The Third NaNo 2018 Progress Report (Not Much Hope, But Not Giving Up Either)

This has been a trial of a NaNo, and it may be, even after I add in the “bonus features” of my process journal, I still won’t manage to get the 50k. On the other hand, a few good days, and I could be within reach, so what you see here is an exercise in determination and blind hope. The one shining light in all of this, though, is the story itself. Whether I reach the 50k, whether I get anywhere near a logical end point, the fact remains that every time I sit down to write I am caught up in the world and the characters. This is a beautiful thing.

The story is as powerful as I’d remembered. It has twists and layers threaded throughout that take the events unfolding in front of you and tie them back to these people’s pre-history and forward to an unknown future full of challenges they may not be able to face. Though seen primarily through the perspective of a young girl focused on her own destiny, the story steps into their world at the beginning of their second big civilization decline. Not everyone recognizes what is happening, but neither is it a spoiler for the reader as the hints are laid from the start. It’s an interesting thing to write when the point of view character is all full of hope and excitement about the future while the death knells reverberate in the background (I do exaggerate slightly, but the contrast is marked).

I hadn’t realized until writing the above how much the two sides to the book parallel my NaNo experience. Funny that.

This past week was more of a beast than any before it. The week was loaded with real life stuff to the point that exhaustion hit hard. Whenever I turn around, I’m falling asleep still.

Despite that, because I had managed words every day of NaNo (only five words one day :p), I didn’t want to break the pattern. I even used such terms as a token effort or fake out. Here’s the actual text (raw draft) from my journal for the end of last week. You might find it amusing, or maybe even encouraging, who knows?


So…I had one more cup of tea to drink so I thought I’d try to write something at least while drinking it. It’s now 2:01, my tea is half drunk and cold, and I finished the bridging scene that snuck up and surprised me. Tomorrow, I should get to the “easy” set of short scenes…please? It wasn’t enough for a NaNo, but much better than nothing.


It’s almost 1am but darn it I don’t want to miss a day, so I’m going to try for some words. Okay, did a very spare update in my journal about the past two days then started the next scene with 186 words. It’s 1:08 and I need sleep.


Okay, I lied [about going to bed early]. I’ve managed something on NaNo every day, and I’m not going to miss this one. I’m drinking my night caffeinated tea to help with the migraine, and the screen is really dim, so… Managed 270. It’s pretty easy, but still requires a bit of thought, and I don’t have the endurance to continue tonight. Still, not wanting to break a pattern is a big incentive.


Really want to write so will do a fake out, but crashing, so it’ll be a token effort at best. Ugh. Have to go track down MicroMar [my laptop]. Left it all set up for writing so Scrivener has the file locked. Leaving this all up and ready to go tomorrow. Too tired to exist. Will poke at NaNo, then crashing[…]Got caught up in the story, but too exhausted so didn’t last long. Got over 400 completed (mostly maintaining the original) though.

I’m still not done with the “easy set of scenes,” but I have written two of the three and started the third. They were neither as short nor as easy as I’d thought. Maybe next week I’ll show you the difference between the beginning of the third in original and new form. If nothing else, it demonstrates the value in rewriting older novels, even ones I believed were ready for the big time.

This is why I end up doing NaNo every year. It’s a last-ditch effort to finish out the year on a high note. That’s especially true for this year. Whatever happens, I’ve already written more than any other month. How long it will take me to rewrite this whole novel, though…well, that’s so far up in the air it’s headed for Mars.

Here are the stats up to yesterday. As you can see, this past week had no good days at all, but I almost made a proper NaNo total yesterday. As of yesterday, I’m running 14,859 words behind.The total with the bonus features added (like a DVD collection) would be 23,222 words or 10,118 behind.

Day New Words Running Total
1 356 356
2 1,379 1,735
3 1,538 3,273
4 435 3,708
5 204 3,912
6 2,247 6,159
7 5 6,164
8 1,547 7,711
9 442 8,153
10 2,049 10,202
11 981 11,183
12 2,255 13,438
13 47 13,485
14 809 14,294
15 186 14,480
16 270 14,750
17 505 15,255
18 221 15,476
19 1,338 16,814
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