Tag: NaNoWriMo

Decisions, Decisions

I have about 24 hours to decide if I want to do NaNo. I do have a new project that I’m mostly ready to start, provided I can drum up the second half of the outline I’ve been putting off for weeks. It’s been awhile since I’ve worn my writing hat – when did I finish the first draft ofย The Unseeing, July? June? Since then I’ve been alternating between edit mode and query mode.

It’s hard to switch hats sometimes.

So, because I’m a write-out-loud-to-solve-my-dilemmas kind of girl, here’s my pros and cons list.


  • Will force me back into a regular writing habit. I tend to start and stop projects when I don’t have deadlines.
  • Something to focus on. November is a hard month for me, mentally and physically. I hate the change to winter.
  • I miss my characters. I want to finish their story.


  • I have to drag myself kicking and screaming through NaNo. I’m an edit-as-I-write person and that will never change. It can take me hours to make my daily quota.
  • Next week I leave for Montreal for four days, for a much-needed girls’ weekend. There is 0% chance any writing will get done, which puts me at a huge deficit early on.
  • November is also a month I want to focus on querying, since I imagine the slush piles grow tenfold in December with NaNo winners submitting their unedited first drafts everywhere. This could be my last chance to query until the new year. Or is there a polite way of saying “this is not a NaNo 2013 novel” in my query? I’m only half-joking. Is there?
  • I’m not sure I want to rush through this book so quickly! It’s the last of the series and writing half of it in a single month somehow feels like I’m cheating myself out of a slow, sweet goodbye.

Yep, when I write it out, it looks like the answer’s pretty clear. Even if the only con was that last point, it’s still enough for me to say no thanks to this year. Or is there such thing as NaNo-Lite? Maybe I’ll make it a goal to start writing November 1, and see how far I get without pushing myself. In the meantime, tomorrow’s task is to finish my outline, and set up the myriad spreadsheets I use when I write to track everything under the sun – word count, time spent writing, location and all the other vectors I love to analyze when I’m finished.

Good luck, NaNoWriMo participants! I’m over here, cheering you on from the sidelines.

NaNotQuiteANovel, Weeks 3-4

Success! I completed my 30 tasks. Here’s what I accomplished since my last post:

Nov 14 – Came up with a whole new opening premise for The Unravelling AND made an outline for it.
Nov 15 – Finished revised outline for chapters 1-5 AND started rewriting chapter 1.
Nov 16 – Continued rewriting chapter 1.
Nov 17 – Added more detail to revised outline AND started rewriting chapter 2.
Nov 18 – Outlined a bit of the end of book three, just for fun and because that’s where my head’s at right now.
Nov 19 – Zilch.
Nov 20 – Outline revision
Nov 21 – Nothing. Falling behind again.
Nov 22 – Sigh.
Nov 23 – Rewrote chapter 2 (counts for two, close to 4,000 words)
Nov 24 – Worked on chapter 2 some more AND wrote 1,800 words of a NEW BOOK AND made a really long but half-assed outline for it!
Nov 25 – Spent all damn day thinking about this new project. It counts.
Nov 26 – Added more to the outline for new story.
Nov 27 – Nothing.
Nov 28 – Added on to the outline for The Unseeing AND roughed out some more of book three.
Nov 29 – Pondered at length a giant plot hole AND began a character study for Callie.
Nov 30 – Finished Callie’s character study AND started Dane’s

Total tasks: 30 WINNER!

I’d say all told, even though I didn’t participate in NaNo the way it’s meant, the month was a success for me. And I actually wrote around 20,000 words, although only the 2,000ish I ended up with from the new book would count towards the goal if I was playing by the rules. But screw the rules! I feel good about my progress. NaNo is what you make it.

I’m giving myself a new set of challenges for next month which my next post will outline, but in the meantime, it’s Dressember! Time to bust out all my pretty frocks, which to be honest, are just an excuse to wear awesome tights. ๐Ÿ˜‰

NaNotQuiteANovel Weeks 1 and 2

I’m a little behind in my goals these first two weeks, although my outline for The Unseeing is coming together like a house on fire. It just keeps growing and growing and there are hardly any entries that go “and then a bunch of stuff happens.”

Now that I’m home from Mexico and have the healthy glow of a person who collected a year’s worth of vitamin D in a week’s time, I hope to get caught up. In the meantime, here’s my progress so far:

Nov 1 – nothing
Nov 2 – five points on my outline
Nov 3 – research agents a tiny bit
Nov 4 – nothing
Nov 5 – six points on my outline
Nov 6 – Seven points on my outline
Nov 7 – discussed plot points and character motivation at length with one of my first readers
Nov 8 – added new music to my ‘inspiration for writing’ playlist and gained a few ideas from it
Nov 9 – saved my outline from document corruption, narrowly avoiding losing all my work thus far (okay this doesn’t count as a task but HOLY CRAP I was scared for half an hour)
Nov 10 – Nada
Nov 11 – So much more nada
Nov 12 – Sweet tweet. Started to feel like this was a stupid idea, I’m so far behind.

Total tasks: 6 (and counting)

Today I hope to accomplish TWO things, so I can make up for one of those missed days. I’m totally allowed to do that, as long as I have 30 tasks completed by the end of the month. This week I might even start writing…


I already have a novel. I don’t want to write my next one in a month because I don’t think it will turn out as well as I want it to. So I’m giving myself a different sort of goal for November, albeit related to novels and writing.

By the end of the month, I want to have 30 writing-related actions completed. They may not all be writing. It could be working on an outline, writing a query letter, researching agents, editing my current work, and I’m even going to include imaginative story-building in there although it’s a bit of a cheat because most of my waking hours are consumed by my imagination anyway. But on days where I’m on a plane for 7 hours, that might be all I can accomplish. And I’m hoping that some days I can do two or three different tasks so I can take a break here and there.

Once a week or so I’ll post what I’ve done, for accountability’s sake, and hopefully by the end of the month I’ll have a nice list of accomplishments, ’cause I’m sure doing squat right now. Time to get back on the horse, and there’s nothing better for that than a NaNo challenge. And good luck to everyone that’s participating this month!

NaNoWriMo Sadness

I realized with some dismay today that I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year. Come November, I’m committed to having a finished first draft on deck to start editing. I certainly won’t be in any frame of mind to start Book 2 at that point.

Doing NaNo last year was the kickstart that got me believing I could give writing fiction a go. I’ve been doing freelance journalism for close to a decade now but had always wanted to write a book. Various things kept me from trying in all that time – we’ll out fear as the top one, and belief that I didn’t have the time as the second. Then last year a friend and I basically double-dared each other to do NaNo, and I found out that there definitely was time in the day for it once I conquered that fear of starting (my hands were literally shaking when I typed out the first few sentences). I went a little crazy last November, neglecting myself, my family, friends and all other writing commitments shockingly, but around the 27th I “won,” penning my 50,000th word. And it felt so good to do it that a few months later when this idea came barrelling into my brain, I actually had the confidence to sit down and start to write it out. Six and a half months later I’ve learned so much about how I can be a better writer and grown this little kernel of an idea into a thorny bramble of a story, so it’s kind of a drag that NaNo won’t be a part of my life this year since I feel I owe it so much.

Next best will be cheering on my friends who do take on the challenge, and hopefully scrounging up a few bucks to donate or spend in the NaNo shop, and that’ll have to do until 2013 when hopefully the timing works out a bit better.

Longest. Thing. Ever.

That’s what she said. Am I right?

No really, check this out:

When I did NaNo last year, my story topped out at 53,789 words, and at the time it was the longest thing I’d ever written. Today, I surpassed that mark, with loads more to go. How great is that? Granted, that was over 50,000 words in 30 days, vs. the four months it’s taken me to get to this stage now, but that’s beside the point.

Now that I’ve passed the theoretical halfway marker – the story’s going to end when it’s going to end, I guess, but I’m aiming roughly for 100,000 words – I’m a little nervous because a lot of the second half is pretty murky in my mind. I’ve got the ending all figured out, and a couple key scenes before that building themselves up in my brain, but there are still a lot of holes. Then again, when I started writing the first half, months ago, there were a lot of holes there too, and they just seemed to fill themselves as I went along. So here’s hoping that trend will continue.

Count ‘Em Up

I’m 13,000 and change words away from this being the longest thing I’ve ever written. And I feel like I’m just starting to scratch the surface. When I did NaNo I hit this mark and wondered if the story would be over before I made my 50,000 word goal. Now I’m feeling like it’s entirely possible I’ll run over 100,000. It’s a wonderful feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚