Official NaNoWriMo 2007 ParticipantDecided that with everything else that’s going on, I don’t have time for the added stress of Nanowrimo right now. Last night I didn’t even mess with the Flash-related projects that have been looming (way behind on current stuff for my site, and I’m contributing an article to the TwoMorrows Flash Companion book). All I did was catch up on comics & blogs and watch Heroes. It was amazingly relaxing.

Ah, well. I know I can do it, since I finished last year. And I’ll probably write some more on this story, in which case I’ll keep updating my profile. But I’m not going to worry about writing 1,700 words a day, or finishing 50,000 words this month.

I won’t have a new novel at the end of the month, but I’ll be a lot less stressed out dealing with everything else.

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 ParticipantWell, days 2–3 of Nanowrimo haven’t gone quite as well as day 1. Thursday night I found myself stuck, unable to get past about a paragraph for hours. I was convinced that what I had wasn’t really a story, wasn’t interesting, that all I had was a weird concept and a bunch of people who would be doing research for 50,000 words. Finally I decided to just pick up another section of the story. That got me through 3,401, putting me just over the baseline goal, but not until 1AM.

Then on Day 3 I tried to do some Flash updates before picking up the novel. I needed to look up a URL, and got distracted by the TV Tropes Wiki. It’s just as insidious as Wikipedia, and I lost several hours just reading through it. In the end, I only got one of the two Flash updates I’d wanted to post, and with dinner and grocery shopping, I didn’t get started writing until around 9:30.

Because Nanowrimo measures your daily progress by the time you update your word count, it’s possible to write several thousand words in a day but have it show as nothing because you managed to post it after midnight. I actually got bitten by that once last year, so I make an effort to update whenever I finish a session, and several times in an evening. Unfortunately, the site was down yesterday evening. I kept checking, and was lucky that it came back up around 11:30, at which point I kept updating every 10 minutes as I got closer and closer to 5,000. I finally hit it just at midnight, so depending on how closely their clock matches mine, I may have been officially back on track for day 3.

Word count: 5009

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 ParticipantI actually managed to get started on time for National Novel Writing Month this time instead of forgetting until day two. I’ve set myself a goal of 1700 words per day, just slightly more than the 1,667 needed to reach 50,000 by the end of the month. This way I’ll build up a bank of extra words so that if I have a bad day, it won’t throw me totally off.

I managed to put together 1,859 words on day one, so I’m actually ahead of schedule!

I’m going to have to start writing earlier in the evening, though, so I don’t end up staying up until midnight every day.

Word Count: 1859

After completing last year’s Nanowrimo* challenge (National Novel Writing Month: write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November), I figured I’d wait a month or two, then start revising my story into shape so I could at least show it to Katie to beta. Then, 11 months later, I’d come back for another round.

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 ParticipantI never got around to making more than a few minor changes in last year’s novel, so as November approached, I began thinking: do I really want to do this again? I’ve proven to myself that I can, but I haven’t done anything with last year’s, and I’m going to be busy enough without trying to write 1,667 words a day. So I decided to skip it, but take the time I would have spent writing and use it to revise last year’s.

Then I stumbled across something that reminded me of an idea I had several years ago. I started thinking about it, and while I’m not sure the concept can fill a 50K story, I’m going to give it a shot. Heck, I’m already ahead of where I was last year, when I started 2 days in with no idea what I was going to write.

I guess I’ll have to make an effort to finish a bunch of things before the end of October, since I’m not going to have much free time next month.

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 WinnerYou may have noticed the National Novel Writing Month banner in the sidebar this month. I’ve been participating in it, starting from literally no idea what the heck I was going to write on November 2 and working towards 50,000 words by the end of the month.

It turned into a fantasy novel with elements of time travel, though over time I moved away from the initial experiments in non-linear storytelling.

This past Sunday afternoon, I finished the story at about 47,000 words. So I’ve been going back, looking at areas that needed more development (and there were some significant character changes that I had glossed over initially) to fill in the remaining 3K.

About 15 minutes before tonight’s Veronica Mars, I finished a scene and checked my word count. It was 50,145. On Sunday, I had compared the OpenOffice and NaNoWriMo word counters and calculated the difference at 50K would be 144 words. I figured, what the heck. I saved it to a text file, scrambled the letters as directed, and uploaded it.

50,000 exactly. I have officially completed National Novel Writing Month.

I have no illusions as to the quality of those 50,000 words. But it’s only a first draft. I’ve never written a first draft of a novel before, so that’s pretty cool!

The main things I’ve learned are:

  1. I actually can sit down with no idea of what I’m going to write and come up with characters and a story.
  2. Discussing writing issues with another writer, even in vague terms, can help solve problems and crystallize ideas.
  3. When I really get going, I can write about 800 words an hour (at least on the computer).
  4. I can actually sustain a story over ~110 pages.
  5. I need to do a lot more research on medieval Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and snow.
  6. Writing follows a bell curve: it’s hard to come up with ideas when you’re starting out, gets easier in the middle as you start running with things, and when you get near the end, it’s hard to pull everything together and wrap it up. (added)

Next step: sleep. After that, start revising, and figure out how soon I’m willing to let beta readers see it.

I’ve been making regular posts on the Nano writing process over in my LiveJournal, if anyone’s interested. (And if no-one’s interested, they’re still there.)