All my writing ambitions were put on hold due to illness for the last few months. Today, the first day of NaNoWriMo, I am feeling much better and able to write—but I’m not writing a novel. I’m back to writing short stories for my anthology, because that’s a project I committed to.
I am currently working on my tenth story for the anthology. I had originally thought that ten would be “enough,” but I feel like I need a total word count of at least 50,000, and I’m not there yet. I believe I will need at least two more stories after I finish this one—which I’m struggling with, to be honest.
What I really need, to be honest, is a road trip. Hours of driving alone in the car are the absolute best thing to dredge up potential stories from my well of ideas. But thanks to the pandemic and my own serious health issues, I haven’t been on a solo road trip since May. I’m hoping later this month I will be able to hit the road!
It’s kind of not fair that this writing month starts off with a holiday weekend. On the other hand, November, when the “main” NaNoWriMo happens, has Thanksgiving in it, so that’s hard too.
I have a handle on my story and I’m 6195 words in, but if you have even a tenuous grasp of math you no doubt realize I am about 3000 words behind already—and I’m getting ready to go on a road trip.
I have a feeling that the bulk of this novel will be written during the last two weeks of the month.
I started my new novel last night but the problem was I had no idea what the impetus for the plot was going to be. So I only got as far as the important phone call before I had to stop and figure out what on earth the phone call was going to be about.
This is a weird profession, where daydreaming counts as “work.” But you know what? I did figure out what this story is going to be about. In fact I am pretty jazzed about writing it now. I’m only 1889 words in, but I know I’ll get some 3000 word days so I’m not worried.
Did you hear my massive sigh of relief from wherever you are on this terrestrial ball? This month has been a hard, hard slog. Why, oh why do they have NaNoWriMo in November?
BUT—I did it. Last night I passed the 50,000 word mark and today I finished the novel, which I’m tentatively calling Simon and the Sky Gypsies. So here are my statistics:
Total word count: 53,327
Average number of words written per day: 2,133.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of my novels land more in the 100,000 word range. How can I say I’m done after only 53,327 words?
Well, because this is my first middle grade novel, and this is a typical length for this genre. I wanted to end up between 50,000 and 60,000 words, and I nailed it. I assume it will be closer to 60,000 by the time I’ve done my revisions and added in some detail, but right now I’m very, very happy to have written “The End.”
Better yet, I love my characters and the story world and am looking forward to doing four more stories about Simon Somerset. Whew!
As I believe I said before, I have done a month-long writing blitz several times before, but usually in July. The one time I did it in November I don’t think I signed up on the official NaNoWriMo site like I did this year, so no one was holding me accountable for my word totals.
I broke the 10,000 word mark today, and hope to get another couple thousand words written before it’s over, but I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. Over time, I have learned to catch myself when I use unnecessary words–the word “that” being the most egregious example. When I see a useless “that” in the lines I’ve just written, I delete it at once. I do the same for most adverbs and suchlike.
Now, though, I think I can’t afford to lose those words! Word count is more important than concision! I can always take all the extra words out after NaNo is over!
Do you see how warped my thinking has become? I’m kind of disgusted with myself!