2015 Nano

By far the most difficult NaNo. I thought I’d run out of story at 40k words; but I didn’t expect to have so much trouble getting any tangential inspirations for the last 10,000 words. 

I also didn’t expect to be ill for most of it. 
But even after the doxycycline kicked in, I would never have finished it without the encouraging emails from my friend Barbara; and several phone calls with my mom, who let me ramble through story points. 
Thanks to them I finished, even though I averaged 500 words an hour for 6 of the last 10,000 words. 


I’ve tried–repeatedly–to figure out some method for editing my manuscripts. Not the line edits–word choice, sentence rhythm, the notes let’s say–years of writing poetry have helped me there. 

No, the story structure and chapter/scene level edits seem to well pick your cliche: slide through my fingers, something something wisp, something something phantom. 
I just can’t seem to get them to make any  sense in my head. 
There seem to be two major schools if thought: 
1. Print out your MS and mark it up with stickies and a pencil;
2. Draw pictures. 
Now. I’m bad with THINGS. I’ve spent the past five years of my life trying to get rid of objects. Data is fine! Virtual stuff–I can organize that. But give me a physical object and I’m frozen. 
And I’m a word person. That whole info graphic thing? It’s easier for me to read a spreadsheet. 
So, I’m a bit loath to print out a ton of paper. I’ve done it, but it’s just confusing me more. Also, reading a bunch of 8 1/2 x11s or A4s (work has accustomed me to translating to the British from the American) well, that’s unwieldy at best. 
But as always, Scrivener to the rescue! 
“What if,” I thought, “What if I made my first draft into a mobi. And sent it to my Kindle? And… Used my Kindle’s notes and highlights…?” 
Oh. Yes. That. 

36230, chapter 5

Chapter 5 is complete, and I’m at 36k words. About right for an 80k word novel in 12 chapters, but I can’t help thinking I’m a bit behind (also I’m not sure if what i have planned for the leadup to the final scenes will actually work).

I had wanted to get through chapter 6 today, but it looks like I’ll finish 06 tomorrow. Finishing 50,000 words will not be much trouble–I likely will have that Friday–but it’ll be a lot harder to get the STORY done. That, I’m not so sure about.

The story itself should take at least 75k words–the question, of course, is whether or not I can get that many done in less than two weeks. I’m not quite halfway there, but I should pass 40,000 words tomorrow. But I don’t think I’ll have enough time, late in the week, to write all the words.

Day 14, 25909

So looking at my historic info, every other year I have been behind pretty much until the last week. Close, but still behind.

I think my smallest overage this time around was 600 words.

Now, I have to admit: it’s a bigger story. And I bet I’m further behind story-wise than I am usually.

But it’s still a Big Deal.


This would be my fourth NaNo (fifth if you include Camp) since the first time I won.

Usually I struggle to get a thousand words in a little over an hour.

My first session, on November 1, I got 1667 words (exactly!) in 50 minutes.

I’m stunned.

Granted, practice helps. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 4-5 years working through techniques and tactics and learning how I write.

But the most hopeful thing, to me, is that I’m not bored. A lot of times if I reach a certain low level of mastery or understanding of a topic or field, then I just… stop. I’m just not interested in it anymore. It gets boring. I am done with what I came to see.

Here, it feels like I still have a long ways to go before I get bored. And I really, really like that.

The current novel is the sequel to the Perdita story. I am hoping I can get this one to the 75-85k word range. If I can do that during Nano, that would be even better.

If I work out the next step, I should get another writing session or two in today–which will get me to 10k in the first weekend. That’s… never something I expected to happen.