One Last NaNoWriMo Check-In

The month is almost over, and I have to say I’m glad it is. Unlike last year, I’m not dreading it, and I am ready to celebrate! 😉

This year I started NaNoWriMo late. I didn’t write anything until November 5, but ever since then I have managed to write every day. And not only that, I wrote at least the minimum of 1667 words on all of the days except for two (in which case I still wrote over 1000 words). My daily average so far is 2315 words every day. And you know what that means? This year not only am I on track, I’m ahead! 🙂

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I figured in my first official Nano post this year that I would be caught up by November 15. But I was wrong… I caught up on my word count by November 14! By November 20 I had gained so much momentum (in my word count) that I was now more than one day ahead. As in I could write nothing the next day and still be ahead of schedule! The next day instead of slacking I wrote a lot more and now I’m three days ahead, pushing four. I hope to finish NaNoWriMo before Thanksgiving, because I have some food to cook, and other things I have been neglecting this month to make time for NaNoWriMo.

This year I was really determined to not just write what I needed to write to “succeed” in terms of word count, but to write something I could use and revise later. I was worried after last year that I would write a bunch of crap I hated, and would want to just start over instead of revise and/or rewrite.

It doesn’t help that I am a wordy writer, and it is something I have been actively working on, but during NaNoWriMo that wordy writer comes out. Any other time I would go back while working on a first draft, and I would correct it. But during NaNoWriMo I tell that part of myself to shut up. Even worse I encourage it, since I am so focused on that 50,000 word goal and every little bit helps…

It makes me feel dirty, because I feel like I’ve come a long way as a writer in the last year, and I know better. And here I am devolving for a month just to get by and get done.

This year I felt a lot more ready for my novel because it was a subject I am well versed in, have done hours upon hours of research on, etc. Last year I wrote about something I thought was cool, but didn’t know much about. Unfortunately, last year I also had a synopsis of the novel I was writing and an outline beginning to end. With this year’s book I do not. It is meant to be part of a series and I have major moments within the series mapped out, but each big moment usually occurs in its own book. So I am trying to figure out the individual story for the first book beyond introductions and that major moment. And I’ve discovered that working without an outline is hard!

At first I was writing a lot, and I found the quality acceptable, but by the time I caught up to my word count, I was running out of story. The next two days I faltered. I turned out the word count, but it was crap. And not just “I’m being too hard on myself” crap. Like actual crap. And I knew it. And I knew I had to make a change.

I decided to switch gears and write a supporting book, a prequel if you will, within the series. It isn’t the book I would put out first, it would be book 3 or 4, but it is the one I am much more inspired to write. I know the scenes, and I know the story and as a prequel or origin story it is such a wonderful tool to feel out my supporting characters that much more. (Because my main character – yeah, I already know her better than I know myself.)

I don’t think of it as cheating since it is the same characters within the same larger storyline and crucial to the first book. I know some people are working on multiple projects and counting any new, quality prose towards their overall word count. So I think switching books within a series is totally OK!

It’s November 23, and I currently have 44000 words, and the day is not even over! Only 6000 words to go – that’s less than 1000 words per day. Unlike last year, I’m feeling good. I’m feeling the pressure to finish, but not the “OMG, what am I going to do – can I finish!” pressure that was all I felt last year, all month long. (I seriously had to write more than 3000 words every day for the last ten days, last year. It sucked.)

NaNoWriMo, every year I learn from you. And maybe next year I’ll finally hit my perfect rhythm and be able to churn out the word count without falling into any bad habits AND be happy with what I’m writing. (And stick to a single book!) 🙂

-DMW

How about any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are you doing?

My 2015 NaNoWriMo Journey So Far:

My 2014 NaNoWriMo Journey:

 

 

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