NaNoWriMo Commiseration And Conversation Right Here

So, some of you are probably doing NaNoWriMo.

I’m going to pop this post up and leave it here — this is where you can come and talk about how it’s going (or how it’s not going). You can ask for help or tips or ideas. You can rage and froth and grit your teeth. You can ask for commiseration and hugs and high-fives. You can oil-wrestle? I dunno. Whatever you want to do, you can do it here. Consider this a tiny little slice of community conversation for those of you jumping in and doing National Novel Writing Month this go-around.

How’s it going?

What are you writing?

Will you share the work as you go, or after?

What’s your editing plan?

And so on and so forth. Stop by, say hi, tell everyone what’s up.

137 responses to “NaNoWriMo Commiseration And Conversation Right Here”

    • That’s what I’m doing this NaNo too! I’ve actually got around 28,000 and hauling my ass to the end seems like a challenge so I’m just using NaNo as a banner to get it done. I think that system totally works. Good luck!

    • It can be rough. Don’t look at Nov 30. Look at today, keep you’re head down, keep writing. Make small goals and reach them.

    • Take one day at a time and plan one day ahead. If you have a little note for what you what to do the next day, it’s easier to sit down and start when the time comes.

    • One day at a time! 1667 words is a manageable chunk. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your novel won’t be either. Lay the foundations, put up some walls, throw a roof on that sucker, but do it step by step. Don’t zoom out so far that you lose sight of the next little task to do!

  1. Things started off well enough… about 3300 words yesterday. All well and good until I realized that it feels like I’ve written this story before. Most likely I have. However I had an idea to change things up, which should, if all goes well, take the story in a new and interesting direction. Fingers crossed anyway.

  2. This will be my second NaNoWriMo, and I am feeling motivated. This time, I have a full frame with few gaps, so will not be at a loss for content. And it’s a fictionalized account of my father’s life–a project I’ve toyed with as a memoir for a long time, but heading into the autumn I realized that approaching it this way frees the muse considerably. Working title is “If It Weren’t for the War.” It’s my first time using first person plural in a sustained work, so I’ll be working some muscles on this one. Yesterday, easily logged the daily minimum, and plan to keep it that way. I have a long weekend set aside at mid-month where I’ll hole up at a friend’s cabin to push it over the minimum and then enjoy the final glide. There is no way I am letting the self editor have a role in this month’s work. It’s about getting a solid first (zero?) draft down.

  3. I’m mad as hell at myself. Yesterday was too busy (early in at work, errands all afternoon and too tired to stay awake to even get started. Woke this morning at 5:30 (despite not having to go to work at the crack of dawn) and didn’t immediately open WORD and at least get SOMETHING going. I’m wasting time! But I just started a pot of coffee and now’s my chance. Excuse me, I have a crime to write about. And a girl. Can’t forget the girl.

    • You’ve totally got this!

      You didn’t get much writing done, yesterday. However, you were able to get some other things done so that you don’t have to worry about it today.

      Use the day to plunge forth and unleash your story. (;

      {{Even if it’s only one sentence at a time, it’s progress. And that’s a sentence more than you had yesterday.}}

  4. So far, so good. I’m slightly ahead of schedule and plan to be WAY ahead by the time the holiday craziness begins. I’ve generally had good luck writing in between chores during Thanksgiving (pop a turkey in the oven, write until I check it, fix a side dish, write while it cooks, etc.), but you never know when a year is going to be THAT year.

    I’m being a rebel and writing the third book in my Scars of the Sundering fantasy series, the first book of which, Malediction, was released at Gen Con this year and sold out. My fantasy novels are told from the point of view of the “monsters” and this series features the minotaur necromancer Pancras and his friends, the drak twins Kale & Delilah as they take responsibility for the mistakes of their past while chasing rumors of the return of an ancient evil that once plagued the world.

    It will probably sit for a while after I finish the first draft because the second book is in editing, so once that’s ready for revisions, I need to concentrate on that. Hopefully, the revisions to book 2 won’t require huge changes in book 3. I had to re-write the beginning of book 2 due to changes I made to book 1, and of course, we’re finding all sorts of legacy issues from the original beginning (isn’t editing FUN?).

    I’m really hoping to have book 2 out for ConQuest in May, then book 3 for Gen Con 2016. I’ve got a bunch of sci-fi ideas bouncing around my head WHICH DO NOT HELP ME WRITE FANTASY.

    • Good to hear that I’m not the only person who sneaks in the writing between turkey-bastings, dessert-making and side-fixing on Thanksgiving Day! I won’t touch it while the Macy’s T-D parade is on, though.

      Bit of advice on the sci-fi idea bouncing problem, something that works for me – your mileage may vary, of course: If the new ideas are really insistent, really wanting to be born, set aside a bit of time, couple of hours maybe, open a new document and write the shit out of them. Then close the document and go back to writing fantasy. Think of it like opening a pressure-release valve in your writing system.

      • I have notebooks I do exactly that in. And Word files. It’s strange, but sometimes notes feel better written by hand, and other times, I want them in that electronic master file (my “Series Bible,” as it were.

  5. Hi, I’m Darius, dhsayers on the NaNo site, twitter many places. I’m writing a far-future sci-fi novel about bullying, courage and what it takes to deal with change. My biggest stumbling blocks are balancing the 50k goal with the final 90kish goal and editing. I’m terrible at editing .

    I’m sharing my novel on Tablo if anyone is interested I’ll send a link.


  6. Every time I tried to participate in NaNo before, I ended up failing miserably. The kind where reaching the four-digit word count milestone by the end of the month is the highest achievement I could reach.

    I won’t even try setting a target word count this year. I will try to write as often as I can, of course, and if I manage to produce anything that doesn’t make me want to restart from scratch, then I will at least look for volunteers for feedback.

    • When I first started in 2011 that was my problem. I always failed because other things got in the way of writing. 2012 was the same. I’m 2013 I picked an idea that really resonated with me. The only thing that has helped me win the last two years is having zero excuses to myself and always writing at least 1667 words a day, no matter what.

  7. This is going to be my first NaNoWriMo. I started a novel that i had to pause when revisions came back on my screenplay. I’ll finish those this week and then dive headfirst into finishing the draft of my novel (which, coincidentally, needs 50k words). The novel is called Spade. What it’s about: What if Boba Fett hunted superheroes instead of Han & Jedi? What if he got cancer & the only cure was the blood of Superman’s son?

  8. The morning oil wrestling is going great, but would be better with an opponent. Wait, maybe I’ve said too much about that.

    As for the words, kicked out 7041 in 2 days, which puts me on track for my target 100k this month. Probably the first time I’m not behind after the first day.

  9. I wrote, didn’t look at how many words (it would depress me.), but I’m writing and will keep on writing. Won’t think about how good/bad/whatever is on the screen. I will just write. See where I’m heading?

    • Hey, Lisa, that is perfectly all right. The first time I participated, my only goal was to just write every day — 100 words was my goal, but I often surpassed it without thinking. By the end of the month, it will be a habit that will be hard to break!

      Good luck.

    • Sounds like the perfect attitude – I usually spend too long obsessing over wordcount and as soon as I fall behind start worrying about how/when I’ll catch up.

  10. Thanks for your “Perfect machine” post-that was great!
    I’m a big plotter, so I’ve built my framework and now I’m filling it all in. Every year, I try and approach NaNo as a habit-building exercise. That’s the most important thing for me-to take the competition aspect of it (competing with myself mind you), and turn it into a regular habit. I’m writing the first of a series of novels about a character who loses everything that matters to her and has to rebuild her life, all the while coping with a strange new ability that she seems to have inherited. In the end, it is about believing in yourself when you have nothing left to believe in. I’ve decided to do a quick edit as I go and share it with a couple of select members of my family-mostly because I have to break out of the fear of showing it to anyone in case they think it sucks. I need to work on developing the thick skin! I will work on a tougher edit when it’s done. Then I have some other test readers lined up.
    Seeing folks tally up 50k in one day has been a bit demoralizing, but at the same time, it serves to remind me that the journey is my own, my big picture is a marathon not a sprint and I’m building a castle not a tent 🙂

    • Doing 50k in one day is a stunt, just to show that it can be done. Those that do it will tell you its mostly garbage. Just ask Mat Morris, whose done it multiple times but never published anything out of the resulting mess. Make your own, reasonable goals given your life. Consistency is the key!

      • Hey, now.

        It IS a stunt, and a fairly impressive one, but writing that fast doesn’t make it automatically garbage. EVERYONE’s writing rough drafts this month, many of them at paces they’re not usually comfortable with. And nobody’s going to be publishing what they write this month without a heck of a lot of editing first, whether they hit 50k on day 1 or 11:59 PM on day 30.

        But don’t be demoralized! You’re not competing with other people. (If we were, I would feel a lot worse about the woman in Atlanta region who hits 400k every year. As it is, I’m just really impressed with her, and grateful anytime I managed to squeak out a word war win.) You’re competing with you, your own inner editor and the forces in your own life that keep you off the keyboard, and that’s a battle enough, isn’t it?

      • Yes and no. I did it yesterday to prove to myself I could do it, but I also needed a big push on my large goal this month (I’m trying to get down four books in a fantasy series.) The last 8k or so is fairly unsalvageable when the weaknesses of human flesh started to catch up to me, but the rest is fine.

        Blue Mama Bunny, don’t worry about what anyone else does! You do you. Just like there are folks that hit 50k in a day, there are also folks that hit 0k yesterday. And as long as you’re writing, you’ll always be “ahead” of the folks that think about writing a novel one day but never actually do it.

    • Have a hug, Blue Mama Bunny: **hugs**. I know it can be disheartening when you’re plugging along and you see someone score the word goal on their first day, or even in their first week, but try to keep in mind that those super-over-achieving people are the exception, not the rule – most of us couldn’t even crap something out that fast if Walter White was living in our basement. “Building a castle not a tent” is a really great way of putting it, too. 🙂

  11. It’s going great! I had a long drive yesterday so did some words via talk text into a notes program. dragged those over this morning and added to the story. I’m liking it. Am choosing to work on a novel, and three other projects this month. Looking forward to the accountability factor, and the makings of a daily routine.

    • Oh, talk to text on a long drive is a good idea! The punctuation is always a bit nutty from that, but a raw draft plus a lot of empty time on one’s hands? Match made in heaven.

  12. Hi! (:

    I am partaking in the chaos of NaNoWriMo. {{Yay!}} So far, it’s going alright-ish. I may have erased over 18 sentences, and/or parts of sentences, in addition to second guessing every word that I’ve placed in my document.

    I managed to hit 2,005 words before the day was over, but I find that today, I’m not quite as determined? I went through and re-read the sentences I’ve completed and honestly want to go through it with a fine-toothed comb to get rid of the nasty parasites that await in the shadows. It’s going to be interesting to see how much I hate the story when I’ve finished, though my stubborn side hopes to turn it around. Anyhow, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

    What am I writing? My current project is called Silhouettes of Red. It is the tale of a man named Edgar Bates. He is a serial killer with a complex obsession for blood. At this point, I’m in a torture chapter where he’s trying to break his most recent victim. It’s… getting there. (;

    With the sharing portion, I committed to posting an excerpt on my blog, once a week. Afterward, I will more than likely post it to figment or something, (haven’t worked that part out just yet).

    My editing plan is nonexistent because how can you edit something that is incomplete? xD

    My first goal is to write it out and finish by the end of November. I will probably edit it in January, which means gruesome hours of tearing my work apart as well as hoping that I didn’t write complete trash. Either way, it’s sure to be a rollercoaster ride.

    *hums the love rollercoaster song and knows it will be in her head the rest of the day*

    I hope that others are finding more success! The beginning is always the worst for me. Once I figure out my “routine” and gain momentum, the story unfolds faster than I can type. I look forward to that as I persevere in the meantime.

    Good luck, everyone. (:
    – –
    “Writing is great. Storytelling is better!”
    ~ Shay <3

    • Hey, sounds to me like you are doing great! Try to avoid going back and looking, if you want to do it NaNo style (that’s really not for everyone. Some people just NEED to tinker and polish as they go, and that’s cool).

      • Thank you for the positive feedback! (:

        I definitely need to follow the NaNo Style, or I’m going to lose a lot of time with editing. I’m bad at re-reading/editing. Sometimes I talk myself into it by saying, “No, go back. You have to read it because you don’t know where you were when you stopped.”

        That’s usually the catcher. I haven’t re-read anything today, but I also haven’t written anything else. lol, hopefully, this afternoon will be better.

      • Doesn’t it just beat all? I swear, the writer gods are out to get us with this editing. (: Thanks for the advice. It will be a grueling monster to face, but my hope is that I can handle it.

    • Don’t erase! Don’t re-read! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

      Editing in January is my plan too. I need the month of December away from a NaNo novel, for the fresh eyes and the mental break. Also (this year): managing the holidays with a pair of two-year-olds and out of state family. Editing is going to be a breeze after that.

      • This one made me laugh out loud, (in real life). [;

        Editing easy for me, but I don’t know when to quit. So I usually wait until after December to make changes, otherwise, I just nitpick everything.


        I totally understand the fresh eyes/mental break part. These characters are awful demanding when it comes to their stories. They really want it to be shared with the world. Greedy monsters.

        Anyway! 2 year olds? How fun and exciting! (:

    • I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ve done it a few times in the past, and I have to confess that I go back and read over at least some of what I’ve written the day before. It helps me refocus, and I find that the re-reading will reinvigorate my enthusiasm, even when the quality of the writing makes me cringe.

      As for the editing, I do draw the line there, but to placate my inner critic I’ll often highlight areas that I feel are in urgent need of either a thorough re-write or total annihilation. That’s how I get around the problem of deleting those hard earned words and destroying my word count. I just flag sections for future deletion and carry on. It solves the word count issue and sedates that vociferous inner critic sufficiently to let me continue.

  13. How’s it going? –> It’s OK. New dad here, and maybe baby started teething last night. She’s sleeping longer now, so I managed to squeeze in about 1.5k words yesterday.

    What are you writing? –> an X-men School for Gifted Youngsters novel set in Kansas and not Westchester, with actual, you know, teaching, classes, etc. Internships = sidekick year, graduation = being drafted into a city superhero team, supervillain that can clone his mind into other superheroes. Should be fun.

    Will you share the work as you go, or after? –> I have a friend that’s been reading my attempts at novels ever since I started trying at 18, a writing partner that’s working on his own novel, and a couple of friends that read my finished work when it’s entering 2nd drafts and beyond. The dream is to publish one day, so maybe that counts as “sharing” too.

    What’s your editing plan? –> Depends on how the work is going. If I finish it, I’ll work through 2-3 edits myself, send out to readers, process their feedback, and do a final edit myself. Then I might put some $ down to get a legitimate editor, and then it’s on to the submission grind.

    I love NaNoWriMo, if only because it’s an exercise in getting back into a writing rhythm. I’ve never “won” by hitting 50k, but there isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t write something, and I attribute a lot of that to the residual effect of the month.

    Anyway, I’m on the boards too, where I’ll be posting as well. But, hey, this is my fave blog, so I thought I’d say hello too :o)

    • I’m no longer a new mom (two-year-old twins) but I remember how that goes — good luck to you! (Also, my daughter is teething again this week, so I feel your pain. And hers.)

      Also love the novel idea! I always liked the X-Men as a kid but as an adult it’s like “you guys have no pedagogical training and it shows. please stop.”

  14. Using NaNoWriMo to try and get back that feeling I used to have for writing way back when before I started having a full time job – just finished a much needed 2-week break and realised I’ve been missing out on life (including writing) much more than I had realised.

    Getting off to a (very) slow start – but hey at least I started! Fingers crossed that once I get through the first few days and get the rust off the gears the thoughts should come along much more nicely and my characters will indeed start telling me exactly what’s going on instead of being obscure and evasive all the time…

  15. I got word count yesterday to start off. I didn’t have my music so it took me longer than it should have to get that. I have to wonder if the story will be interesting but right now, I’ll pound out the words. *shrug* I had no clue really what I was going to do until a few days before so I’m trying to look up some history to use as reference as I’m typing along. And trying to have accurate names for the time period since I’ll be flipping between human world and fae world.

  16. I’ve had a three-year streak of hitting 50k but not getting anywhere near the end of the novel, so I’m trying to kick that this year–and that probably means keeping on pace to hit 80 or 90k. As this is my first year with a full-time job…we’ll see! I’m chilling at 3100 right now.

    I just need to find the right playlist that’ll fill in the background rhythms but not distract me by being the Wrong Music. Next-level procrastination strats go~

    • Always amazes me that some people work better with music. I like it quiet 🙂 If music is on, I’ll stop and listen…

    • I really like listening to music in languages I don’t speak — something similar to what I’d ordinarily listen to, but with words I can’t tune into (and thus tune out of my writing)! Make a Pandora station based on Zaz or Gipsy Kings or Juanes or somebody with a sound you like but words you totally don’t comprehend, haha.

  17. I’ve started. I’ve never finished Nano but this year will be different. My problem is editing as I go along which backs me up and keeps me from going forward which I am determined not to do this year. Editing, that is.

    My goal is to get the words on the page. I’ve agreed with myself to just put some capital Xs if I think something needs editing but keep going. Of course it’ll all need editing when it’s written, but I think I’ve satisfied the inner editor with this plan. My inner editor is a workaholic I’ll soon see if this works.

  18. I’m in for Nanowrimo this year after skipping last year and I’m glad to be full-on writing again. I’ve been drawing a lot this past year. I was only writing 500-1000 word picture books, and that was hard enough! But I learned so much by looking at the arc of story that only has 32-40 pages to make an impact. Still so much to understand about what works and why.

    My project for Nanowrimo is a rewrite of my MG Historical fiction about kids of air traffic controllers during the 1981 PATCO strike. The folks I showed (including a few agents who asked for the full) liked the premise and the first 3-5 chapters, but then, like so many of my stories, it gets muddled from act two until the end. So I’m rewriting from act 2 til the end with (hopefully) better ideas. I don’t think I’ll need the full 50,000 to get what I need, but I’m glad for Nanowrimo to keep me motivated. I don’t think I’d keep rewriting this story if I didn’t have a push from other friends who believe in it. I got discouraged and had to put it away for a while.

    Thanks, Chuck, for making space for writer community ramblings. You’re always so good like that.

    BTW – my daughter and I loved the second Heartland book and we just bought book 3! Looking forward to it!

  19. I got 2,444 on the first day, which ain’t bad, but I have been working on this novella that flows like honey, and I just switched to a western novel that I’ve been planning for some time for NaNo, and it’s garbage. I mean the idea of the novel is good and exciting, it’s a project I was super excited about before I started this novella, but I’m having a hard time getting back into it. I know if I keep going I’ll fall back in love with it, and I know I can fix whatever happens in the interim. But writing stuff you now is terrible after working on something you know is good is AGONY.

  20. I am doing well. This is my first NANO but 50,000 words is overwhelming. But I am just focusing on right now and doing my best, that’s all we can do.

  21. Mine isn’t going. Mainly cause I don’t have an idea. I keep trying and nothing hooks in my mind if an idea comes at all. It’s frustrating too cause it’s day two. I’m hoping that’ll change before it gets too far along for me to really do any participating. =/

  22. I’m cheating, doubly. I’m going for 25,000 words, because grad school. On a WIP, because I already know I can start a novel. I’ve started lots of novels. My problem is finishing them instead of dropping them 30-50k words in when I realize they’re utter shit and I get a shiny new idea for something completely different. It’s getting ridiculous, so no new projects until this one is done.

    This one is… steampunk? With emphasis on the punk rather than the steam. I think. Or it might just be a dumb adventure novel with a Mismatched Team of Adventurers on a search for a Lost City.

    First day went well. Mostly it was filling in gaps between old snippets of scenes. They have context now! And no, I will not show this to anyone until it sucks a whole lot less.

  23. Good morning Chuck – thanks for the support

    It has been amazingly freeing not to edit as I go, although I still do to some extent.
    Can’t help it. Too many years as a history prof (that;s my moniker on Nano)

    I’ve done 2100 words each day which it looks like will round out to about a chapter
    per sitting. Plus doing my blog on my Elderly Mother as a warm up before I start
    although that is probably not a good idea since I edit the heck out of the blogs.

    Still, this is going to be an excellent experience.

  24. This is the first time I’ve properly participated. Only 841 words so far. I’m easing myself in. Some writing in the mornings (on the iPad Air 2 with Microsoft Universal Keyboard) in the local Starbucks, and some during the evening at home (on the proper Mac laptop).

    The strangest thing about all this is that the story seems to be taking a life of its own. It started off completely unexpectedly (albeit it harkens to the comedy of Monty Python meeting Neil Gaiman), yet there is a definite logic to it. Starting this has actually made the rest of it that I’d been thinking about for such a long time much easier to join the dots.

    • That sounds great! I was pretty surprised yesterday at how my VERY sketchy plan took shape! Sometime amazing things happen when we unplug our inner editors, and just write.

  25. Managed to squeeze some words out yesterday despite feeling like death warmed up and having to unpack from holiday & get kids ready for school again. Am behind, but as yet undaunted!

    What am I writing? The tale of Hilda Jones, Monster Hunter, along with her two cohorts Yod and Uzle. They venture into the world of the dreamcatchers, who harvest people’s dreams for money. Some aren’t quite so good at their jobs, so rogue dreams escape.

    Oh, and there are dino-chickens. Sentient killer dino-chickens.

    • I usually get my ideas for NaNoWriMo in the last seven days. I go hiking up this giant hill and back down and usually solidify an idea by the time I get back to my car. This year I had to hike it the times round trip. 18k steps! I did that on October 31st. I want sure about the idea but I decided to stick with it and see what happened. I’m at 16k words right now and having so much fun.

  26. I don’t have a novel idea (pun intended) but I’m thinking that developing a daily writing habit will be a good use of NaNoWriMo for me. To that end, I’ve started using again after a long hiatus. I posted by “success” to Twitter yesterday and plan on doing so for the rest of the month.

    Luck and perseverance and coffee to all!

  27. In it to win it. Year 3. Could use a high-5 or too since my sweet Baboo has little to say in the way of encouragement. Can’t blame him since I’m 2 for 2 still not shared. This crap takes courage!

    Anyway, have to say kudos to you Chuck since your commentary the other day led me to the epiphany that it’s just an exercise that would be best utilized as a way of life. Not just a month out of the year. Like a diet kickstart. 30 days of doing something good for you becomes a habit.

    And I hope it’s cool with you that I name dropped Chuck Wensig in my work along with the likes of Elizabeth Berg and Steohen King. My main character is a writer…so she’s gotta write. She’s gotta use literary references as she writes. If cool then have your agents call my agents and you and me will do lunch. In Galveston, Texas. My treat.

  28. Hey, fellow scribblers! I’m Chris, and this is my second year unofficially doing NaNoWriMo. I’m not on the website, but I’m shooting for the 50k-word target and this year I’m tracking my daily progress in Excel. Last year I started a brand new project, hit 50k words on Nov. 30, and stretched that out to a ~150k-word first draft by March. I finished a third round of revisions on that book last week in preparation for this year’s effort, which is a sequel to last year’s. I already had 25k words on book #2, so I’m using this month to pick up the keyboard-pounding pace and add considerably. I also tried outlining book #2 this year before November, so I’ve got a bit more structure for the chapter-to-chapter plot lines, which should help keep the word flow going.

    The story is about an amnesiac time traveler who awakens every day as someone new in a different historical era: the first book included ancient Rome, contemporary Manhattan, medieval England, and pre-revolutionary Russia, among others. The first book deals with the protagonist learning why he is bouncing around time as he meets other time travelers who are fighting with each other to recover him for their own purposes. This year’s project, the sequel, will center around the protagonist saying “F-off” to the people chasing after him, striking out on his own, and following mysterious pleas for help being sent to him from new historical settings. All the while he is trying to avoid capture by the people hunting him.

    I’m still working on developing the overarching plot that will likely spill into a third book. I pretty much pantsed the first book last year, and experienced first hand the pitfalls to that approach in the revising process, hence the outlining for book #2. For now, I hit my 1700 word-per-day quota pretty easily last night. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes!

    Happy writing, everyone!

  29. This is my first NaNoWriMo and I am using this opportunity to finish a fantasy novel I have in progress (I’m six chapters in). I submitted it with an outline to Hodderscape during their Open Submissions. They were open to receiving unfinished work so, what the hell, I threw it at the wall to see if it would stick… and now, I need to finish the blasted thing!

    Anyway, I had to review the six chapters yesterday and my confounded inner-editor got control of my keyboard… Oh, no! Danger Will Robinson!

    It was later in the evening before I started actually writing. Sigh. I got to 1,348 words and my brain shut its doors and kicked me out.

    So, today I’m off to catch up.

  30. I’m doing NaNo for the fourth year. In 2013 I “won” in the barest sense of the word with a 50k word count, but nothing worth working on after that. This year I planned a whole lot more and yesterday went pretty well, so I’m super excited for the rest of the month.
    I have my 30 Days in the Word Mines to help me get through. Chuck believes I can do it =]

  31. Wait, what? you’re supposed to use oil? That Said…… I am a two-fingered typist, Yup, a proud and defiant Selectric dropout so, meeting the suggested words per day, plus continually swatting the critical editor off my shoulder, I haven’t much room for anything else. Ok, I’ll give the oil a try, wait, will Crisco do? suffice it to say, whatever it takes. She said…….

    • Two fingers can be good. My kid types faster with 2-4 fingers than a lot of people do with all ten (he can’t catch me, but I’ve had a LOT more practice :D).

      Crisco is too sticky. If you don’t have oil for wrestling, I suggest ice cream.

  32. The first day was pretty cool. I managed nearly 7k at a write-in we held in a café/theatre in Brighton. I run the community there and we had several people bust through their 5k days. It helped that some were mad enough to start AT midnight and try to his their daily quota there. Afterwards we went to the pub, had some drinks and played some games.
    Today’s been less easy, what with work. Still, I squeaked past my quota just before my lunch break ended and I want to dive back in.
    I’m still pumped. It’ll be week three when the writers get feral that things will change.

  33. This is my first try at NaNo. I decided to continue writing the story that I’m already 19k words into. Haven’t worked on it for about 3 months, as I’d taken a break to work on a short story. Which I finished just in time to try NaNoWriMo, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

    I sat down yesterday and reread what I’d written last on the novel. I was very disappointed with myself. It’s not the content itself, it’s the writing. It feels kind of sub-standard, somehow. Haven’t had the inclination to look into it again after that. But I still don’t want to start a new story afresh. This one’s been waiting long enough. I just wish I could punch my frickin’ brain and squeeze it until it fucking listens to me.

    …Uhm. Well. What I meant was, I wish my stupid brain would let me get the fuck off my ass and start writing.

    But I do have another dilemma as well: edit the already written stuff and then continue, or continue anyway because NaNo’s objective is to get some shit written down. But editing would make me feel better about myself. It would take some time as well, though, and I’m already 2 days behind.

  34. I made it to 2200 words as of last night. This is my first NaNo. I’m writing an epic sci-fi fantasy story and I just realized that I’ve never written a sci-fi novel before, and it’s scaring the shit out of me. I have no idea how to elegantly world-build and progress the plot simultaneously. Luckily this is the screaming, baby art monster draft.

    • Hey, world-building’s not an elegant process by any means. Just work on the plot, your characters will start telling you aaalll about their world along the way – remember, they’re living in it. You can go back and add more details to smooth things out later.

  35. I’m attempting to do 2K a day, which is funny considering I’ve done Nano since 2011 and have never finished. LOL! My NaNoWriMo novel has a Black Female MC with an anxiety disorder who has a supernatural ability. I currently have 2,351 words. I am going to try to go to as many write-ins as my husband and children can handle so I can really buckle down and get some marathon writing in.

  36. Doing it for the second time. Last time, an extra two weeks brought my count to 80K and the novel to pretty much a full draft, and I’m aiming for about the same this time. It’s book two of a mystery series–the Pismawallops PTA Murders–and I am pretty confident, though my outline isn’t as good as last time. Yesterday was encouraging, with over 2500 words spewing out pretty painlessly.

    I never share my work until it’s been edited quite a bit. It really, really isn’t something I want to share in its raw form!

    Editing: last time I put that off too long while I finished other projects. That may happen again, though I’m maybe in a little better place.

    I like doing this, because the rough draft is my favorite part–watching a story take shape (however deformed that shape may be at this stage) under my fingers.

    So I’m off to do today’s chapter.

  37. On Saturday, we hosted a free, all day “Come plan your novel!” event that ended up being some planning, but mostly teasing each other about being on Facebook instead of planning. Writing started right at 12am and I made it to 12:30 before I had to go home and crash. I was in the zone while at the publishing house’s open writing space, but when I tried to get in my remaining 400 words last night at home… it was touch. Too many distractions, too tired to stay focused – I finally started a word war in our regional chat and made it up to 1,700. And went to bed.

    I made the silly decision to get up at 5:30a and write (instead of stay in bed and read BuzzFeed), which didn’t go as planned because I let myself fart around the kitchen, making breakfast, reading email, etc, instead of just sitting down and writing. I’m making room to forgive myself and try again tomorrow. And Wednesday. And Thursday/Friday/Saturday – however long until it sticks!

  38. -How’s it going?-

    Pretty well, to be honest 🙂 I’ve learned a lot about writing this past year and so I’m more comfortable with the idea of finishing a large work since I’ve done it a few times now. I also set goals this time, which helps a LOT. Now my minimum is 1,667 words, goal is 2,000, and stretch is 4,000 a day. Yesterday, I hit a little over 4k and today I already have 600 words in the bank. Also, I’ve told myself to just go with the story, whether that’s funny, ridiculous, or what, which takes a lot of pressure off 🙂

    -What are you writing?-

    The most stereotypical fantasy novel that I possibly can 🙂 If you have any fantasy tropes that you love/hate, let me know so I can add them to my novel!

    -Will you share the work as you go, or after?-

    After. Definitely after. I already have two people that want to read it and I think that I want to keep it to myself for now.

    -What’s your editing plan?-

    Once I finish, my editing plan is to look at my notes, do my research, and then print out and read my manuscript. After a generous dose of red pen, I’ll reverse outline the whole thing and continue to add, cut, and red line until I can bear to look at my story straight on. To be honest, the editing part still worries me a lot, since this story is going to be the largest work I’ve ever edited so far.

    -What’s up?-

    Word sprints. Word sprints have been saving my bacon so far ;p

  39. 300 words. That’s it for my first day. THREE HUNDRED FRACKING, FRICKING WORDS. NaNoWriMo tells me it would take until April 2016 to finish at this rate. I did spend time learning Scrivener the first day instead of ahead of time, as I should properly have done. And I have a screenplay to start from, to. Bollocks. I’m going to (I deleted “I’m trying to) novelize http://www.whitestormsaga just for giggles. So I say. This is like coughing up rocks, I’m telling you. Maybe me lungs and voice will clear in 24 hours. One can only hope.

    And what are these NaNoWriMo word sprints I found on Twitter? I’m not adept at translating abbreviated Twttr-spk into plain English–you know, with subjects and verbs and clauses and such.

      • Um, unless you’re planning on pitching your novel to them because you want it to be the OFFICIAL novelization, you’re writing fanfiction and permission probably isn’t going to be forthcoming. As fanfiction, though, you can freely share the story as a transformative work. I’d suggest posting it to a fanfiction archive like AO3.

        Disclaimer: There are lots of archives, but I like AO3 and my second successful attempt at NaNo ended up over there. My original idea died a permanent death on the first day of NaNo that year, and then my family decided to watch Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in front of me while I was trying to figure something out and…well, something just clicked. 😉

        • I think I will wait to see what the IP owner has to say. I am the author of the screenplay, by the way, so if the novel conforms to his vision enough, he may let me go for it. I was at the booth in Comic-Con with them in 2013 when they released the proof-of-concept trailer–which is awesome, IMHO. I fear, however, left to my own devices, my novelization may stray too far.

    • The word-sprints are sort of just a little motivational tool; you try to just write hard for the duration of the sprint, and reach a certain word goal in that time. Sometimes the people running the sprints offer little mini-prompts or things to try to help keep the ideas moving in your novel, too!

  40. 1560 yesterday. I think the daily quota won’t be difficult until the middle of my mainstream novel. I’m enjoying NOT editing as I go, following Anne Lamott’s advice about putting together a SFD – shitty first draft. I think I’ll master that advice without a problem.

  41. I hate rough drafts. I hate slogging through all those plot threads, messy, nasty things wriggling around like toothy eels. Every time I think I’ve closed all the plot holes more pop up. Then I realized a whole section was starting to sound an awful lot like an episode of Fringe. Dammit real life, why do you have to intrude into everything?

  42. I’m not doing the Nanowrimo site this year, either. I don’t know if I’ll hit 50k, and I’m not starting something new. Instead I’m trying to get a good chunk done in my current novel – want to finish it before the holidays, so it can sit around while I’m eating turkey.

    I would roughly describe the novel as YA dieselpunk world war fiction, featuring a double amputee as the magic-wielding, plane-flying protagonist.

    Nanowrimo has regrettably become a little toxic for me, both in personal terms (ooh! New project! Jump around! Never edit and never finish!) and in interpersonal terms (a highly dysfunctional Nano region). And as I have completed the word count in the past, I’m trying to move on to something I haven’t actually done yet – write a readable, publishable novel.

  43. I currently have 8200 words under my belt. It’s always easier in the beginning, where I have a firm idea where things are going. When I get to later in the story where I have a more vague plan for where things are going, it gets harder.

  44. I’ve got three projects. I’m not a masochist at heart, but my mind scatters easily and if I don’t have multiple things going on, I will burn out faster. I know, I’m weird.

    My official project for NaNo is “Patience Mr. Grayson” which is a hybrid historical, thriller/romance set in 1840s Missouri, so after the Trail of Tears but before the Civil War. Goal is 2k daily, 50k by Nov. 30

    My side project is “The Tamsind Affair” which is a Noir Thriller set in 1940s California and a current WIP, so goal is 1k daily, 30k by Nov. 30

    And my other project is compiling my genealogy research into a series of books as Christmas presents for the family. Time consuming, but fun. goal 2 branches of 5 generations a week, for a total of 8 branches ready for proofing on December 1st.

    So, stuff to give my brain a rest, spend time with the family, but still keep me inspired are: video games LA Noire, Assassins Creed III, and Red Dead Redemption. Movies: The Joy Luck Club, The Maltese Falcon, and Quigley Down Under. Music on the iPod includes Lindsey Stirling, Nightwish, Glenn Miller, and Gaelic Storm.

    Soooo I’ve got a full plate. Best get at it.

    Best of luck to everyone, and may you meet the goals you set for yourself. Cheers!

  45. Sooooo… rather than write out any of the novels that I have outlined in my head, I decided to completely seat of my pants a novel in the same genre as one of the flash fiction challenges from this site. It’s interesting. I’m getting to know my character as I go along, I have bits and pieces of what I want to happen starting to surface, but mostly I just know where it’s taking place.

    It’s interesting going, but at least I hit 1.7K last night, so, that’s good. I’d not realized how rusty I’ve gotten. Last year 3 hours was enough time to knock out 3k. Hopefully my brain meats will limber up soon.

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