Elizabeth: NaNo Progress Report – Week 1

National Novel Writing Month kicked off just a week ago and, according to the handy graphic on the NaNo website, writers in nearby San Francisco have already written over 4.5 million words.

Multiply that by all the participating writers in all the participating cities around the world and that’s an amazing amount of writing and an amazing number of stories that didn’t even exist a mere week ago.

I’d love to say that my own NaNo experience was off to a stellar start this year, but that would be an extreme work of fiction, and not the good kind.

In reality, as you might guess from the graphic in this post, my NaNo got off to a rather slow start.  Three days of long hours at the day job coupled with at least one evening when I fell asleep in the midst of dinner made hitting the daily 1,667 word count a dream rather than a reality.

I resisted the urge to skip the whole thing (who wants to write a book anyway?), curl up on the couch, and watch the Hallmark movie channel countdown to Christmas marathon, though I was definitely tempted.

Fortunately Days 4 & 5 fell on a weekend when I had long uninterrupted hours to do nothing but read, surf, write and by the time I called it a night on Sunday, I was only a little over a day’s worth of words behind schedule.  According to the handy-dandy calculator on the NaNo site, at this rate I will finish on December 10, 2017.  I can live with that.

Besides sleeping through some of my scheduled writing times, there have been a few other unexpected challenges this first week, not the least of which is that I’m not actually writing the story I spent the month of October outlining and planning for.  Apparently the Bats in the Belfry (my version of the Girls in the Basement) weren’t interested in what I had planned.  They sent up something different instead, though it took me a day or so to catch on.

I’ll admit, I should have been suspicious when the first thousand or so words turned out to be a prologue, but since the characters in all my stories start out as Michael and Abigail, it took me a bit to realize this was a different Michael and Abigail.  The Bats and I seem to be on the same page now though, which means instead of working on a story that I had a clear plan for, all bets are off and I’ll apparently be pantsing my way through the rest of November.

I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out.

For now, it’s time to get back to my story; I still have a word count to hit.

So, for those of you who are writing along this month, how’s it going?  Have your muses tossed any surprises your way?

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: NaNo Progress Report – Week 1

  1. I’m at just over 10,000 words; had a dinner party last night, so no writing then, and today I’ve just been So Damn Tired. But I think I’ll nap when I get home, and then give it a try — at least try to get 2000 or 2500 words in.

    Most of my words are blah-blah-blah. Before I start a scene, I’ll put stage directions in parentheses — what needs to happen in this scene, what people are wearing, or whatever else I think needs spelled out and TOLD so that I can show it. So . . . maybe 1/3 is “real” writing? But still, if I only count 3000 words as “real” writing, that’s 3000 more words than I had last month!

    I have gotten some rather pleasant surprises! And some nice, bristly conflict going on! Right now, my conflicts are a tight ball of tangled-up rattlesnakes. I hope in the next week to get them separated into two balls of rattlesnakes, and then by week three, bring them back together into a team. (-: And start story #4 during the last week of NaNo.

    Oh, the best-laid plans! (-: Really, pantsing is a lot of fun when it’s okay. So surprising to see what the characters are really up to! You are doing well! NaNo is officially all about the numbers, but honestly, we can subvert NaNo to our own purposes, and come out ahead of the game.

    • Michaeline – I do that “stage direction” bit too, sometimes so I can keep track of what needs to happen and sometimes as a placeholder for a bit I don’t want to write just then but don’t want to forget.

      Congratulations on your 10,000+ words. That’s great, no matter how many of them you wind up keeping.

  2. I’m just a thousand words shy of 15,000 words. I’ve been doing sprints with other writers via FB and that helps immensely. Most of what I’m writing is dialogue. Almost no stage direction or setting or even internalizations, but I’m moving the story forward, almost to the halfway point, which pleases me. I started off the story with words, so I’m at 23K for the whole novel, which is about 20K short of where I should be for the “halfway point” if we’re going strictly by word count, but again, I have left out lots of stage direction and detail that I’ll fill in later.

    Congrats to all of us for any progress that we make in November. It’s moving forward!

    • Justine – that’s great progress. Congratulations! Having the support (and motivation) of other writers can be very helpful.

    • Justine, that’s great! I really like writing with other writers — there’s just a certain buzz in the room when I know we’re both (or all of us) working away at making new words for people to enjoy. (-: And if it’s simul-sprint over the internet, that’s so cool! We are living the future. Congrats on the almost-15,000!

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