Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ah, Crap: Lessons of NaNoWriMo

Behold the horror of my word count for NaNoWriMo. (If you're viewing this at a later date, it was 15,704 words at the time of writing.) Now keep in mind that the word count I should be at, if I want to finish this month, is around 31,666 words.

All together now:

So before I go on a massive noveling binge for the rest of the month, here are the things I've learned so far this year during NaNoWriMo:

Plan, you stupid bastards: If I'd managed to finish outlining my novel before I got started writing it, I wouldn't feel compelled to write in a straight line as a do now. And if I could jump around from scene to scene with ease, I'd probably be about 10,000 words ahead right now. So outlining would have been a big help.

Be consistent: I haven't been writing every day. This doesn't just diminish my overall word count, it actually makes it harder to get started writing again later. This is a very bad thing.

Don't be afraid to follow the unexpected development: I didn't plan to include a sex scene featuring my main character in the first three chapters: it just happened, as I suppose these things do. But it was good for at least ten manuscript pages, and it didn't throw off the main thrust of the plot, so screw it! (And them, I suppose...)

Don't set unreasonable goals: At some point before NaNoWriMo kicked off, I think I said something about finishing the whole novel in a month. That's 100,000 words on average, not 50,000.

Ha! Ha ha! HahahahahAHAHAHAHAHA...

Set unreasonable goals: I've now got to write 35,000 words in ten days, which is the same rate as writing 105,000 words in a month. And I'm Goddamn jolly well going to do it!

Onward and upward! I am so screwed...


Jonathan D. Beer said...

I share your pain; I have done precisely zip on my NaNoWriMo project this year. I blame it partially on my moving house at the beginning of the month, but more on my utter uselessness. I have decided that December will be my personal NaNoWriMo - I want to meet and beat the challenge.

David said...

I blame most of my problems on video games. It wasn't really fair to hold NaNoWriMo the month after Arkham City and Battlefield 3 came out. (This is a lie.) Still, I'm too committed to the challenge (and to getting half off of Scrivener for Windows) to give up now.

Good luck next month!