Month: November 2018

NaNoWriMo: Two Thirds Done

There are Novembers where I have struggled to make words. There have been Novembers when I almost failed, abandoning because I didn’t know where the story was going but where it was utterly sucked. There have been Novembers where even two books seemed unambitious; maybe I should try three next year? *

This November is not like any of those. I haven’t had any significant difficulties with keeping on pace for my word count goal. I don’t have a complete outline but I have not struggled with the direction of the story, and having a bit more freedom to let the story go where it wants at the pace that it wants has been rather pleasing. Also, while I don’t necessarily like where the story is going, I also trust that I can take even the most depressing story and find the healthy kernel**. This feels like a big one book year rather than having any urge to write multiple stories.

And so, we find ourselves two thirds of the way through the month. How goes the fight?

For me, my numbers are stacking up like this:

  • Words: 52,027 / 70,000 — I have the official win, and I am well on track for my own goal.
  • Chapters: 24 / 35 (assuming 2,000 word chapters) — word count is at 74% of goal, chapters are at 68%. Some upward drift on chapter length, it seems, but pretty close honestly.

It’s story progression that is worrying me most at the moment. I wrote on Twitter that I thought I was about half way through even with the 50k words, but I think it might be worse than that.

Harmonies is a redraft, and the original version of this part of the story was 18 chapters long. The point of the story I am at now maps to about chapter 7 in the first telling, which is about 39%.

So, I am roughly twice as far through the planned word count as I am through the story: two thirds done with the time, but only one third done with the plot.


Multiplying things out, I can reasonably expect this story to be roughly 70 chapters, about 150,000 words in length.

That is rather more daunting than I expected.

Well. Best get cracking.

[*] no. The answer is: I shouldn’t.

[**] Better is quite an uplifting story… now.

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NaNoWriMo: The Middle

Well, we’re half done with November even if November is not yet done with us.

I had a bigger day yesterday than I expected. My regular write-in was intensely productive, and between that the other hours I managed a little over 5k for the day. I always love it when the words flow so freely! It was an exciting scene too, which always helps.

That big day meant I managed to push through 40k for the month, which is more than half way to my 70k target.

I do need some plot survey, though: I will be writing this evening after the day job is done, and I want to see where I am in the plot I have in mind. I am also starting to stray into the Bits I Haven’t Properly Plotted Yet, so a bit of planning may be necessary to keep the words coming after this weekend. As I recall, the things that went wrong in 2006 (the closest I have come to not finishing NaNoWriMo) were in the third week (although that story had big problems anyway).

Back to the point, though: I have 4/7 of the draft I had planned, but have I gone through 4/7 of the plot?

Even though I haven’t done complete chapter outlines, I know I would usually be planning on about 35 chapters of 2000 words each, so I will use that as a proxy.

Word count: 40k/70k = 57%
Chapters: 18.5/35 = 53%

Well, that’s pretty close: this slight dilation of the chapter length is almost expected by now. I think I am at the central turning point of the story with my emissary awakening, so it looks like things are more or less on track overall. If I run out of November before I run out of plot then I will probably carry on into December a little bit.

How is your writing going?

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November Things, 2018

Running a little late on this because staying on track with NaNoWriMo has been consuming most of a reduced pool of writing time. But, I want to review progress and see where I am.

Three Things for October

  1. revise Song — finished the punch list revisions and completed work on the third pass comments. Out to my crit group now for feedback.
    I’m very pleased to have this draft done.
  2. NaNoWriMo — two things:
    • prep for writing in November — did a good amount of prep but didn’t quite manage the full set of chapter outlines I was aiming for. I definitely had enough to start writing, though.
    • post a series of NaNoPreMo blog posts — done.
  3. setup audio recording area — no work on this. I mean, I did some more office tidying, but no progress on the booth.

That’s 2/3 for anyone’s money.

Again, I did not explicitly mention health goals. Those are at an interesting stage which I will, as usual, talk about in a later post, but in short I am reaching the point of considering how to maintain my positive outcomes. That’s something else I am pleased about.

October, in fact, was a splendid month.

Three Things for 2018

Where am I on my goals as the year draws to a close?

  1. finish A Turquoise Song — draft done. Now I just have to query it.
  2. submit my work — a goal in two parts:
    1. submit Song once it is done
    2. complete and submit short stories

    Song is done so I need to submit that.
    I had an opportunity to refine my third Boundary Shock Quarterly story, which ate a little into other tasks but had a good outcome.

  3. produce Livia as an audiobook — no new work.

I feel like most of these goals are coming home. I am sad about the audio book progress, but I am getting word things done.

Three Things for November

NaNoWriMo is here.

  1. NaNoWriMo — make the words.
  2. blog — don’t forget to do blog things! *
  3. office clean-up — still a mess, still need space for an audio area.

To the word mines!

[*] narrator voice: He totally forgot to do blog things.

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NaNoWriMo 2018: The First Week

We are now a week into November. Writing is well under way.

The first few days of November are always a hasty flurry of words, but it is about now when I start quantity surveying in earnest: the 6th is 20% of the month so I am always looking at what I’ve got to see where I am compared to my goals.

The specific things I usually look at are:

  • chapter count – if I’m aiming for 25 chapters, say, how many have I written? This can expand, I find, if one planned chapter ends up being massively longer or plottier than expected. Those are the amoeba chapters.
  • plot – the chapter outlines I usually do also give me a gauge on where I am in the plot.

This year I am only looking at word count only since my chapter outlines aren’t completely laid out, but I’m at 17k now so I am on track for my goal of 70k.

How are you wordings going?

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