NaNoWriMo Update: Halfway through!


Photo credit: An Photos at Pixabay

Wait, it’s only November 5.  Day 5 of National Novel Writing Month.  Am I actually saying I’m halfway done already?

Yes, and no, and no.

So far I have, in fact, written 26,236 words of my new WIP, “Heart in a Box.”  So that’s a big fat YES.


But here’s the “no” part.  I mapped out my schedule for the month, and I only have 14 full writing days and 4 partial writing days to get the whole thing written.  I will be busy with specific work deadlines, plus a vacation (previously planned) to wine country with a friend of mine for ten days in the middle of the month, from Day 7 to Day 16.  Par word count for Day 16 is 26,666.  In other words, if I don’t write a few hundred more words today and tomorrow, I will actually be behind when I return from my writing hiatus.

However, if I can resume the pace I’ve had so far on the remaining writing days I’ll have, I expect to be ordering that super-cool 2017 Winner t-shirt on December 1, woo hoo!

Word count breakdown:

  • Day 1: 6,772
  • Day 2: 2,561 (partial day)
  • Day 3: 5,103
  • Day 4: 7,220
  • Day 5: 4,580 (so far)

Not so shabby, if I do say so myself.  😀

And here’s the other “no” part.  I’ve already totally messed up my plot structure.  I’m still following the outline, mostly. The problem is that the place that I thought was going to be the big plot point that transitions into Act 2 is still many, many chapters away, and I’m already at 26K, which is past the 25% mark of any normal-length book.  The main problem is that it just took a lot longer to cover what looked like a short bit on the outline.  For instance, here’s the first plot point I have on my outline:

Dar’s father’s funeral

Dar becomes jayanta, Dar’s new “normal”, frustrations and conflicts, problems with mother

It took 9,000 words to cover that first point.  It took almost 16,000 words to cover the next plot point in the outline. There are FOUR MORE PAGES of such points.


So either I’ve already transitioned into Act 2 without knowing it, or my Act 1 is ridiculously long, or I’m accidentally discovering some Five or Six Act structure.

I know I write “long” so I’m sure I’ll be able to trim words once I go back and edit.  But consider that I have almost no description included so far — it’s all action and dialogue and the main character’s thought process — so I’ll have to add a lot of words to round out the setting and character description.

Nope, I’m afraid something more drastic will be needed.  But in the meantime, I’m forging ahead and continuing with the story “outline” that I have.   And we’ll see what we get at the ending.

However, it seems that 50,000 words isn’t going to get me halfway through this novel, not by a long shot…

Are you working on NaNoWriMo?  How are you doing?  Good luck to one and all!


20 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update: Halfway through!

  1. Awesome!! Keep at it, Eneana!

    Your word count is excellent and so is your determination. As for the plot holes and the length of certain parts and the characters, you can take care of them later.

    After all, you are getting yourself a First Draft .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks James! Yes, exactly, there will be plenty of time to reassess later. And who knows, maybe this is the plot structure it is meant to have! It just feels a little more “pantser” than I normally am… We’ll see!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think I rather like what I’ve written so far, is the problem. These are good scenes, that help show the MC’s internal emotional conflict, and the conflict between the MC and the other characters, and the problems he faces in his “normal world” — before he proceeds to add to those problems, immensely. Big tense scene coming up next, trying to figure out how to best approach it…

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is a hard one. I’ve recently had some feedback on my WIP which says some of the scenes I like – with humourous dialogue between the characters, developing the relationships – really slow the pace overall. There’s room for some of this, but a good pace has to be kept too or we’re in danger of losing our readership’s interest before the plot gets going. Good luck with the rest 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Those are some stout numbers you’ve posted woman! Wow! Superb! I mean this as a joking jab, but wow, I wonder what kind of company you’re going to be on that wine country getaway…likely not altogether present, right? 🙂 I wouldn’t be. Hope you’re able to keep noodling on it and taking notes, or whatever you need to do, to not lose the momentum. You go, girl!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Bill, I’m pretty proud of these numbers myself! Ended up being distracted on Monday (Day 6) by a problem with a doctor’s appointment I couldn’t resolve (hours on hold, etc.) but I still managed to write a bit over 4K, so now I’ve cracked the 30K mark. on Day 6. Woo hoo! And now… probably no more writing until Day 17. I’m switched over to note-taking mode, which is fine. I have other stuff to focus on, but the story is percolating on the back burner. I know myself: I’m not the person who “has to write every day” on some sort of schedule (ugh). I’m a surge worker: do ALL OF THIS for a while and then switch gears and do all of something else. I’m really looking forward to getting a few more work things checked off the list tomorrow (like I did today) and then to my vacation. Can’t wait to spend time with my old friend from grad school. I will probably talk about the novel, especially once we’ve been wine “tasting” for a while, but otherwise I’m confident I won’t be that distracted. However, I *am* planning to bring “Life in a Medieval Castle” by Gies & Gies for a little fun side reading in the odd extra moments. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • And yet, I’ve had months this year where I wasn’t able to cobble together 10K words over the whole month. NaNo reminds me (once again) how much I can get done if I dedicate a whole day and blow off everything else. Oh, and have an idea that I can just riff on without pausing. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You describe the exact problem I usually have. I outline, but then the figures get screwed in the writing. How to remedy it? Relax, those 25% etc are GUIDELINES. Unless you’re writing a screenplay for Disney, don’t fret it. Get it written, then amend. You might find you can more some of those extra words to form a backflash later in the story, or some such. You might find much of what you’ve written can be trimmed away. You might find inspiration as to a solution while away on vacation. Don’t forget to take your notebook with you! Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good advice, and yes, that’s my plan: just keep writing, and figure out how to tweak the plot structure, if necessary, later. I’m just really hoping that the next few plot points in my outline take a lot less time to get through than the first few. Otherwise, I’ll be 50,000 words into the novel and rather than be halfway through, more like 20% through. Ack! And yes, I’m taking a notebook with me on the trip, for those times when my friend is busy doing something else and I have free time — or for jotting down those inspirations that hit out of the blue. Thanks for the supportive comment!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Fantastic progress! I’ve been super far ahead in the beginning only to find myself having to take a break and then come back to it later in the month, so it’s sounds like all your R&R will get you through! Since I generally only have pockets of time to write, I pull out my handy notebook and write frantically between commitments. Sometimes this leads to disjointed thoughts and unfinished scenes, but overall for me the challenge is just getting the words down. I rarely have a problem hitting the 50,000 words in November, getting them all typed up — it’s the editing that holds me back. Congratulations on your hard word — I can’t wait to hear your next update!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I was better at grabbing a small amount of time and getting “a little” writing done here and there, but I’m terrible at it — and I end up wasting so much time in between other tasks and events, because I’m not productive in those short bursts. I’m so impressed with people like you who can do that!! What I love about NaNo is that I can allow my brain to ignore everything else for a while and just FOCUS on that one project, and it is amazing to me how much I can get done. Still, I need to keep working on how to get that same “in the zone” burst of writing done when it’s just a few hours here and there, or even less.

      I rearranged my schedule so that I’m going “back” to writing on Day 16 (tomorrow) instead of Day 17. We’ll see how much more I can get done in four days, and if it seems like it makes any sense… Good luck with your NaNo writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you! Even if you just use today as the day to get back into the groove, it is time well spent!

        For me, the short bursts are better for me upping my word count as the hand-writing is terrible for my hand issues, but the flow itself is so important with the flow of the ink – I just can’t seem to get the thoughts out in the same way when I type. One of the reasons I started my blog is to practice making typing easier to convey my initial thoughts to get the flow I find with hand writing.

        I wish I could focus for hours on end and push through, writing on and on, but I find after a half hour or hour, I have to take a break to literally let my hand rest 😉

        I have tinkered with speaking my thoughts and typing it later, but it’s even more difficult than typing is for me! I feel very self-conscious, whereas in the unspoken secrecy of my journal, it can all be laid out.

        Good Luck with your reboot today after your exciting adventure in wine country and much deserved rest!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If I was hand-writing I would have to do it in much shorter bursts too — I think my fingers would cramp up long before yours (and the writing would be illegible anyway)! I would have the same problem with dictating out loud, too; too self-conscious about how it sounds, plus I’d just keep saying it different ways and end up with a monster to transcribe.

        It’s strange, but for me it’s easier to focus for a whole day than it is to clamp down and focus for just an hour. I think that it’s knowing that I’m “allowed” not to worry about anything else, that I’m not mentally preparing for some other task or having to be somewhere. So I can relax and just think about what’s happening next in the story.

        This morning I wrote three new scenes and added over 3,000 more words. I got a late start (for me) so that was only about three hours of work. I’m hoping to get another two or three scenes written this afternoon. I’m pretty excited to find out how they play out!

        Good luck with your writing this week!


  5. Pingback: NaNo Done! …Ish | Tales from Eneana

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