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.