NaNoWriMo (Day 30)

I did it, people.  Believe it or not, we made it through, and with 34 minutes to spare.

For those of you tracking my NaNoWriMo progress, you’ll know this has been an interesting month.  I started out great, never missing a day.  By day 18 I had written just shy of 48,000 words, maintaining an average of almost 3,000 words a day, almost double the 1,667 required to complete the 50,000 words in 30 days.  I was on track to hit closer to 90,000 words during the month of November.  And thank goodness I was so far ahead.  Enter Thanksgiving week.

My family and I travelled to Washington to spend the week with my parents and sisters.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach, apparently, considering I had a goal to continue to write every single night during the trip.  In fact, I didn’t write a single night, or even a single word during that vacation.  Then, when I got back, I was sick and had a hard time getting back on the stick.  I knew I was close, and I wasn’t sweating it, but every day that went by without writing, my enormous lead shrank and dwindled until I reached today.

It’s kind of funny because when I didn’t write last night and committed to finish tonight, on the last possible night, I actually had the thought, what if you’re sick tomorrow.  LOL.  How right I was.  I got done with work today and had the worst headache I’ve had in long time.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even eat my dinner and had to go lay down.  As I lay there in my bed staring at the ceiling at the red projection clock, I watched the time growing closer and closer to my deadline.  7:30.  7:45.  8:00.  8:15.  Finally I had enough.  Even though my head was still pounding as it had been for the previous several hours, I forced myself into my office to start writing.  There was no way in the world I was going to NOT win NaNoWriMo.  So I started writing.  An hour and a half and 2228 words later, I passed the 50,000 word goal, ending with 50,122 words.  I stopped, validated my word count through www.nanowrimo.org and got my winner’s certificate (see below).

I can’t tell you the sense of accomplishment this gives me.  I’ve never, ever written so much in such a short amount of time.  Not only did I write 50,000 words during november, but I did it in 19 days.  I had 11 straight days with zero word count.  I’ve gotten into my story in a way I never thought possible.  I am well on the way to finishing it, and even though I’m not as close as I wanted to be, the end is in sight.  I will definitely finish this book!!!

I think I probably have another 35-50000 words left in the story to finish the first draft.  My goal is to finish that by the end of December.  If I can finish the first draft by the end of the year, I can spend January and February doing a series of edits and rewrites, getting the manuscript into a form ready for submission to publishers.  The thought is intoxicating….

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who tried (whether you won or not) NaNoWriMo.  What a cool experience.

 

 

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NaNoWriMo (day 11)

Goal:     1667

Written: 5465

Total NaNoWriMo words:  32720

 

Unbelievable day.  I hit my highest word count to date writing 5465 words.  I got into the groove this evening and just did not stop.  The material flowed well.  A couple big events happened, and some unanticipated scenes popped up.  I’ve been looking forward for a long time to get my party into the forest.  They have to travel through this very old, dangerous forest.  I’ve been looking forward to this part from the beginning of my story.

For the last three days I’ve been trying to get them into it, but things keep cropping up.  In fact, so determined was I when I finished last night that I left a cliffhanger line for today about them stopping just shy of the wall of trees.

Then, unbeknownst to me, something came up that had to be dealt with right then.  A small but semi important reveal occurred, an unexpected creature, and an unanticipated visit from a magical assassin.  Needless to say, 5465 words later and they’re still camped just outside the wall of trees.

I mean, c’mon.  What do I have to do to get them into the forest?  Tomorrow FOR SURE.

That’s the best part about being a discovery writer.  I would still very much like to learn how to outline a novel.  But, having never seen a full novel outlined, it’s hard for me to imagine the scope of it in any practical sense.  So, I’ll just keep doing what I do, and it seems to be working.

The best part is that I think I’ve finally figured out how this book is going to end.  I’ve been wondering that since day one.  And, honest for true, I haven’t known.  I’ve mulled over several possibilities, none of which fit.  But, I think I finally see where the story is going.  From here, I could pretty much map out the rest of the book.  I’m at 77224 total words.  I was shooting for 125,000 words.  I’m afraid, and my alpha readers are telling me, there’s no way I’m finishing shy of 150,000.  We’ll just have to see.  I hope that’s not the case, but what are you gonna do?

Well, I better jet.  I still have writing group stuff to look at, and a little tv to watch to wind down for the night.

More to come soon.

Also, thank you to my newest followers.  I appreciate your support.  Tell your friends.  Come back often.

NaNoWriMo (day 6)

Goal:  1667

Written: 4383

 

Just a quick update today.  I wasn’t feeling very good this evening and had a major headache about 6:00 or so.  I took some Tylenol and tried to take a nap to sleep it off.  Didn’t work.

I actually considered not writing at all tonight because I just wasn’t feeling well.  But, finally about 9:00 or so, I started feeling better and by 10 it was gone.  So, I sat down at my computer and forced myself to write even though i wanted to go to bed.  I’ve never been under such a tight goal or deadline before with my writing.  This has actually been a really good experience for me.

Anyway, I was already having a hard time from the night before because I was coming into a scene that I wasn’t sure how to write, and I was dreading it.  But, when I sat down, it just started flowing.  Before I knew it I had written through the part I thought would be hard and had gone much, much further.  A new piece of information revealed itself that I wasn’t expecting in the story which was fun.  By the time I was done I had written 4383 words.  I would have kept going but I have to be up early tomorrow.  So, I found a breaking point and stopped.  Tomorrow brings a really cool action/magic scene that I’ve been looking forward to for several days now.  Should make for some fun, but challenging writing.

Even with a meager 738 days on day one, I’ve now raised my 6 day average to 2588 words.  As long as I stay above 2500, I’ll make my 75,000 word goal.  AMAZING!!!