriMo Update: 50,000 . . . and Beyond!

Inanowrimo‘m still on a roll! And I even got sick in between. I missed two days of writing due to flu-like crud that I always seem to get in November, but once I recovered, I was back at it. My word count after the chapter I wrote tonight is 50,553 and I have nine chapters left to write. These are the most fun, since I’ve been mulling these over since I first conceived this plot at the beginning of the year. I feel like all of the crap I went through to get to these scenes is worth it now, because they’re such a joy to write. One of them is a love scene, which makes me nervous, but I’m sure I’ll get through it without traumatizing my characters too much. I might need therapy afterwards, though.

So, even if I write at the measly pace of one chapter a day, I should still finish right around Thanksgiving. I’ll probably make sure I do, just for my peace of mind. Then, my plan is to put this monster away for a few weeks- maybe until the first of the year. During that time, I’ll see if I can get Book Two started. I’m already outlining it and it’s going to be a monster, too. I can already see I will need to add at least two new POV characters to my existing four- possibly even a third.

So, barring any major disasters, I should be on the home stretch a week from now. I’m seeing some impressive numbers from others on WordPress and on Twitter. How is your month going?

NaNoWriMo Check-in

nanowrimoI think I was going to do this weekly, but ten days have already gone by. It’s been going well! I just passed 34K and hit the 75 percent point in my book. I have never made it that far before. I’ve written some of the later scenes out of order, but some of that was simply avoiding scenes that were uncomfortable for me to write. By forcing myself to do it in linear progression until I am done, I got through the hard parts, which surprisingly, is making the rest easier, so far.

I had a few slow days last week when I wrote less than 2,000 words. We were in a hotel while the truck was in the shop and I thought I’d have all kinds of time to write. I did, but I also had distractions, like restless cats, Animal Planet, and a gazillion loads of laundry to do. Now that I’m back in the truck, things are going much more smoothly.

Right now I feel very energized and told hubby: “I will finish this in a week!” That might be a bit optimistic, but I think it might be possible to finish in 2 weeks, or at least by Thanksgiving. I know my final word count will be over 50K, I just don’t know by how much. I’ve made an effort to plan my scenes more carefully right before writing them, and most of them end up shorter than is normal for me. I think that’s because I need fewer words to get going. Because I have a plan, I dive right in.

I’ll update again within a week and we’ll see if the roll I’m on continues.

New and Improved NaNoWriMo Plans!

Obviously, I couldn’t go more than a few days without making at least some slight changes to my plans. That just wouldn’t match my new flibberty-gibberty internet persona. The other morning, I was sitting in a loading dock in Chicago (well, the truck was in dock, and I was in the truck), just writing away, when I realized I really didn’t know how much book I have left to write. At some point, “a lot” just wasn’t a satisfying answer.

Fortunately, I’m all organized and stuff, so I pulled up Scrivener and counted the scenes I still had marked “to do.” Then I multiplied that by 1500 because that seems to be a rough average length for my scenes. Then I had a brief heart attack. According to this calculation, I still had 95,000 words left to write. OMGWTFHELPPPP!!

My usual writing space, complete with kitty paws
My usual writing space, complete with kitty paws

And here I’d been so worried that I’d run out of book to write in the middle of November. Ha! When I finally stopped hyperventilating, I calculated some more. (former banker here, sorry). At the time, there were 37 days left to the end of November, which meant I had to write a mere 2600 words a day to finish by then. That’s really not so bad. I’ve already been working on getting in the habit of writing 2000 words daily, and it’s been going pretty well so far. What’s a measly 600 words more?

So far, it hasn’t been too bad. On the day that I figured all of this out, I had several huge bursts of energy and ended up writing in the neighborhood of 5000 words before finally collapsing. I think it helped that the weather was simply gorgeous and I got a few chances to get out of the truck and skip through the leaves on the south side of Chicago. This is my favorite time of year. I think it energizes me. Everything is coming together right now. Characters are being cooperative, though Kendryk has been picking fights, which is so not like him, but hey, fights add to the word count, so why not? If he wants more conflict in his life, who am I to deprive him?

So anyway, all of this leads me, in typically roundabout fashion, to the realization that I can easily set a goal of 75K for NaNoWriMo, and maybe even reach it, while at the same time getting to the very end of this monstrous tome. Wouldn’t that be something? My only concern is Thanksgiving. In previous years, I’ve only succeeded because I managed to get to 50k right before the big turkey day, and then wrote a few thousand more afterwards. With such a big goal, I probably can’t slack off like that.

We’ll be in Oregon, at my brother’s and the whole clan is coming. This means nine nieces and nephews all at the same time, which is awesome. I’m so looking forward to it. I should still be able to write if I make myself do it by getting up a bit early (ha!), or staying up a bit later (more likely). I think we’ll stay in the truck, which might help, since I’ll have my usual space to write, rather than maneuvering around a spare room.  I can do this! I can!

Nanowrimo Spotlight: Christina Ochs

My NaNoWriMo interview over at the Kelworth Files!

The Kelworth Files

Good evening! It’s spotlight time again, and tonight the spotlight falls on Christina, who is christnick over on the Nanowrimo site, and blogs at The Rolling Writer. Here’s Christina introducing her history with Nano:

This will be my third official Nano and my fourth Nano experience, since I participated in camp in July.

I’d heard about Nano for years, and always had a few friends participate, but I never felt like I had anything ready to work on. In 2012, I got an idea for a romance novel, which was very strange, because that’s probably the one genre I never read. I managed 50k, and had a pretty good time doing it, but realized it was not the right book for me.

I was better prepared in 2013 and did some planning for a series I’ve been thinking about writing for at least a decade. I reached 53k words…

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On the NaNoWriMo Bandwagon- I think.

nanowrimoWith all of the crazy gyrations my book has been through in the past few weeks, having anything ready to write by November just didn’t seem possible. Originally, I was just going to skip it. It would have been a shame, since I did it two years in a row, and then did Camp, but I supposed I’d be neck-deep in editing.

Then, when I temporarily cut the book in half, I thought I could probably be ready to write the second one in the series by November. I would have had to put the first one aside by now and start researching and outlining, but it might have been possible.

Then, I went back to the original length and figured I couldn’t really do NaNo on a WIP. I know I could be a rebel, but I’m not really keen on the idea. But then I heard that they’ve changed the rules and are allowing WIP’s as long as your 50k words are new material. It seems some of the old-timers are highly incensed at this change and there’s a big ongoing fight about it on a forum thread. The naysayers are pretty worried that this is the top of a slippery slope. Next thing you know, you’ll be able to write any old word count! Or dear God, they might allow nonfiction! It’s the beginning of the end.

But hyperbole aside, the fact remains that I’m probably going to do it. It’s such a fantastic, supportive environment I really hate to miss out. As a result of my ongoing reorganization, I have roughly 50-60K words worth of new scenes to write. So all that I need to do to be ready is make sure I’m clear on what new things need to go where. It really doesn’t help that I’ve chopped two POV characters, deleted at least three subplots and completely changed the story of another POV character. At this point, I think I’ve cut as much as I’ve kept.  And now I have the sneaking suspicion that one or both of the removed POVs might have to return. But I’m absolutely not allowing myself to think about that until I’ve completed this draft.

And that’s the main reason I want to do NaNoWriMo. I won’t start at the beginning, but with any kind of luck, I might be able to type “The End” before the end of November. That would be awesome.