Sunday, October 31, 2010

National Novel-Writing Month

In and out of the Blogosphere (I love and hate that word) you may have heard people talking about NaNoWriMo. The first time I ever heard it, I thought people were saying "Nano Rhyme-o" and had no clue what the hell they were talking about. It is National Novel Writing Month, and it happens every November. The challenge is relatively simple. In 30 days, write a 50,000 word short novel. It can be anything you want, you just have to get to 50,000 words in a month's time.

Now, as you may or may not already know, my goal over the last few months has been to complete my first novel, which I often refer to as Daughter, by the end of November this year. I started really working on it back in July, and at that time, I could have completed it by writing slightly less than 1000 words a day. Due to various speed-bumps along the way, I didn't keep that pace, and I have a lot of days where I wrote less than 1000 words, and even more that I wrote nothing.

And now, November begins tomorrow, and I have a goal of 130,000 words for my book. I have written nearly 50,000 (my goal for today is to write that last 2100 words, at least, to get to 50,000), and that means I have a little over 80,000 words to go. So NaNoWriMo will now be my personal challenge, not to write a complete short novel in a month, but instead to complete my much longer project over the course of the next thirty days.

The good news is that I have really hit a groove with the story, as the various pieces I've laid out are beginning to weave together in my mind. I keep realizing new and interesting things I can do with the story, and that means it is going to be easier for me to get it done. In the last week, on the days I was writing, I've written at more than twice my normal pace, hitting anywhere from 1500 to 2000 words in an hour of work. To keep track of my progress toward NaNoWriMo, I've updated my tracking sheet (yes, I have a spreadsheet where I track my words written each day, my overall progress toward completion of the book, and how much time I spend writing each day) to automatically calculate my progress toward the NaNoWriMo 50,000 goal.

I also had three vacation days and a little personal time left to spend, so I am taking the majority of this week off from my day job, with a goal of spending at least 32 hours working on the book this week. If I keep writing at the pace I have been, and don't go completely bonkers in the process (a very real possibility at this point) I will make a huge dent in the story and be perfectly on track to complete the book by the end of the month. If I go insane... Well, let's just hope that doesn't happen.

So to all my writing buddies, good luck, godspeed, may the Force be with you, and may your fingers not bleed by the end of the month. To everyone else, I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date, and I will resume my weekly progress summaries starting with one for last week. Wish me luck!