NaNoWriMo Update #1

Tomorrow is the end of Week 1 of NaNoWriMo, and I have more than 10,000 words logged in. As I finished my writing for today, I realized that I don’t know if I’ll meet the challenge. It’s not because I won’t have 50,000 words completed. It’s because as of right now I don’t think the story will be complete at that length. I’m already at more than 10,000 words and I’m only on Chapter 6.

Here's my NaNoWriMo chart from 11/7/13. It says I'll finish on December 4, but I'll get 'er done by November 30th!

Here’s my NaNoWriMo chart from 11/7/13. It says I’ll finish on December 4, but I’ll get ‘er done by November 30th! Oh, and I didn’t really write more than 2000 words today. That’s a combination of today’s and yesterday’s work.

I can’t say exactly how long I expect the story to be. One of my favorite movies is Amadeus, and one of my favorite scenes is where the hoity-toity Emperor tells Mozart his opera has too many notes and he should cut a few and it will be perfect, to which Mozart, in one of my favorite smart-ass comebacks of all time, asks, “Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?” Mozart goes on to explain that he uses exactly as many notes as he needs, no more and no less. That’s how I feel about writing my stories. I use exactly as many words as I need—no more and no less. The result is that my novels aren’t any certain length. Woman of Stones turned out to be a novella at 35,000 words. Victory Garden is in the 60,000s, and the books in the Loving Husband Trilogy are in the 80,000 range. I certainly won’t consider it a waste if I hit the 50,000 word mark on November 30 (you’ll see!) and That You Are Here isn’t finished. I’ll simply continue the discipline I’m learning through NaNoWriMo and at this rate I should have it done by the middle of December.

While I go back to writing a bit more tonight (it’s six p.m. here in Vegas and I still have some brain power), I’m reposting an article about writing historical fiction. Enjoy.

5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update #1

  1. Heather, I love your Emerson quote, Every artist was first an amtuear. A friend, who also attended the conference, and I were just talking about that subject. In any creative endeavor, periods of verbal self-flagellation are inevitable. When I was painting, we called it the Uglies. That term still works in my writing. I force myself to work through it. Writing everyday (with occasional exceptions) is a rule. I put pen to paper, or fingertips to keys for at least an hour. That usually turns into two or four. My mantra is Just do it. (By the way, I used that term before Niki!)

  2. I’ve got every faith you’ll catch up Meredith. Surely it’s acceptable to reach the 50,000 count without having finished your book. The word count itself is more the point of NaNoWriMo isn’t it? Or so it seems with many writers I know who find the taking part gives them a great basis for a book which they continue until they’;re happy with it. Which ever way you look at it, reaching the target is a huge achievement.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thanks for the pep talk, David! I’d bet that a lot of writers hit the 50,000 mark and they’re not finished telling the story. And I agree–writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a pretty neat accomplishment.

  3. Very cool! Where can I read some of your other work?

    I’m in the same boat on word counts. I’m working on a story that I’ve been thinking about for years, and it only got bigger and bigger over time. I haven’t revised anything yet, but I’m enjoying the process and just writing away until I run out of things to say for that particular day.

    Where did you get the chart that you’ve posted there? I’m doing an awful job of writing every day, but I am meeting benchmarks to get to 50k by 11/30!

    • Hi Brantley! Thanks for your interest in my writing. My novels are available on the right sidebar, and there are a couple of short fiction pieces available here on the website under the Fiction category.

      Congratulations to you for participating in NaNoWriMo. I think that’s a good strategy, writing until you run out of things to say. For whatever reason, I seem to be working by chapters. When I’m finished with a chapter my brain thinks it’s time to watch t.v. so I have to press myself to keep going.

      If you haven’t signed up on the NaNoWriMo site, you definitely should. If you are a member, click on My NaNoWriMo, click on Stats at the top, and there’s your handy-dandy chart. I haven’t updated my word count every day, but I have to say there’s something fun about seeing the number go up when I do.

      Let me know how you do! 🙂

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