Monday, November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo Halftime Report


On Saturday night, Day 20 of NaNoWriMo 2010, I hit 40,000 words, and have now passed the halfway point. Yeah, I know that doesn’t exactly compute. The official NaNo goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. But I figure a mystery novel should be at least 80,000, so I plan to finish the whole first draft in 40.

This is my second time playing the game, and its been a different experience. Last year, averaging 1700 words a day, my eyeballs were burning after a week. I felt stressed. My back hurt and my shoulders bunched up. I had to force myself to write at strange times, like during the commercials of a TV show. When I reached the end, somewhere around 51,000 words, I was exhausted and didn’t write for a week.

This year is much more relaxed. I’m doing 2000 words a day, usually in two or three sittings. Sometimes I'd rather be grabbing a book or a remote, but the stress is gone. What’s changed? Mostly me, I guess. Last year I learned I could do it, and this year I’m just doing it.

Last year I spent only two days coming up with a story and a four-act outline. This time I devoted two weeks to that task, which helped. But the plotting is still a work in progress. I’ve changed a couple of milestone scenes and added a lot of new wrinkles. After finishing each scene I still have to stop and plan how the next one will play out. 

Anyway, I'm having a great time. Don’t have a title yet, but the basic idea is that Skyler Hobbs and Doctor Wilder square off against a serial killer right here in Portland. What will happen? I’ll find out, along with Hobbs and Wilder, in another twenty days.

7 comments:

Deka Black said...

I envy you. Due to job issues, my goal of three stories in a month (more or less 2000-30000 words) is smahed to pieces. I will be lucky if i finish the forts i beginned.

Andfor you... congratulations. Your wordcount is astounding to me. Oh, ¿remember the story you suggested me i should write about kung-fu bishops? Sounds pretty cool and pulp enough. Maybe i write it.

Nik said...

That's a good wordcount, Evan. Some years ago I wrote a 'novel in 24 hours' - well, only 18,000 words, but it was great to devote two solid chunks of 12hrs. The secret is to plan/outline before you start. Even if you diverge, that plan lets the flow happen. Best of luck with the rest of the novel!

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad Skyler and the Doc are returning. Some of the best characters around.

Charles Gramlich said...

Great progress. I'm glad it is flowing more smoothly this time. SOunds like you had a pretty steep learning curve.

Ron Scheer said...

Cheering from the sidelines...Sounds like you've found the inner wisdom of "just do it."

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I'd tell you to keep up the good work, but by the time you finished reading it you'd lose 500 words of production.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Go to it. 2000 words a day would be impossible for me because I am continually rewriting. Wish I could break that habit.