Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: Halfway Point

From Rubble: NaNoWriMo: Halfway Point

November 15, 2012.  Halfway Point. Participant-180x180-2November 15, 2012.  Halfway Point.

Today is the halfway point on the calendar.  I am a little behind, but one solid day of writing today or tomorrow and I will be right on target for reaching 50K words by midnight on the 30th.

20,062 as of this morning.  No writing yet today, those 278 words were from yesterday, I just updated my word count.  It would be nice to hit 25K by the end of today.

Even still being within reach of 50K is a miracle considering how hectic my life has been this month.  If the month had gone as planned, I’d probably be close to the 50K mark already and well on target for reaching the 80 – 100K goal I have for this manuscript.

But that is all right.  Important things are going on and I need to divide my efforts.  Over the next few months, it looks like I will have plenty of time to write, and probably more in December than in November anyway, so I am not worried about finishing this draft in a fairly prompt manner.

Reaching the 50K mark, though, will be still be a challenge considering everything that is going on. 

I know that there are probably a week’s worth of days before the end of the month where I will have little to no time to write.  Even on the less crazy days, finding time to keep up with the book with everything else going on is bound to be difficult and because of the nature of these “distractions,” the book is definitely a secondary goal.

Of course, writing three or four blog posts this morning would seem like a tertiary goal, and it probably should be, but I needed some time to sit down and take stock of things.  Keeping an eye on another project I am working on, One Day On Earth, and just to check in with myself and others. 

And I’ve cleared my schedule today of as much as I can.  Today is a work day.

Some thoughts on the draft so far…

It is going well.  All the work I put in during the last couple weeks of October is really paying off.  So far, most of the draft has veered way off of my planned outline, but not really.  It is telling the story I planned, just in a way that is a little different than how I thought it would.  And the original outline is still handy, because I will be looping back into it some time during the next 10,000 words or so.

A lot of the story that I thought I would be filling in later on is just being told earlier in the book than I expected, and as I write, it feels right.  Plus, I was worried about needing to break up the plot with flashbacks, etc. later on that I will not need now, which is probably going to be a good thing.

As I was organizing my outline in October, I was a little worried that I would be writing too much to the outline anyway, and this is definitely not happening.  I was worried that I would not be following the flow of the story but rather herding the narrative so it would fit the outline. 

From past experience, I did not think that following the outline more than the natural flow of the story would be a good thing.  Plus, I originally planned for this to be more of a fun, seat of the pants writing experience than it seemed to become after all of my outlining and plot development in October, but that sense of fun and of watching events unfold, almost as a third party reader, is still present as I write, which is usually what happens when I produce my best work.

So, bottom line, things are good. 

Slogging through the middle of the month, I am at the point where a little more discipline is needed.  The novelty of the project is wearing off and now it is feeling more like a chore; a fun chore, but still a chore. 

I expected this.  These feelings also tell me that I am probably right where I am supposed to be with this project at this point in time.

And so forth…

Update: 10:15 PM

I've got one scene to write before I am done with the unofficial first act of my novel and I am eager to write it, but at the same time I am tired, it is getting late, and it has been a long day. To be honest, I am trying to figure out if the scene will be stronger if I write it now, when things are flowing well but I am tired, or in the morning when I am rested, but still warming up. And it is a fairly important scene (but I suppose all of them are or they shouldn't be in the book at all).
Going to take a short break before I decide. In case I call it a night, today's stats...
Your Average Per Day 1,704
Words Written Today 5,785
Target Word Count 50,000
Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
Total Words Written 25,569
Words Remaining 24,431
Current Day 15
Days Remaining 16
At This Rate You Will Finish On November 29, 2012
Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,527
Yes. Officially halfway to 50K. Back on track. It has been a long day.

Also thought I’d share this semi random comment I wrote as a reply to another comment when I posted tonight’s stats on Facebook.  A friend asked me about my professional writing, and I replied…

Unless you've spent time as semi-slave labor in Malaysia, working as a copy boy for an evil corporation, as a data entry geek for ten year dead dot com, or other such hells, you wouldn't have read any of my "published" professional work.
This is my first serious swing at fiction in over ten years. It's National Novel Writing Month where the goal is to complete 50,000 words, at least, of a first draft, and hopefully a complete draft, in 30 days. This is more of a motivational thing for fiction writers than a real competition, but its fun and hopefully I will produce something that I can try to get published a couple more drafts down the line.
Next spring, after I finish a second draft, I'll probably be looking for volunteer readers to give me some notes on the thing, so let me know then if you would be interested. I won't be keeping it a secret that I'm looking for readers when I am ready for them.

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