NaNoWriMo day #28

What a crazy week it’s been.  I have written 30,000 words in the last 6 days.   Below is a screenshot of my NaNo word tracker.  The tracking graph has just skyrocketed over the last week.  I’ve never written so much material in such a short time in my whole life.

I don’t know about you, but by the time I’ve written 5-6000 words in a sitting, I am exhausted.  I feel like my creative juices have dried up, and I have nothing left.  I only wrote 3300 or so today, but I am tired.  I’ve had a lot of late nights and early mornings this past week.  I have a TON I have to do at work tomorrow.  Plus, I have a meeting tomorrow evening that is going to take me away from writing for a few hours which means I’m going to have to get some of it done during the day.  The only way I’m going to make that happen is if I get an extra early start on my work in the morning so that by early afternoon I can be done to start writing.

I’m not going to lie to you, following through with this challenge this past week has been one of the biggest trials of my self-control and level of commitment ever.  I have wanted to quit SO many times.  Who would know if I fudged the numbers a little, right, as long as I write all the words (even if it’s after 11/30).  But, I just couldn’t let myself.

My family has sacrificed by not having me every night this week.  They are waiting for me to put up Christmas decorations.  My kids are having a hard time understanding why I have to write for several hours EVERY night after being gone all day at work.  But, I made myself a promise, and I’m too close to quit now.

I only have just under 6000 words to go, and 2 days to write it.  I’m gonna make it!!!

The biggest bummer is that i’m not even close to being done.  I thought for sure at the beginning of this month that I would tie up my novel by the time NaNo was over.  Not even close.  By the time I finish I’ll probably have another 25-40,000 words to go, easily.  That’s going to put my finished first draft manuscript at approximately 160,000-175,000 words.  That’s too long for an intro novel, so my rewrite is going to have to include some serious cutting.  I would like to get it down to the 135,000-150,000 range, but we’ll see how that goes.  In two days, my total novel word count will be at 145,000.

NaNoWriMo Day #25

Wow.  Another 5,208 words written today.  I can’t believe how quickly it is coming along now.  In the last three days I’ve written over 17,000 words.  That’s crazy for me to think about.  I hit 31,846 words today.  I should be at 41,666, which puts me just 10,000 words behind schedule.  Because I’ve hit it hard, I only have to write about 3,600 words per day for the next 5 days to make it.  That’s much more manageable than the 4500 or so I had to write when I first got going again.

Even better than seeing I’m closing in on my goal of winning NaNo again this year is seeing my novel progress.  I’ve never generated so much new material in such a short amount of time.  I can’t believe how far my story has come in the past three days.  I’m getting excited because the end is in sight.

Today I had an interesting experience.  All of a sudden I found myself in a situation where I had written myself into a corner.  I had two different story arcs which converged and I realized all of a sudden that the two could not work together.  I tried to think of how I could go back and change either one, but neither could be changed.  I sat staring at my computer for almost an hour trying to figure out how I was going to reconcile these two conflicting fact patterns.  A solution finally presented itself, and I’m very happy with it.  I had to try to be honest and not let it simply be magically fixed.  It required a solution that was real and could fit into the story.  Overall, though, I’m happy with it.  I do think that when I go back through and do my rewrite that I’m going to have to do some tweaks in this regard to make the solution seem less arbitrary, but it’s easily doable.

Anyway, this entry is going to be short tonight.  I’ve got some tired fingers after typing so many words the last few days.  I wanted to throw in a screenshot of my current NaNo progress, but for some reason it’s not letting me upload tonight.  I’ll put one on tomorrow.

More good stuff to come tomorrow!  Thank you to everyone who has been reading and following along.  Your “likes” are encouraging.

I can’t wait for you all to read this someday.

JSE

NaNoWriMo Day #25

I almost gave up today, I’m not going to lie to you.  We didn’t have any plans today, so I thought I would get an early start (and by early I mean starting around 6 or 7  instead of 10:00 like I normally do).  Every word seemed to drag out.  I would type and type and type and then lose heart when I saw I had only typed 300 or so words.  Not that 300 is a bad little chunk, but when you have a daily writing goal of 5,000 to catch up, it’s just not even enough to put a dent in it.

The first couple hours seemed to just trudge by.  I took several breaks.  Watched a little tv with my family.  I felt like I had to fight for each and every word.  Finally I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And then the material started flowing.  I didn’t even realize it, but part of the problem was that I was just writing a difficult scene that I wasn’t sure how to play out.  I finally hit the 5,000 mark, and then didn’t want to stop, writing another 1,085 words before finally quitting with 6,085 words on the day.  That’s two days in a row in excess of 6,000 words.  That’s without a doubt a record for me.

I crossed the 50% threshold tonight, ending up at 53% of the NaNoWriMo goal for the month.  As of right now I have a total of 26,638 words written.  The target goal for today is at 40,000 words.  So, I’m just over 13,000 behind.  With 23,000 and some change and only 6 days left to go, that leaves me at just under 4,000 words a day I need to be writing.  3,894 to be exact.  I”m hopeful I can make another good dent in it tomorrow since it’s my last weekend day before  the end of the month (NaNo ends on Friday of this coming week).  Thankfully I have a pretty relaxing week as far as evening commitments go, but I don’t want to leave anything to chance.  I WILL win this!

NaNoWriMo Day #23

This post is probably more appropriately titled: SEPARATING THE MEN FROM THE BOYS

NaNoWriMo started off so well for me.  Even though I was fighting a nasty cold, I jumped right in with both feet.  I wrote 1800+ words the first day, and then 2500 the next.  The following few days brought even more, with 4337 one day and 2726 the next.  I was building a nice cushion for myself-a buffer, if you will.  I really wanted to make that as big as possible because I learned last year that I need it.  I lost my steam for a bit at the end of last year’s WriMo, and I wouldn’t have won had it not been for the buffer.

But then I got sicker.  My cold that I thought was going away got worse.  After fighting it for a couple of weeks, it got really bad.  One night late, I was so sick that I almost went in to the urgent care.  By that point, I had already missed a couple of days.  No big deal, right?  I can make that up.  I’m a fast writer.  Well, the following day (Monday), I finally went in to the Dr. because I could tell things weren’t right.  I may have the lungs of a racehorse and the heart of a champion, but that only gets you so far.  The Dr. told me I had bronchitis and the early stages of pneumonia.

I was absolutely wiped.  He gave me some antibiotics and steroids.  After a couple of days I started feeling better, but still really tired.  Over time, I got back to normal and had the strength and will to start writing again.  The first few days back I was SO buried with work after being out so much, that I was exhausted at the end of the day and just couldn’t bring myself to write.

That’s ok, I kept telling myself.  I’ll pull out of the hole.  I can do it.  It’s Thanksgiving.  I have the whole week calendared out.  I’ll make it up.  Well, those plans didn’t work out so well either.  After having missed so much work, I ended up putting in overly full days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  No writing those days either.  Just too tired.  Yesterday was thanksgiving, and it just didn’t work out, despite my best intentions.

So today my wife said she wanted to go over to her family’s again.  Her sisters (that we don’t see very often) are all down from college with their husbands.  “Perhaps I’ll just stay home and write,” I said, excited at the prospect.  “If you really need to,” she replied (queue puppy dog eyes).  You think that stuff works on me?  I’m a man.  This is my castle.  I rule this roost.  So, I did what any self-respecting man would do.  I jumped in the car and went to her parents, grabbing my netbook as I walked out the door.  I’ll write when we get there, I thought, even though I knew it wouldn’t actually happen.

We spent the first several hours hanging around and visiting.  Then all the girls decided to go to the store.  I was sitting on the recliner, feet up, and popped open my netbook.  I was tired.  I thought about closing it and having a nap.  In fact, I REALLY wanted a nap.  I’ll just wait till tomorrow to write, I thought.  Imagine my sheer horror when I looked at my NaNo site and realized that in order to win I have to write 4,400 words per day for the next 8 days.

NO!  I knew that if I waited one single more day, that the hole would be too great to climb out of.  I had crazy thoughts of just giving up on NaNo this month.  I thought maybe I would just fudge it a little–write solid until the end of the month at a regular pace and then just fudge the numbers, promising to make up those words the first few days of December.  These were all thoughts I had, and all of them were attractive.  But I didn’t give in.  I had made myself a promise at the beginning of this month that I would win.  AND WIN I WILL!!!

So, I got ready to type.  4400 words is not impossible for me.  I’ve done that a few times, though I normally hover in the 2500 word range for a good evening of writing.  Keep in mind, I’m not a full-time writer.  I’m a full-time attorney with a wife and 4 kids and a house and honey-do’s and all other manner of time sinks.  The thought of 4400 words a day for the next 8 days seemed impossible.  But, as I said, I am winning this thing.

Before I knew it, I had passed 2500 words.  Normally I would be happy to stop there, but not today.  My wife got back from the store about then.  We ate dinner and decided to leave.  I had to keep writing.  I convinced her that she needed to drive the hour back home, even though she hates driving.  My kids all fell asleep in the back of the car, and I typed like a mad man all the way home.  Boom, another 1900 words, and I hit word 4500 as we turned into our subdivision.

After a few minutes of relaxation, we sent the kids upstairs, and I jumped back on the computer again.  It’s now 12:00 a.m., and I am spent, but not without another 1600 words, bringing the grand total today to 6,100.  That’s the most words I’ve ever written in a day.  And, better yet, I wrote so much extra, that my daily required word count to meet my goal is now only 3,681.  That’s a little more manageable.

I don’t have any plans for tomorrow, and my goal is to have another monster day of writing.  If I can get close to what I did today, that will make a huge dent in my current deficit.

You can see in the image below my flat line beginning on day 8.  I had 14 consecutive days with no writing.  That’s half the month.  Essentially, I have to write 50,000 words in 16 days this time.

Child’s play!

 

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!!!

NaNoWriMo (day 4)

Just a quick update.

The story is flowing along nicely.  I’ve had such a lag in time since I was last writing heavily that I’ve forgotten too many of the details.  I’m now over the 50,000 word mark for the story, and so I can’t remember a lot of things.  I’m putting it onto my iPad as we speak so that I can spend some time tonight and tomorrow rereading so I can get back up to speed on the nitty-gritty.

As I mentioned yesterday, the goal for NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words in the month, or 1,667 words a day.  Other than the very first day, I have written 2500 or more words every day.  I’ve made this my new goal instead of the 1667.  If I keep that pace up, I’ll have written 75000 words before the month is up.  Nothing to shake a stick at.  That will put me at almost 125k on the whole, and I think that from there I should be able to easily push towards the finish around the 150k word mark.  Very excited at the thought of actually getting the first draft wrapped up.  This project has been a dream of mine for a VERY long time.

For today, I wrote 2,550 words for a grand total in 4 days of 8,359 words.  It’s amazing to think about.

I’ve found myself in a few writing situations where I just wasn’t sure the best way to actually put a description down or handle a dialogue, so I’ve had to do a little research reading (poor me, right?).  WRONG.  Not when the research reading is The Way of Kings, Book One of The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson.  If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out.  You can read sample chapters here.  It’s amazing what a truly gifted storyteller like him can do.

I realize I’m going to have a ridiculous rewrite/edit ahead of me.  But, I’m taking everyone’s advice and NOT going back right now in the middle to do that.  I’m going to power through and finish my first draft and THEN work on a rewrite.  The thought of actually finishing this and getting it submitted for publication is exciting beyond measure!