The last time I blogged, NaNoWriMo was nearly here. We are now thirteen days in and the writing is going well. My usual goal is 2000-2500 words a day, so NaNo’s goal of 1667 words a day is easily achieveable.
On a good day. This is November, so of course, there are distractions, storms, and doctor appointments. To say nothing of Thanksgiving and the need to do Christmas baking so it can be sent.
I find this takes ruthless planning. I write from 9 am to 1 pm, go and bake, cook dinner, and come back from 7-10 to get my words in. Most days I can get them in by 1 pm and have the evenings free, but last night it took me ALL DAY to get in 2566 words. it was like pulling teeth. I knew what would happen, was giggling my way through the scene, but what was in my head would not come out on the screen. It was definitely like giving birth: long, slow, and painful.
I liked what I got, though, so I’m happy.
For many writers, NaNoWriMo feels more intense than our normal writing, probably because we who do it have set goals, some like one of my friends, are really high — she wants to write 100K words this month! Wow, you go, girl. I’m enjoying watching her word count mount each day. Another friend successfully finished her 50,000 words in eight days! I am content to do my 50,000 words by the time Thanksgiving gets here, because after that, I have company which is more important than writing. People always are.
Another reason for the intensity is some of us challenge ourselves to see how many words we’re capable of in a month. This is good, I think. I look at NaNo as a marathon. Some people will naturally run from the front of the pack, others in the middle, pacing themselves, and some will fall off the back. The fact that they entered and ran is good, no matter if they finish or not.
I’m a pacer. I hit 22,750 words last night. I’m ahead of the curve by a few hundred words. That’s really all I want. I don’t want to feel too stressed. I need to stay within myself for health and stress reasons, so I’m writing as I normally do: 2000 words every day. Takes all the stress out. The novel I’m writing will be done before I hit the 50K word mark. I’m writing the last “half” for NaNo. If I get done early, I’ll write a series of short stories to add to the word count.
I’m enjoying NaNo this year. As usual, my characters surprise me. I had one throw a twist into the storyline I hadn’t seen coming. Hmm. Not what I thought he was. I was left wondering if there was another twist coming, and there is. I can see it glimmering out at the end. I’m still not sure how it will all fall out, but when it does it will make logical sense to the characters (and I hope, to the readers, too). I don’t plot a great deal in advance, but keep the action that has taken place in mind so I don’t drop something in the future. This novel has a lot of moving parts in a lot of different places. I keep notes of where my characters are at different parts of the novel and then pick them up when I need them. I need them all together at the end, so I’m having to plot this a bit more carefully but still give them room to move.
We have a huge storm blowing through right now, high winds, lots of rain and 27′ beach surf. Dangerous conditions outside, but just perfect for staying in with a cup of tea or coffee and writing my next 2000 words. I’ll see you all again soon.