Nanowrimo Update II
Today begins the second full week of Nanowrimo. How am I doing?
I’m happy to report that last night I broke the 20,000 word mark. That may not be a lot by the standards of many who do Nano, but a few things to consider:
1) I am on track, according to projections, to get to 50,000 words before the end of the month.
2) I am, as of a few hours ago, ahead of all of my writing buddies. I don’t win anything for that, it’s just a small source of pride. Having mentioned it to the public now, I wouldn’t be shocked if by the end of today they were all ahead of me.
In the last two or three days I’ve run into a bit of mud along the way, though. I’m working from an outline for the first time this year, and while I have deviated from it when it seems appropriate, I’m finding that in some ways my outline was so well thought out that there is no reason to deviate from it at all. Which means as I get to those sections, I have a road map that needs to be followed. Let’s just say in the last few days I have reached a part of my journey that is not as scenic as previous parts.
When I pantsed it the last few times I did it, I’d reach these sections too. But back then I could simply wing something and get past the less interesting sections quicker. Or I could just skip that section and jump right into a later part of the narrative that I found more interesting to write. Everything was on the table. But that kind of approach won’t work this year, because this Nano is to become one of my “official” novels some day. I need to keep a certain degree of organization and discipline in mind as I write this one that perhaps I didn’t have to consider the previous times I did Nano.
Don’t worry. I have kept true to my self imposed “no editing as I write” rule. Just as with my first novel, the first draft will be completed and set aside for a while before I so much as review the first page of it. I’ve held firm in that, I’m happy to say. I just have a few more things to consider as I write this novel during the Nano time. (I won’t finish the narrative in just 50,000. This much I know.)
Even with the slow down, I’m averaging about 1,900 words per day. (Though I have had to skip a day here and there so far.) It’s a smaller word count than a lot of people I talk to. But consistently above the daily requirement to reach 50,000 by the 30th.
That’s always been my key to Nano. Get to the 1,667 daily quota, even if it means plucking it off an hour before midnight. Keep the computer projecting me to finish on time, and I will feel like I’m in good shape. When I skip a day, I try to do a session when I wake up, and then another session in the evening before midnight, so I feel I have written in two different days, but the projection still lists me as on track.
Again, I won’t go back and read anything I’ve written. But having done Nano twice before, and gotten to the fifth draft of my first non-Nano novel I believe I sense a tighter narrative emerging from this Nano first draft. It’s still a first draft and therefore by definition will still be lousy. But lousy in fewer ways than my last first draft. Part of that is due to having completed a first draft before. Part is due to the research and observation I have made about writing over the last few years. And part is due perhaps to starting this draft via Nano. I will keep my promise to myself, but I look forward to reading this first draft in a few months.
I have I think a few more days of the slightly drier stuff to write before getting into what (I hope) are the fun sections to write again. Is this a sign what I’m writing is too long or lacks focus? I don’t know. This is Nano, and there’s no time for that now. But unlike my previous Nanos, it is something I will have to consider eventually, since this one is “for keeps”. But for now, it’s only the 12th. Time remains to just enjoy getting the words out there. And now that the play I was directing is concluded, I won’t be so rushed any given day to get the quota down.
How’s everyone else coming with Nano so far?