NaNoWriMo: The Last Week

Last week of NaNoWriMo, writerly humans.

And so, I’m here to ask:

How’s it going? How’d the whole month go? Was this your first time? Will this be your last? Comments, questions, complaints? Anything me or any other writers can offer by way of dubious and uncertain guidance? It’s a tough row for folks who haven’t done it before and who don’t necessarily write at this pace all year around, and November can be a pretty wonky month in terms of time — so, honest appraisals and serious questions, fling ’em into the comment section.

91 comments

  • Unless I can crank out nearly 40k words this week I sadly shall come nowhere near the 50k I wanted too. However I went into this with the realization that it might not happen due to prepping to move as well as work issues. My goal was to write as much as possible during this month and to really stick my ass in the chair as often and for as long as I could. Which thanks to packing up all my DVD’s and video games first I accomplished. One day I did nearly 3k in less than five hours, which I had never done before. And the week after I hit 2,600. I have finished a chapter a week which is better than my previous of a chapter a month (Two if I was lucky.). The more I write the more I find that I can do more and my love of writing has been confirmed and I am even more determined to finish this book than ever. So I may not have come anywhere near “winning” NaNoWriMo, but fuck it I plan to finish my shit and Dec.1 will be day one of NaWriEvMoMoFo.

  • It’s going well – I’m a couple days ahead in wordcount, and set to finish Book 1 of ‘The Frightful Novels’ before time is up. The whole month has been on of my most difficult NaNos, since I got sick, but I got through it. This is my second time in November and my fifth time counting Camp NaNoWriMos.
    I’m just gonna need at least another month for this story, since the ‘Book 1’ references the splitting point within one book – what I thought would be a light, fun, maybe 60,000 novel has turned into a wild multiworld-fantasy 100,000-at-least monster. Might be as much as 120k.
    I’m curious, Mr. Wendig; I’ve had an especially great time with this book because I love my villainess, and enjoyed writing scenes with her immensely. Have you had a story where you enjoyed writing your villain as much as your hero?

  • I thought about not doing it this year but threw my hat in anyways. I’m on pace to finish and will finish. Surprisingly, I don’t feel burnt out like I normally do which is good … because I’ve got edits back from my publisher that need to get completed right after.

  • The writer’s block proceeds apace with no sign of letting up, despite having spent “writing time” in front of the computer every single damned day.

    Words to date since 1 November: 0

    There are (many) people who claim writer’s block doesn’t exist—and I fully admit that most so-called writer’s block is just procrastination in disguise—but there are true and genuine forms of it, and I can personally attest that they are maddening.

  • I’m the one going for a creative writing associates, so everyone sees me as the go-to person for help, even though November is when a lot of the fall semester finals start coming in.

    Some people demand my input from anywhere between editing (which is really just running spellcheck and sending it back instead of thoroughly looking through it) to coming up with the names, setting, conflict points and writing out the dialogue for them. It’s usually these people who then tell me how I ruined their lives for not helping them, even though some take me correcting misspelled words as offensive.

    Nope, my phone is off and almost all messages are ignored during this time. I have my own set of word count goals to accomplish–essays and research papers. I might be working towards the degree, but that doesn’t mean I have free time to cheat for them or have mastered the craft I’m working for.

  • I failed miserably! I was encouraged at first, because two weeks earlier I had cranked out 32,000 words in 15 days. But before I even started on the first day of NaNo, I jinxed myself by boating that I could outdo a dear friend’s Word count. I got to a little over three thousand in the two days after that, and then nothing. And nothing since. My nasty little super ego is saying, “Haha. That’ll teach you.” Feeling like a worthless washed-up failure…

  • This is my eigth Nano, and it’s the first time I’m actually concerned about not finishing. The worst part is, I haven’t evne had that much other shit to do–I’m just fucking lazy. Hell, last year and two years before that, I wrote over 100k words and loved it. This year it’s a chore to get everything on the page. It’s a chore to even write at all.
    THe only thing that’s changed is I got married. Maybe my writing was just an attempt to get laid and now I don’t need to try so hard?

  • Third NaNoWriMo, third book in the trilogy I started in 2011, and third win. I actually crossed the 50K line on the 14th, but didn’t consider myself done until I’d written a complete draft. Which I did on Sunday. And then I stayed up until midnight on Sunday just so I could see my little status bar on the NaNoWriMo site turn purple and call me a winner. Whee! And now I’m overtired and pissy with everyone, but nothing new there.

  • Made the word count today. *thud* This was quite possibly the worst NaNo I’ve done. It’s my fourth or fifth. I got off to a slow start that gradually picked up speed. The beginning and end were always clear in my head. The middle was a muddle and I nearly gave up there. Not quit, cause I’m pig headed. But quit that story to try a different one. Instead of doing that I thought about what you and a lot of commenters said about rethinking the story. Figure out where it’s muddled then branch off from there. I was stunned to realize I didn’t give a shit about my MC, her cause, or anything else. I just plain didn’t care about here. Well, if I don’t care, no one else is going to either. Ouchie. Sooo I took a couple days off and got sick and rescued an abandoned kitten and got nowhere. Then a lightning bolt of an idea finally struck that made the MC a different role and purpose to motivate a new MC and BOOM!

    As it stands it’ll need some major revision, swapping names and such mostly. But I don’t hate it. It’s a fine skeleton with a few meaty bits that are still tweaking me, so I’m adding those and subtracting other scenes now. By the time the last bell rings I’ll at least have a story I care about to play with.

    Learned a lot this go around. Writing in first person for a novel is HELLA different from writing for a short story for instance. And sometimes a story just needs a little landscaping to make it work rather than scrapping the whole thing.

    Thanks for cheering us on, Chuck. And thanks everyone for sharing your adventures; that helped me a lot.

  • Hey, Chuck,

    I tried this thing two years ago and went into mental breakdown on day three! I am a SLOW writer and this entire thing traumatized me. . . made worse by a friend (working for INTEL!!!) made her 60,000 words. I vomit.

    Advice for next year, since I have a novel started that I would like to get to a complete rough draft on, but, HEY!, in November when women, even “liberated” women are the ones to bake the turkey and dole out warm fuzzy food? ! Besides which, I love this time of year. And my dilemma is this: how do I manage it ????

    PS….How do I connect to your vibrant and relentless creative energy???

  • I had considered taking on NaNoWriMo this year, for what would be my sixth November participation in a row, but got talked out of it. How? By being reminded that the project already on my plate requires all of my attention.

    What kind of project can displace NaNoWriMo? How about a Kickstarter for the novel based on my very first NaNoWriMo draft? Sci-fi and YA readers, you may like Planet Oz: The Novel (http://planetoz.net/kickstarter).

    See you all next November!

  • 100024 and I’m done with this draft.
    A week off to let my brain stop smoldering, and then I’ll be at it with a fucking knife to trim, tuck, adjust, and prettify it.

  • I think it’s pretty safe to say that at 44,000 words into this latest novel that I am writing … I have no idea what in the hell is going on. >__>

  • I bailed this week on 37k as I was completely exhausted and my draft is so all over the place I didn’t feel like I was making progress. I need to take a break and come back to it in the New Year when I’ve shaken off this virus, then re-outline and rewrite the hell out of it!

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