NaNoWriMo Day 27

The Words: 1686 words today, starting with a 15-minute sprint with my daughter and the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter. Then I realized I was close to the end of the draft, so I just kept going on my own and finished it!

The Story: A lot of explanation ended up needing to fit into the final scene, and it wasn’t very organized. And then I realized I left something (smallish) out. During revision, I’ll have to figure out if it all needs kept or not, and how to make it flow better. But that’s future-me’s problem, along with the fact that the draft is 20k words too short, so I’ll need to figure out something else for it, maybe even an entire sub-plot. Now-me is just glad to have finished the draft as planned.

Final word count: 54,756

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 27, 2011. (Though you’re on your own to finish them, since this is my last of these posts for the month!

Oh, and be sure to watch the wrap-up of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 1188 words today, written in a couple of sprints with my daughter. I have a tendency to allow the day after I hit 50k to be a lower word count day, and today was a good day for that. I only have about 3 scenes left to write before the draft is finished, and while the last few years I’ve tried to get the story to take me to the end of the month, I realized that it doesn’t bother me to stop early this year.

The Story: Today was the climax of the story. I struggled a little to keep the narrative from the right character’s perspective during it, so I’ll have to pay attention to that during revision someday, but I think it came out okay.

Total word count: 51,206

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 24, 2011!

With 6 days left of NaNoWriMo, be sure to check out episode 5 of the NaNoMusical, where the stresses of the month catch up to the characters in my favorite song of the whole thing!

NaNoWriMo Day 18

The Words: Evening work meeting. Headache. 5-minute sprint. 301 words. Better than nothing.

The Story: I started (barely) into a sequence of scenes that will be a little more difficult to write, because they’re really vague in my outline. It’ll be like *gulp* pantsing! (I hate pantsing.)

Total word count: 35,601

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 18, 2011!

And this is a good time to watch episode 4 of the NaNoMusical, where things really heat up!

NaNoWriMo Day 12

The Words: 1894 total words, all written by my lonesome in one 15- and one 20-minute sprint. I expected it to be another day to just write a few words to keep my streak, because my husband and I were supposed to go to a concert tonight. But it was postponed (for possibly a year) due to a large number of the tour personnel testing positive for covid. So I guess I can appreciate the small silver lining that I had time to write.

The Story: Today I got to visit a part of my world that is off the beaten path, so to speak. And even more fun, I got to visit a couple of characters who have been tucked away for a while. One of them is a main character in a past book and changed a lot between then and the time in this book, so it’s kind of like getting to know a new character. And there was more reminiscing of previous books, which always makes for quick and fun writing.

Total word count: 24,984

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 12, 2011!

And if the week 2 blahs have got you down (or even if they don’t), it’s a good time to check out the 3rd episode of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 6

The Words: 2797 total words for the day, only 4 words more than yesterday. I had planned to stop at 2000 words today, but my daughter and I finally managed to catch the @NaNoWordSprints feed on Twitter in action today. As much as I enjoy writing alongside that feed, my daughter likes it even more. So we joined in for the last 10 minutes of a 20-minute sprint, then did a 15-minute one. Then they announced a #1k30, and I told my daughter I didn’t need that many more words, and that I didn’t want to get too far ahead. She just gave me this ornery look (she’s a little behind, so she certainly needed the words) and said I could write less tomorrow. So we went for it, and thus I wrote almost 800 words more than I meant to.

The Story: A rocky relationship came to an official end, and the Big Mystery of this story really got started today. I am constantly realizing that I’m not writing things quite right, due to trying to write fast, and have to let it go for now. My biggest concern is that relationship I mentioned—I’m pretty sure it was due to end when it did, but I’m not certain it should have been as rocky as it was leading up to that, for the sake of the mystery being mysterious. That’s one thing I’ll have to look at more closely in editing.

Total word count: 15,727

If you want to join me in my journey through the second year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 6, 2011!
And in case you need some extra inspiration, check out the 2nd episode of the NaNoMusical!

NaNoWriMo Day 1

The Words: 2593 words total for the day.

I went into this NaNo not terribly prepared. I haven’t had a writing habit of any kind for much of this year, for a mixture of different reasons, not the least of which is the difficulty I’m having revising the next book in my series. I allowed life to get in the way of my writing because it was easier than pushing through. I’m not happy about it, but that’s in the past now. My head so so far from any kind of writing place that I questioned whether or not I’d even do NaNo this year, compounded by the concern that I would have a new draft to write. As October wore on, though, I knew I needed to do this. NaNoWriMo has served me well as a catapult to get back into writing during a slump in the past, so I’m hoping that will happen again.

As is my tradition, I started writing right at midnight to get a jump start on the month. Last year, my daughter, then 10 years old, decided to start writing with me part way through the month. This year, she’s starting from the beginning and even wanted to stay up until midnight to get a few sprints in, so we did two 10-minute sprints together, and then she went to bed. I did one more 15-minute sprint myself and ended the midnight sprint with 1786 words. Then this evening, another 15-minute sprint got me to my day 1 total.

I often set my daily goal higher than the normal minimum, because it’s important to me that I finish the draft of the novel before the motivation of the month disappears. I’m making a very uncertain guess that this draft will be around 75k words, so my daily goal is 2500 words. It’s a delicate balance, trying to come to the end of the draft right at the end of the month, but I’ll re-evaluate halfway through the month or so and raise or lower the word count if/as necessary.

The Story: This is the first year in a while that I haven’t had a brand new story to draft for my series. I’ve already got the first drafts done for the next 6 books in the series and am nowhere near prepared to try to write anything that comes after that. However, after writing most of the first draft for book #5 in November 2015, I later tore the outline apart and rebuilt it, making that first draft almost completely obsolete. So with that new outline already done and being different enough from the first draft that I feel confident rewriting it, instead of revising it, I decided to write that this month. It’s technically rebelling, because it’s not a brand new work of fiction, but I can live with that.

One of the biggest changes I’m making is to change which character is the main character. It was always intended to be Jonathan, a blade smith who was introduced in the first book in the series, Pithea, but who took a back seat when I accidentally let the first book’s MC, Missy, take over. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Jonathan, though, who is a character I love, but hasn’t gotten much “screen time” so far in the completed books.

Total word count: 2577

For almost as long as I’ve been blogging about how NaNo is going all through the month of November, I’ve been sharing each day’s NaNoToon. Though there are no longer new NaNoToons, rather than give up that tradition, I’m going back through them, starting last year with the first year there was a storyline through the month. So for today, if you want to join me, check out the NaNoToon from November 1, 2011! (Though the story for that year actually started over 2 weeks before November, so if you want the full effect, start here.)
And in honor of November 1st, because it is absolutely not NaNoWriMo without the NaNoMusical, here is episode 1!

NaNoWriMo Day 30

The Words: 1187 words total for the day.

Still feeling less than stellar today, I did a lot of reading, playing, watching, and just generally nothing productive today. But I kept in the back of my mind that I needed to write, knowing that it wouldn’t take me long to finish the draft. I finally got to it at around 9:30 pm and took about 20 minutes to write the final scene. And I broke 75k words, which amazingly enough was my estimate of word count for this draft!

The Story: The final scene jumped ahead several years from the rest of the story. Part of me wonders if the scene is worth including in this book, but I like how it provides this mystery for the reader, since it shows the villain in a completely unknown place. It’s a teaser for a future story arc, but I’ll still have to decide whether to keep it or not.

FINAL word count: 75,082

Enjoy today’s NaNoToon from this day in 2009!
The final episode of the NaNoMusical is perfect for the final day of NaNo. Be sure to watch the wrap-up!

NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 1801 words total for the day.

I didn’t have as much time to write this afternoon as I’d hoped, with some pre-cooking to do for Thanksgiving and other housework to catch up on. But I made sure to at least get normal par for the day, and hope (for real, this time) to have a lot of extra time to write tomorrow afternoon.

The Story: I finally finished the 3rd storyline in the series and started on storyline #4 today, the final one (none of this denotes the actual order these storylines will be in the book, by the way, just the order in which I’m writing them).

Total word count: 64,615

With 6 days left of NaNoWriMo, be sure to check out episode 5 of the NaNoMusical, where the stresses of the month catch up to the characters in my favorite song of the whole thing!

NaNoWriMo Day 18

The Words: 609 words total for the day.

One 10-minute sprint was all I did today, a bit of a break after hitting 50k yesterday.

In a case of epic timing, my winner’s shirt arrived in the mail today (I pre-ordered it in October), a perfect reward for winning yesterday! That’s one of the reasons I decided to push for the win yesterday, even though it meant writing more than I’ve been wanting to per day. It’s also another reason I only did one sprint today–to keep from running out of story before the end of the month.

The Story: Not a lot happens in 600 words, but I did get a chance to revisit a location and a scene (sort of) from a previous book. I always enjoy things like that.

Total word count: 50,682

Enjoy today’s NaNoToon from this day in 2009!
And this is a good time to watch episode 4 of the NaNoMusical, where things really heat up!

NaNoWriMo Day 12

The Words: 2977 words total for the day.

I did a 20-minute sprint with my daughter this afternoon, which gave me 1/3 of the words I needed for my daily goal (3000) and also tipped me over to saying that I write the most between 3pm and 4pm.

That’s definitely new for me, because for years, I’ve written mostly at night, somewhere between 9pm and midnight. But this reflects how much I’ve been doing sprints with my daughter, which we’re most likely to do in the afternoon or in the evening before she goes to bed.

Then she went to go play a board game with her dad, and I did a couple of sprints with the @NaNoWordSprints Twitter feed, the second of which I stopped at the halfway point, because I had finished the first storyline of the draft and didn’t want to dive into the next one mid-sprint.

The Story: The rest of the first storyline (of 4) in this draft went by in a whoosh today. That’s because I finally got to the big battle that the book centers around, but the battle isn’t shown in any detail for this storyline. It’s really only shown through a few letters between some of the main characters.

Then I came up to the final scene of the storyline. I’ve had this scene in my head for around 11 years, and I finally got to write it. And it was perfect. Not that it won’t need any revising, but the experience of writing it was just incredible.

I never used to be one for music while I was writing, as much because I didn’t know what kind of music to listen to as anything. In recent years, though, I’ve found that I like having music playing while I write. These days it’s usually some sort of World of Warcraft music, because let’s face it, it has music for every mood. But earlier this month, I realized that there was much better music for this particular quarter of the story–music from the BBC miniseries North and South. I specifically chose to play Northbound Train during that scene, and it was perfect. It even swelled at the exact right time. I honestly don’t know if I’d have had the same feelings if the music hadn’t been there, but all of it together had me in tears while I wrote the scene. I love those moments in writing.

I had to take a break after that, figuring I’d start into storyline #2 later in the evening. But now I’ve decided to just let it rest for today and start new tomorrow.

Total word count: 33,708

If you want to join me in my journey through the first year of NaNoToons (with a storyline), check out the NaNoToon from November 12, 2010!

And if the week 2 blahs have got you down (or even if they don’t), it’s a good time to check out the 3rd episode of the NaNoMusical!