NaNoWriMo Update

Nano 2015 certificate

The picture says it all.  Hooray for me!  I honestly thought I was not going to make it to 50,000 words in one month, not my first time trying, not my first novel.  I especially despaired when I was hit by an insane work deadline, that kept me from adding any words at all to the novel for ten days in the middle of the month.  Ouch!  But luckily I got back into the groove after that, and got to 50K with a few days to spare.

One thing I’ve learned by this is that I can totally justify ignoring all those other writers who say that the “only” way a “real writer” writes is to plug away at least one hour every day.  That’s just not how I work.  I’m a surge writer and a surge worker.  I work best when I can spend all day long on one project. As evidence, here’s how my word count worked these past few weeks.  I only wrote for 16 of the last 26 days, so my average per writing day was actually 3,137 words.

nano 50k

I still have several more chapters to add before I’ll have a complete first draft, so I hope to keep making progress on that through Nov 30.  After that, I will need a huge amount of revising to get the old chapters to fit with the new ones, and then to pare it down.  My total estimated word count is going to be somewhere around 150K, which is about 50% larger than I want it to be.  Luckily, having spent all this time doing flash fiction challenges, I now have a lot of experience cutting 50% of my words out and ending up with a better story.  So let’s see how good I am at applying that to my novel now!

Well, not now.  Now I’m going to finish cooking my dish-to-pass and head off to Thanksgiving dinner with some friends.

I’ll be back blogging in a week or two.  In the meantime, keep writing, keep reading, and have a wonderful week!


26 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update

    • Thanks Tiegan! I understand about homework holding you back. I was really concerned about how to combine it with my job, too. But I approached it as a fun priority rather than as a first priority — yes, I wanted to get the 50K words, but not at the expense of damaging my career! But as for inner editor, I found the experience really helped with that. When the purpose is to just write as many words as you can, and you know you can go back and edit them later, it does make it a little easier to just GO. Although it also helped for me that I had been thinking through this novel for a while and had a good idea of the character and the overall plot and outline, so I wasn’t deciding all the basic things. I would definitely recommend that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I won’t have as much weekend as usual — I have some social plans that I’m really looking forward to — so we’ll see. Also, I did a more thorough assessment of what chapters I already have written (for real, not just notes) in the pre-NaNo file. The good news is that my estimated total once I finish the first rough draft isn’t nearly as high as I was thinking — more like 120k rather than 150-160k, so the cutting won’t be as bad as I’d feared. The bad news is that I have many more chapters to write than I realized before I get to that first draft. So it’s pretty unlikely I’ll wrap that up by Monday night. Still, any progress counts as progress!


  1. Pingback: November Madness | The Storyteller's Abode

    • Thanks Sonya! It was such an amazingly useful exercise. I learned so much about my writing style and motivations. And I have almost 60K words more than I had before, hooray!

      And big congrats to you too! Wow, I feel surrounded by so many supportive and enthusiastic writers, this is great! Honestly, I wasn’t stressed about the word count. I loved just about every minute of it — except for the ten days in the middle I had to take off to write that grant proposal. I spent those ten days wondering why it wasn’t as fun or as fast as writing my novel, ha ha. Oh right, because the proposal needed to be edited to within an inch of its… no, my … life.

      Have you ever done the NaNo camps in April and July? I’m thinking about joining one of those. Can’t wait to do more of this!


      • I’ve done both April camp and July camp. April is always super-productive, but in July, I tend to fail. Something about summer, I suppose. The good thing is that you get to set your own wordcount and what you want to write, so it works well for revisions when you need to do a lot of rewrites. I’ll sign up for camp in April and I may already have an idea…

        Liked by 1 person

      • For me it will probably be most affected with how crazy work is at the time. If all goes well, next November will be so insanely busy that I might not even be able to try NaNo, but April and July should be relatively calm.


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