2013 NaNo Journal Days 18-24

2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerThough I had a few low days in this bunch, there were none that didn’t exceed the NaNo minimum and no more skipped days even when worked or other priorities took up most of the day. I’ve accomplished this by writing late into the night, which has compromised my sleep schedule, but the payoff is noticeable.

A couple things: Firstly, my cushion now stands at 7,021 words, or the equivalent of more than four days. Secondly, I have just under 3,000 words to go. In fact, I have already had a writing day (the fourth day of this NaNo) that exceeded the amount I have to write. I’m not planning on a push to the end, but if things continue as expected, I should be able to validate my NaNo before Thanksgiving.

Does this mean I will have reached the end of the story? Sometimes it does, but not this year. There’s a lot still to tell before things can be wrapped up in a bow for the holidays. However, once I’ve validated my NaNo, I may drop my goal to one scene a day. Since my scenes can vary between 450 and over 2,000 words, that’s a lower and higher goal at the same time. However, my mind works better in scene chunks, so it will allow me the freedom to write as I write best rather than pushing for a word count that could–and has–fall right in the middle of a scene.

Date: 11/18 Total: 35,564 Today: 2,420

Wrote a critical scene today that came together well. It’s an odd balance where the main character is an ignorant observer of these events rather than the initiator, but Nat managed to get his two cents in once he figured out what was going on. BTW, oddly, with this NaNo, my best writing time seems to be between 11:30 pm and 2:00am. Not the best plan, but I’ve learned over the years to watch for patterns and exploit them when they’re working rather than trying to force myself into how I think I should work, a choice that more often than not leads to everything being that much harder.

Date: 11/19 Total: 37,554 Today: 1,990

The scene came together well, and ended on a twisty note so I’m happy. Still not settling in to write until much too late, but I did get started before midnight this time.

Date: 11/20 Total: 39,510 Today: 1,956

Most of my words came in one scene that I had mapped out for me. I hit all the elements and every one of them worked. It’s a good feeling because it means the story is following a coherent pattern rather than just accumulating words and scenes with no relation to a greater story. I did my first validation on the NaNo site and came up with a count that was about 70 words higher than Scrivener. At the same time, though, my session target on Scrivener is higher than the difference between last night’s count and tonight’s. I don’t know if I ended up deleting something, or whether it’s a bug. It doesn’t matter much, though it would be critical if I’d just barely made my count instead of being almost 300 words over. I’m down to 10,490 words remaining, so well within reach of the end. Oh, and I had to take a break to do some research as well.

Date: 11/21 Total: 41,281 Today: 1,771

Distracted by work stuff so these words came much harder. Also faced with a vague summary in the place of two, or possibly more, scenes, which didn’t help. I’ve broken it into the two for the moment, had to rearrange the outline a smidge, and added some notes to help with tomorrow’s scene because there are important things to cover. I have to be careful though because this upcoming scene is, in many ways, a part two of a previous scene. The risk there is I need to make sure it’s not repetitive and manages to introduce more aspects of how her knack works that are both interesting in the moment and relevant going forward.

Date: 11/22 Total: 42,998 Today: 1,717

Another freelance project came up, but surprisingly, I managed to get my words anyway and put in two decent scenes with even a cliffhanger ending :). Oh, and the part two business? Turned out I’d changed the previous scene so it didn’t cover anything I thought it had, which turned the “part two” business into something that needed more than one scene to cover.

Date: 11/23 Total: 45,049 Today: 2,051

Crazy work day so late getting started, but once I clicked into the scene, it took an odd twist that has bigger fingers stretching into the future. It’s a long scene, but a fast read I believe, and it required another scene to finish out the collection of events. Plus, I just figured out the discrepancy between my session target and my word count. Turns out the session target includes other words added to the main files (not synopses) even if they aren’t in the manuscript file, so when I put a note about the greater impact in, that added words. However, those extra words are not reflected in the project total because they’re not manuscript words. Scrivener is a very complex program and sometimes had odd logic, but I like this concept.

Date: 11/24 Total: 47,029 Today: 1,980

Not the novel’s fault but I was hugely distracted working on a program to remove one major manual step from my edit process. It needed to get done, but I’ve found creative programming brain conflicts with creative writing brain so the transition was difficult. It didn’t stop me from getting my words. Just meant it took longer because I was distracted.

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