There’s only six more days before November 1st and the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m beyond excited at this point. November is my favorite month of the year because of all the fun I have during the yearly writing challenge.
So I may have a slightly skewed perspective on this since I’m a Municipal Liaison (ML) for my local National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) region, but is there such a thing as it being too early to prep for the upcoming NaNoWriMo challenge?
Let me give you a little perspective. NaNoWriMo HQ usually starts the NaNo prep emails to participants (WriMos) sometimes in mid-September. NaNo HQ themselves start prepping for November 2018 before November 2017 is actually over. It’s fairly common for MLs to start prepping for November in June or July. My two coMLs and I started prepping for November 2018 in December of 2017 and finalized our major dates in May 2018.
Just as a writer, I have a bit of a local reputation for not planning. It’s completely unsurprising to my WriMos now when I tell them on October 27th that I don’t know yet what I’m writing for that November. The actual story idea may not solidify until October 31, or even November 1. But the scheduling, the funds saving, and the gearing up are definitely happening far in advance. Before I was an ML, I still liked to host write-ins and I loved to attend write-ins, so I saved money all year so I’d have the funds to eat a snack or meal at each and every write-in I attended in November.
The second book in my Swords & Shields series has been in the works since before the first book, Strong Fort Spathí, was released. It’s been a long process getting the draft to the point it is now, and it still needs some major work, so that’s my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo 2018.
My initial idea was to try to get through one revision pass in April, but as I look through everything that needs to get done, I think that’s a little ambitious. So I’m going to aim to get half done in April. If I’m productive through May and June, maybe I’ll be done by July’s Camp NaNo Session. If not, then I’ll finish it in July.
To give you an idea of what I’ll be working on without any spoilers for future readers, I’m going to talk about the revision process so far, and some of the pitfalls I run into because I’m a pantser (as opposed to a plotter who goes into a draft with a plot already outlined).
For anyone who’s been on my blog across a November, April, or July, you’ve probably heard me talk about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) before. This paragraph will be to catch up anyone new to the concept. NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge that occurs every November. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word novel from scratch in the 30 days of November. Whether someone makes it to that word count or not, it’s a month full of crazy inspiration, challenge, and an amazing community. Camp NaNoWriMo is a similar challenge held in April and July where participants can select their own goal (words, pages, lines, hours, or minutes are options this year). This gives participants the versatility to say they want to do 500 lines of poetry, a 100-page script, or a 120-minute screenplay.
So, NaNoWriMo is officially over. For about ten hours as of this posting. It’s been an amazing, exhausting month. My goal at the beginning was to write more words than my longest NaNo novel, which was 112,958 words. That meant writing 3,766 words a day. Some days I wrote more, some days I wrote less. On Day 29, I ended with 5,809 words left to reach my goal of writing 112,959 words in a single month.
For perspective, that first record was set when I did not have a full-time job. This year I have a full-time job. I have a commute too, but at least it’s on a bus so I can spend most of it typing. I was writing almost up to the wire last night. I crossed the 112,000 mark at about 11:40pm. I have twenty mintues to write 959 words. Doable. I often do 800-900 words in a fifteen-minute sprint. I wasn’t too worried about it.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a week since I last posted here. Let’s start with the high note, which was the NaNoRDU Day of Writing Everywhere (#DOWE). This was an event that involved nine write-ins hosted between 8am and midnight (some of them concurrent), sprints running that entire time in our chatroom, a massively ridiculous (and likely very inefficient) spreadsheet for tracking how much everyone was writing and when, two capes for sprint winners to take pictures with, a lot of really yummy food, and a TON of words getting written.
It’s been a good week. I crossed the 50k mark on November 13, which ties my record for fastest finish from 2012. Though my record high word count was from 2010 and the site doesn’t have my graph, so I can’t be sure it’s a real record. My jury duty got postponed and then canceled, so I didn’t lose valuable writing time to that. And I’m staying at or above my goal of 3,766 words per day on average.
Stats so far:
Highest word count day was yesterday, November 16 with 7,538.
Average words per day is 3,889.
Total word count at the end of November 16 was 62,229.
And I’m looking forward to an amazing weekend full of writing. We do a big all day writing event in my region on one of the middle Saturdays (usually the same weekend as the Night of Writing Dangerously HQ fundraising event). It’s tomorrow this year and it’s going to be a blast. We have write-ins planned all day, a spreadsheet to track competition over sprints and total word count, and great prizes for winners. It’s going to be a long day full of fun, writing, and lots of great food. I’ll be exhausted by the end, but it will have been totally worth it.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, how’s your project going? Are you keeping up with par and/or your personal goals?
So we’re more than a week into this and I’m actually doing pretty well. I haven’t quite been staying on track with my personal NaNoWriMo word count goal of 3,766 a day, but I always write more on weekends, so I expect to have caught up to that before the end of the day Sunday. I’ve been attending and hosting plenty of write-ins and my region’s on-line chat is almost always active, which is awesome.
In NaNoRDU, we have a tradition of posting tweets of the interesting things overheard at write-ins, either said by us or by random strangers. I just wanted to share a couple fun ones we’ve had so far this year. They can be pretty hilarious.
We get up to some fun shenanigans at write-ins, and I’ve been enjoying them so far this year. Looking forward to tonight’s.
So here’s the rundown of my writing stats so far this year.
Most productive day was November 11 with 5,036 words.
Average words per day at the end of November 9 was 3,615.
Total words at end of day on November 9 was 32,543.
Looking good so far this year.
Keep those words coming, all your WriMos out there.
So it’s NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month), so I’ll be focusing on a fiction project this month. I’m writing a story that takes place in the same world as Strong Fort Spathí, but focuses on different characters and locations. This one is set at Black Ashe, the Wiccan University in Fort Madison IA (or at least my fictional version of it).
I’m excited about the characters and the idea and the story. As of going to bed on the second, I have 7,556 words written so far. Blog posts are going to be fairly short this month, and mostly center around my NaNoWriMo project, but I’ll still be posting the traditional 2nd Friday image prompt, and I’ll still post a response to that on the 3rd Friday. (Because words are words, so I get to count my response sprint as NaNoWriMo word count.)
Good luck to anyone else out there doing this crazy challenge. My personal goal is to beat my all time high word count in NaNo, which means writing at least 112,959 words this November, which is 3,766 words a day. I’m on track so far.
Let’s do this!
There are a lot of things in my life that I’m in prep-mode for right now. Halloween is approaching, and if I want to make my own costume I need to get to work sooner than later. NaNoWriMo season starts in October for me, so I definitely need to finish prepping for that since it’s only nine days away. Thanksgiving happens in the middle of NaNoWriMo so I need to have a plan for that well before November 1, and I’m making a lot of my Christmas gifts this year, so it’s time to get cracking.