As I posted about a few weeks ago, I decided to write a novel this month (National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo). I posted some of my progress on 43 Things, and I’m going to repost those entries here.
Actually using 43 Things more fully, I am even more impressed. They have done an amazing job of allowing communities to form around goals. The site looks simple on the surface but there is depth to it. There is something about random encouragement from total strangers that works.
Another useful resource was the NaNoWriMo forums. I never posted there but people were always quick to help others and offer advice. They also organized many local gatherings at coffee shops or bookstores, so I went one night and met a couple other Austin writers. NaNoWriMo works not just because of the intense deadline, but because of the shared goal as thousands of people are doing the same thing. That’s why 43 Things was such a good fit.
Here are the entries.
12,002 words (Nov 9th):
I’m still behind, but I feel good about my progress because I started a few days late. The last chapter I just finished was one of the first to really work, which seems to be a good sign that I’ve found some kind of rhythm to get through the next few weeks. Either that or the plot is building up to something too soon and I’m about to run out of ideas. :-)
25,043 words (Nov 20th):
I only just now crossed the halfway point. I thought I was on my way to catching up, but there were several days last week where I didn’t write at all. I’m still determined to finish, but it’s going to take some serious writing over the Thanksgiving weekend.
34,797 words (Nov 28th):
I didn’t write enough over Thanksgiving. I left the PowerBook at home and filled up spiral notebooks instead. Even without an accurate word count I knew I had fallen short of my goal. Last night I typed it all up until my wrists burned. I will finish but it is going to take a lot: 5000 words a day for the next three days. Until now my top daily word count has been about 3000, and the average somewhat less than that. Congratulations to everyone else who passed 50,000 over the weekend!
44,054 words (Nov 29th):
Looks like I will finish. I made a big push last night and wrote about 6000 words. Less tonight, but I still think I am on track to finish tomorrow. The story should wrap up right at 50,000.
50,136 words (Nov 30th):
Yay! I finished. I spontaneously started this endeavor a few days into the month and I’m still a little amazed that I stuck with it. It’s a great feeling though, especially as I was nearing the end and the plot was wrapping up. Sure, the story has some problems, and it could have benefited from some research. But actually I’m quite happy with the overall flow of the story and some of the characters. There are some good scenes in there that I’m proud of.