I’m continuing to share my November experience writing a full novel in a month, not just the NaNoWriMo 50K. My expectation is Protecting the Pneuma Key will be about 120K.
As a reminder: I live alone with Mr. Calvin, a cat, and work part time, Monday through Friday (normally). In the U.S. there are a couple of holidays in November and I traditionally take a few extra days off. Thus far, I took off on the 1st.
Day 7: This was my reminder that my quest for a full novel in a month is a balancing act. I need to devote as much time to writing as possible, but I also need to take care of myself. I was dragging this day, but still inspired. On this day inspiration came from two lighthearted scenes. Interestingly, in the outline there was little said about either of them. That’s the value of a flexible outline. Too, I’m noticing subtle differences in the characters from what I’d envisioned. That’s what the process is all about. Count: 4,064
Day 8: A Friday, and me on the brink of another 3-day weekend. I got a bit more sleep on Thursday night. Now that the characters have settled in I’m noticing more depth to the relationships. I’ve reached, approximately, the first pinch point in the story (37.5%). The urgency and tension are building ahead of the midpoint. To avoid a sagging middle I sprinkle revelations and significant events throughout the 25% to 75% marks. Count: 4,138
Day 9: Mega sleep last night meant waking rejuvenated and inspired. I was a bit groggy early and took care of some other tasks. There was also a fantastic walk that brought more story details to light. After, I went on a tear, making up for all the lost time from sleeping late. Count: 5,523
Day 10: Crunch time on Sunday. The day’s primary purpose was to reach NaNoWriMo’s 50K word count. Why? No special reason other than the appeal of 50K in 10 days. Producing a large count in a day can be daunting if viewed as a whole. I focus on each chapter. I’ve been noticing that I’ve been falling into the trap where I over consider words that’ll be changed in editing anyway. After a walk, the second half of which was in a cool drizzle, I was charged. I found the right music and plowed through chapters. In the end, I made it. Count: 6,367
Day 11: A Monday, but a holiday, so I was off (I love November). Now, it’s just me and the story. NaNo is behind me. What’s immediately ahead is the story’s midpoint. I can catch glimpses of it on the horizon, the tension building. I know that what’s revealed there will both clarify and alter what came before. It’ll also reshape the reader’s expectations and hurl the story forward towards the 3rd Plot Point. By evening I’d made it, the revelations falling like oversized snowflakes. Oh, I painted my nails. Count: 4256
Day 12: Back to work, but doing so with a huge cushion. The goal in October was to write 4,000 words/day (4K x 30 = 120K). I’ve exceeded it every day, which is shocking me. There’s only one reason possible: it’s the story and characters. This was another day navigating the major shifts at the novel’s midpoint that culminate with Zepha having to make a heartbreaking choice. Count: 4365
Day 13: An entire novel in a month. It’s a long haul and I’m notorious for a mid-month slump so I’m trying to guard against it. This was the day I expected it to arrive given how tired I was in the morning. It didn’t happen. Despite errands to run in the afternoon after work, my fingers flew on the keyboard later. There’ve been glitches here and there, but for the most part the story has carried me along. Count: 4298
I’m finishing this week between blog posts with 63,260 words. Yes, I’m ahead of the 4K/day pace I’d estimated I needed (goal for today was 52K). The cushion, I hope, will protect me from the unexpected. I’m putting in a lot of hours and making quite a few sacrifices, but most of my success comes from decent planning and the right story.