Sunday, November 6, 2011

My NaNoWriMo week.

Hi all,

I have just finished the first week of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This is how I faired:

Day one: I started a brand new novel. The ideas for the novel had only been pulled together over the previous few days. I was not sure whether I would get anywhere near the 1667 words required on average per day.

The first chapter was to introduce the main character, his predicament and his somewhat drastic reaction. I wrote this chapter in first person. I finished the chapter and then thought about stopping for the day as my word count was at 1630, just below the average of 1667. But I was reminded by a friend that it’s easier to begin writing the next day if you have a scene set and started, so I wrote the first 70 words of chapter two. I wrote 1700 words for the first day.

Day two: When walking back from the pool, I thought up a better way to open chapter two, so I scrapped the start and began again. I then had to stop and walk to the dentist and then spend a lovely hour and twenty minutes getting a root canal finished.

Chapter two is written in third person and the story is told from three different POV. I felt like I was creating distinct voices for each of them. I wrote 1710 words for a total of 3410.

Day three:  I went back and did some editing (naughty Graham) and deleted about 100 words. The writing for chapter two became more technical as characters followed step by step procedures. I finished chapter two and started chapter three. I wrote 1647 words for the day, so I did not make the average daily quota. 5057 words in total.

Day four: On the way back from the pool I found myself stopping to write a lot of notes and, once again, I thought of a better beginning to a chapter I had started, so I scrapped some more words. Chapter three, like chapter one, is one long scene, and when you don’t need to stop and think about setting a scene it is a lot easier to punch out the words. After I finished writing, I spent some time sorting out my notes for the novel. I wrote 1760 words for a total of 6817.

Day five:  I woke up a few times during the night to write down ideas for the novel. When I got up the next morning, I immediately snatched up my notebook to write more notes.  When I finally began writing, I finished chapter three and was well into chapter four before stopping.

I am finding that writing at this pace certainly helps with remembering what is happening and keeping a character’s voice consistent. I wrote 1760 words for the second day in a row, for a total of 8577 words.

Day six: Writing seemed very easy. I finished chapter four and was well into chapter five when I stopped, rushing to 2197 words and a total of 10774. I am finding the more I write, the more I want to write.

Day seven: A few things interfered with my writing time, like the editor for Divine sending me an edited version of my next article with changes, some of which I did not agree with. I spent a lot of time composing an email that explained why I thought some of his changes diminished the article. Then the house insurance bill arrived and a long discussion broke out about whether we are under or overinsured. Did yet another online insurance contents estimate – came out much the same as the previous ones. Just as well I had written around 800 words before I checked my email and mail. I then managed to write another 1000 words or so for a total of 1854 and a week one total of 12628.

After week one I am 959 words ahead of schedule. I have amazed myself with my output. I have written more in seven days than I usually write in seven weeks.


Karen Tyrrell said...

Congrats Graham on your first week on NaNo.
BIG YAYs to your awesome word count.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Sounds good Graham.
(I already expressed how I feel about Nano.)

best of luck.

Ethan said...


Graham Clements said...

thanks guys