NaNoWriMo Midpoint — How Goes It?

We are just over the midpoint hump in NaNoWriMo — so it’s time to check in, see how you’re doing. I’ll have a post later about dealing with the midpoint of your book, but in the meantime, how has it been for you? How is the book? How and what is your process? If this is your first time doing NaNoWriMo, how do you find it?

I’m unofficially participating, as I do with many months — I’m presently just over 41,000 words, though that’ll slow down because I travel this week and because next week is the TURKEY PARADE that is Thanksgiving. I am dubious that my 41,000 words are worth a single good goddamn, but that’s the burden most writers bear regarding their own work. Show me an author who is uniformly pleased with everything she writes all the time and I will show you an ANDROID WHO MUST BE UNMASKED BEFORE IT MURDERS ALL OF HUMANITY.

So, status updates — let’s hear them.

115 responses to “NaNoWriMo Midpoint — How Goes It?”

  1. I hate every single word as it comes out of my fingertips. Each time my fingers hit the keyboard it feels like being pushed back into a pit of hate and sandpaper.

    The good news is I have just about 40k of stuff I’m actually feeling good about. How I can hate every word and feel like it’s molasses meets superglue to get them out and yet look at the whole and think “I can work with this” I don’t know.

  2. I was chugging along until this weekend. Then — BOOM, behind. Yesterday was my big day to catch up, and my word file corrupted, and it took all afternoon to fix… and now it’s the work week again. This is the week that I’ll either somehow catch up (while writing up the minutes for a work meeting–wish those counted toward my word count–and grading 60 essays) or that I’ll give up for this NaNo. Thanks for the extra nudge to leave “give up” in the rearview mirror.

    • woot! in part with the encouragement of this post, I managed to pull past the 25K mark — just barely. Now if I can just do today’s amount of writing too, I’ll be caught up. Thanks! FYI, I’ve started just writing random scenes that I envision being in my nove, rather than writing in complete order. For me, that’s easiest… and therefore fastest.

      • Writing random scenes has been my method as well. I have a hard time planning everything out linearly. Maybe I just didn’t do a good enough job of outlining. But it’s nice to hear that you’re taking a similar approach. Makes it feel more valid 🙂

  3. I’m at a little over 15k which is, of course, WAY behind. Yeah, I have life commitments that have popped up but the real kicker was I was wandering around, dragging my feet in the mud of a plot that went abso-freaking-lutely NO WHERE. I had to take a couple days to work over the plot and give myself a loose outline. Once I had that, I thought, BooYAH! I’d fly! But no. The first two chapters of mud-walking actually had some good stuff in it – you know, stuff I didn’t hate with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so I don’t want to lose it. And that means rewriting, which anyone knows kills the magic. Anyway, once I’m past those two chapters, I’m sure the path will unfold, clear and lovely, and I can get back to shooting people in the head and hiding from the far reaching conspiracy that’s unfolding. #JustKeepWriting #NaNoWriMoUpdate

  4. I was moving right along, only two days behind which seemed not so bad until I told my mother about NaNo in maybe a whiny way, how I wasn’t used to the sustained effort, and she responded by wondering why, if I wasn’t having fun, was I doing it, and I TOLD her it’s not supposed to be fun, Mother, it’s supposed to be an exercise in sustained effort but then inside I thought, Why AM I doing this if it’s so grueling, so like an idiot I took a day off to go outside and actually have some fun and now I’m a few MORE days behind, and like the person above I’m at a make it or break it stage, thanks for asking. *shrieks and runs away*

  5. Doing unofficial NaNo! And by that I mean trying to get in an hour of writing every day. BUT IT’S WORKING. Five chapters of writing/heavy revising to go before my novel’s ready for an editor. That counts as #winning to me.

  6. This is my first NaNoWriMo. I’ve wanted to do it for years but never had the gumption to actually make a commitment.

    I had submitted 6 chapters of a story with an outline (which, as Pantster, was a first for me) to a publisher who was open to unfinished work. NaNoWriMo was the perfect opportunity to finish the first draft of the novel.

    So, I jumped in with both feet, writing chapter by chapter (23 chapters in the can so far) and going where the characters take me. The outline is in my head of course, so I have a general direction where the story is headed, but the characters fill in the blanks. It’s like they have a life of their own and I’m just there to write it down. :o)

    I’m at 31,641 word count so far. “Whoohoo!” she says, waiving her hands in the air like a bare-assed lunatic in open trapdoor long johns.

    I would never been able to accomplish this feat if you hadn’t inspired me to turn off my inner-editor (Although, I’m sure she’ll have plenty to say when I start editing in December. :o)).

    Before I discovered your blog, I had no idea that was even possible. My last novel took me years to write. (I’m still floored to think you do this every month.)

    So, thanks, Chuck, I am in your debt for opening my eyes to what I’m capable of!

    My greatest NaNoWriMo lesson learned?

    There is a time and a place for my inner-editor and I am the one who gets to choose when to invite her to the party!

  7. I am unfortunately, behind, sitting at about 20k. The end of the semester is looming and college is kicking my butt, so I missed a couple days. But hopefully, somehow, I’ll be able to catch up if I hustle. The entire manuscript is about 46k which I am happy with, Nano really has pushed me to make serious progress. I’ve got a clear idea of the story so I just need to get those damn words on paper.

  8. I was so excited when I started, getting to work, determined to have this thing at least MOSTLY done by the end of the month (I try to keep my goals reasonable so as to not beat myself up at the end and instead celebrate the progress I’ve made – “thanks to this month, it’ll be done by the end of the year!” sort of idea, being a mom with two little boys and suffering with lingering concussion symptoms and all [I was playing with my kids and fell off of a damn trampoline onto concrete – so stupid]). But alas, all in one week, my husband wrenched his back and can hardly move and will need to see a specialist, my friend brought her sick kids over to my house (without any consideration of *my* kids – I expressed my concerns and she insisted that they weren’t sick and contagious anymore…) while I played therapist (I’m not one, but she treats me like I am one… I can’t decide if this is a compliment or not), and wouldn’t leave. Then my doctor told me that my brain is still swollen and if I hit my head again I may die and it seems to be leaking fluids. And finally, despite my best efforts to keep my kids away from my friend’s kids, my son is now puking.

    When shit hits the fan, it’s all at once… And of course, during NaNoWriMo, and just before Thanksgiving. *starts throwing potted peace lilies*

    I really am starting to feel like a character in one of my books. Are they getting revenge on me? I mean, seriously! Granted it could be SO much worse, but it’s all made me fall really behind. But I’m not going to give up. If I can’t have it done by the end of the year as I’d like, I can shoot for my birthday next year. No matter what, I’m finishing this thing. Even if this whole life finally kills me, I will haunt my damn computer and the dreams of my family until I see it finished!!!

    Seriously, maybe my characters really are getting revenge… I think there’s a story here… Hmm…

  9. 39k words for me, and easier this year than last. Which I put down to the fact that I actually did some outlining this time rather than just winging it. I’ve got a good beginning, a reasonable end and a mess in the middle. But after 30 Nov I’ll have time to sort out the order, so I can see what’s duplicated and what’s missing.

  10. My characters have been lively (even if I kill them), the story is on a roll (even though it surprises me), and I’m well on track to win (despite playing too many games). As of the end of November 15, I’m at a total of 26879 words, with a daily average of 1791 words.

    Now to make that intergalactic war escalate.

  11. This is my first NaNo. Going for it with 33k on the page now.

    I have the luxury of taking the month off to write, and was well on target of 2000/day min. this past Thursday (ok – there were a couple of exceptions, which a 6k day helped), BUT…

    Right at the half way WALL…

    Paris rocked me, and I had to drop everything to go celebrate my dad’s birthday, late, because I”D FORGOTTEN IT! And work contacts were disrupting my concentration by asking about the next job. Also I’m publishing my first novel and have a release in a week so there’s a bunch of publicity to take care of, including picking up my first proof ever on Friday – exciting, but not writing time.

    I’m letting myself get trapped in needing a character to be in another city and coming up blank for how to get him there in a way that suits the story. A long walk inspired some new thoughts, and mostly got my head around writing around the problem and coming back to it later.

    So that’s where I am. And today’s a new day. Time to write!!

  12. Goes well. Pantsing the whole thing. Each night, I put ass in chair + fingers on keyboard and get words. 99% of the time, my goal or greater.Skip one night on the weekends for D&D then bust out extra words in one or two nights to make up for it. Doing the work to get the story. Now, it’s not some grand novel that will change the world, but little by little, it’s changing mine. Can’t wait to finish up and edit!

  13. I keep pretty much just barely getting my word count but I’m happy because it’s good stuff and it’s happening in relatively little time each day.

  14. I’m not doing nanowrimo like most people commenting here. I knew I didn’t have the time to commit to it. That being said, I am following the spirit of nanowrimo by sitting down for an hour or two each night and getting some words on the page. Might be 200, might be 2000, but I’m moving along in my WIP faster than I was last month. To me, that’s all that matters.

    Good luck to everyone else! Hope you make it!

  15. I’m behind on my official project, but not for lack of trying. I have written somewhere around 36k words since Nov 1st, shared across all the projects I have on my docket. I say I’m doing pretty good.

  16. About 22k, which is not so bad considering I’ve had one day out for a family visit and a weekend out for a con. I reckon one good spurt will see me caught up. I’m working on a first draft of Silverwolf, for which I already had 29k words before NaNo started, so with the NaNo wordcount I’m now at just over 50k for the whole project. That’s about my halfway point, at least for the first draft. (I’m likely to add more wordcount when my editor gets hold of it and throws some comments and questions in my direction.) It’s a sequel to Winterwood, my magic pirate book, which is due from DAW in Feb 2016 and came it at 133k words altogether. I’m guessing Silverwolf will be somewhere close to that by the time all the edits are done.
    (But yes, agreed that self-doubt goes with the job.)

    Good luck to everyone trying for a NaNoWriMo ‘win’ this year. Whether you manage 50k words or not, you are mighty for trying!

  17. I am so behind my word count that I just want to quit. But then I also want to finish writing this particular story I started. It’s just begging to be told, so yeah. I’m going to stick around and finish it. Good luck, everyone! 🙂 Let’s do this!

    • I know the feeling. I’m probably worse off than you are. I haven’t even hit 10,000. I’ve been busy starting up a blog tour company and I reviewed 5 books last week on my blog. So, I’ve been preoccupied, I need to spend a day doing nothing but writing.

  18. I’ve really surprised myself by doing pretty well so far. I’m ahead of my word count target (not by much but I’ll take it) and it feels like the stuff I’m writing is stuff I can hammer into shape, not the unmitigated shit I was expecting. Go me!

  19. Just a smidge behind on 26,635. Weekends are the hardest to organise, everything just crops up that you hadn’t planned and then there goes the whole weekend. My weekdays are easier to manage and that’s where I’ve been putting in the extra words that I miss on the weekends.

    I will get there, hopefully before the 30th of Nov this year 😀

  20. I’m am so woefully behind…in the high 13k range. I started a new part-time job and two new schedules the first week of November, so that’s thrown some things off, and I had computer issues yesterday which resulted in 4k words being lost. Thankfully, 2k words were able to be recovered.

    BUT! I am not worried. This is my fifth year and I am almost always behind on the word count for NanNo. I’m a professional procrastinator and tend to make big pushes at the end of the month. Hoping to play some catch up this week.

  21. This is my first time doing NaNo and I love doing sprints. 16,628 words so far, as high school takes up a lot of time. My goal is to finish the story before 2015 ends, hopefully catching up sometime around Thanksgiving break. I STRUGGLE. Some days are 500 words days and others 5k days.

  22. I’m only aiming for a novella at the end of the month because a) the story I wanted to tell only seemed like a novella, and b) I didn’t want to burn myself out.

    It’s going well though – halfway through the month, halfway through the story and hitting the word count I set for myself (1,200 a day so I can take Sundays off).

  23. So far, so good. Have been at least a bit over my target word count at the end of the first two weeks, and have hit my daily word count goal (or close enough to call it so) every day. I am at 30,395 words as of today.
    It’s going well, I think. I rather like writing the main character in my story, and the parts of the outline that were ????? are starting to fall into place. Will that keep up? Um, hope so!

    As for how I do it, well, funny you should ask, because I just blogged about that here:

    Of course, what I get done this month is going to be disjointed, unedited, and in dire need of emergency aid. And it will be just the bare skeleton of the main story. But it will be a framework to go on from.

  24. 26,000 + words so far. Writing by the seat of my pants and loving every single word that finds its way on to my draft. Is it supposed to be this much fun to write a novel?

  25. I am staying on top of my word count ranging from 350- 3000+ words per day and at the 25,000+ mark however I am not even halfway through the story I want to tell which means that I may still be writing at the end of November, but I think it’s finally coming out and I think that I might FINALLY have a book I will be (almost) happy with.

  26. Life just keeps kicking me in the kishkies this month. It’s been a never-ending stream of terrible news (almost entirely personal). I have been holding close to par, but every single fucking word feels like I’m carving it out of my bone marrow.

  27. I’m behind, at 20,773 total so far. But I’m almost done with a big translation project, and after that, I will hopefully have more time to devote to writing. Maybe I’ll manage to catch up. 🙂

  28. I am just… massively behind. Right around 10,500, which threatens to be highly demoralizing. But the good news is that I’ve done some small amount of writing most days this month. For me, that is progress in itself. It sounds silly, but the simple fact that falling behind hasn’t caused me to give up entirely, because I’m obviously a failure as a writer and as a human being, is a major personal victory. In fact, I’m still pretty pumped.

    So… I think I’m doing okay?

    Thanks for checking in. I like to see how everybody is doing.

  29. For once I’m ahead of the game and I’m really enjoying this story. I think it has plenty of potential. And it already wants to tell me the sequel.

  30. Well…on one hand, I’m so far behind with my sad 13k that I want to set something on fire everytime I get interrupted. But one the other hand (and before you come banging on my door with pitchforks) I’m happy with how the story is going.


  31. I crossed the 50K mark at a write-in on the 14th – unusual for me, since I’m usually struggling over the last few thousand words at the end of the month – but this story just keeps going. It now has Sasquatch, tree people, an owlbear, some backstories, a kidnapping, a movie called Spider Bunnies from Hell, and a forest ranger inexplicably named Don Rocket. To name a few things. 😉

    I love this story, but I think I may have to release it as a serial once all the editing is done. And I’m definitely going to have to get it illustrated.

  32. I wasn’t going to do NaNo because I was in the middle (read: beginning) of a different WIP. Then I was just going to use NaNo to work on said WIP. Since, I’ve more or less given up on writing this November. We’re moving houses and between packing, my day job, moving things, and all the stuff around closing on the house and some small fix-its we have to make, I just haven’t had the energy. It doesn’t help that I’m not sure if I’m good enough to pull off the story I’m writing or not.

    Planning to get back on it, regardless of skill, post Thanksgiving/move. Good luck to everyone else.

  33. I am loving my book. I dont know wprd count because its still on my phone but i am on page 54. I think this book is a lot like than its captain so far but just you wait.

  34. I think I finished. I was using Nanowrimo to finish a middle grade novel that I’ve been re-writing, but having trouble ending properly. I think I ended it properly, although it’s still a mess of scenes I need to revise and put in the correct order … at a later date, of course, because I need to reread it after it mellows a while. But I don’t want to just say I’m done at 22,000 words! I want my medal! So I’m starting a new one I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It’s a new adult chic lit. It’s always easier to start something than end something. I feel like I’m doing Nanowrimo a bit backward by ending a book and then starting one … but don’t worry, Chuck, I will FINISH MY SHIT… lol

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