Saturday, November 16, 2013

Midway NaNoWriMo

How has NaNo gone? We’re at about the halfway point and I’m at about 15,000 words, 10,000 short. It took me a while to get out of the gate, but I had a big day yesterday and posted 2700.

A writing style problem/obsession for me is getting that first chapter or two just right. Not just the storyline and character arc set-up. The voice has to feel right. It took a couple of versions until I found what works and now that is carrying me through. One of the NaNoWriMo pep talk emails talked about the mid-NaNo blues in which the excitement of a new story has worn off and the “the end” is too far off. The author said that if you fall behind the daily word goals, it’s easy to make up with a big day or two. Seems she said 10,000 words big day with 3000 words here and 3500 words there throughout the day. Whatever.

Outlining continues to be instrumental. At each chapter’s start, I chart out what needs to happen. I can even project ahead and add scenes for a chapter or two down the road.

Another thing that hit me was a free write. Ann Cannon at WIFYR likes the free write idea and has pushed it. I don’t really have a set agenda, like asking how would your mc react if such and such were cast in his direction, as Ann would do. I start typing something like how I think the story is going and what it needs. It is ten minutes of non-story writing, but it seems to loosen the juices for actual writing time. I’ve done it for a few days and have gone a day or two without.

And breaks are important. I’ve managed three or more writing hours the last few days. I can’t sit in one place for too long, so I pull the laptop and the lap to various couches and chairs and whatnot around the room. Got a timer on the phone that goes off every hour (actually set for 1 hour and 1 minute) at which I pick up and change positions. I try to give myself five minutes or so. I pace around the place, bug the dogs because I need a diversion, or get something to drink.

Whatever works for you, hope it is working. Happy NaNo-ing.

(This article also posted at

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