NaNoWriMo – First Week Tally

This morning is the beginning of my second NaNoWriMo week. As stated in the planning I presented last week, I will share a bit about my progression and my ups and downs.

What went right?
As of this morning, I’m freshly past the 27,000 words mark so obviously, a lot of things went right. I’m about one day in advance on my daily word count in order to achieve 100k by the end of the month (which is my self-imposed objective).
I am SO glad I outlined before I got started. Seriously, if I had jumped into this without previously brushing the rough strokes of my story, I would be completely lost right about now. I am thrilled that two chapters added themselves in the story so far. Some awesome scenes and character traits I hadn’t planned fell into place and I’m having a lot of fun seeing the plot coming together.
However, I have to say that my real tool through this adventure is the mini laptop I bought at the end of October. I’m carrying it around with me at almost all time and it allows me to steal a bit of writing time here and there. A real life saver for someone as busy as me.

What were the challenges?
I had a few demotivating days this week. Nothing major, just a couple of so-so days touching various aspects of my life. This can be a problem when you have to keep a steady word count and I must say that some days required extra effort to get things done.
I also had a happy hour on Wednesday, a fashion show on Friday and a birthday party on Saturday; all fun but tiring too. And time-consuming. *laughs*
Seriously, my challenge with NaNoWriMo is to control the obsession. I’m so into the story that I have to remember that I do have other things to think about. I don’t want to be an anti-social for the whole month. I don’t want to forget to feed my cats. Or feed myself. 😉

All in all, I’m happy with my week. My personal goal was a bit daunting at first but I find that my current pace suits me. I keep it steady (don’t trust the calendar in the side bar I did write on Saturday but posted the word count after midnight so it registered in my Sunday) and am not burning myself out.

How about you? Any particular good things or road blocks this week? How is your NaNo going?

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

20 responses to “NaNoWriMo – First Week Tally

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  • Larry Marshall

    Wow, 27k! That’s fantastic. My goal was 20k and I just managed to crack it. My wife thinks I’m nuts.

    I was surprised to read that you live in the same place I do and that you speak English. I thought I was the only one (grin). I’m so jealous of you bilingual folks. I grew up as an Arizona cowboy and came to French after my old brain had turned to mush I’m afraid 🙂

    Cheers — Larry

    • Aheïla

      Congratulations Larry (and welcome to my blog)! 20k is awesome at this point. You shouldn’t have any problem to reach the 50k mark by the end of the month. Did you plan do write more than that?

      English-speaking people in Quebec City have a harder time than in Montreal. *laughs* I’m happy to be bilingual. Learned it from school and developped it at work and over the Internet. Oh! And movies helped. *laughs* But you probably don’t want to drive yourself nuts with switching your DVDs to French. The translations are killing me.

      • Larry Marshall

        I’m guessing at this point but I suspect my draft will be somewhere around 70-80k and that the text will actually expand in revision. I tend to write drafts in black and white, adding the color in revision. But 20k was my goal for the first week so I was thrilled that I actually hit the mark.

        My daughter is completely bilingual, with no accent in either language. Makes me jealous of young minds. You’re right about movies, on all counts.

        I didn’t learn until coming to Quebec that “translation” really means rewriting the script to suit your fancy 😦 And this is probably one of my basic problems with language. I’m a logical science type. My brain needs a rationale for things and language just doesn’t work that way 🙂

        Cheers — Larry

      • Aheïla

        Reaching a goal is always a great moment. That’s one of the thing I like about NaNo; you have a definite goal to reach each day. It pulls you forward and gives you a reason to celebrate.

        My draft tend to be all action with very little descriptions. *laughs* Colorful but lacking context, in a way. So my drafts usually lenghten when I edit, too.

        About translation, I understand the need to alter the sentences so the timing with the lips work, the word plays make sense and all that jazz. But in the end, we still end up not quite watching the same movie.

    • Larry Marshall

      Interesting. It sounds like you work similar to the way I work. I sometimes see a first draft as more a detailed outline than a novel. My dialog makes the points that must be made but without the stuff that makes dialog fun to read. Same for my descriptions and action. I guess that’s why I call it black and white 🙂

      Cheers — Larry

      • Aheïla

        Yup. It does sound similar. Usually my stuff is fun (sometimes a bit too fun for its own good) but it just happens in the middle of nowhere. Why does the setting always stay stuck in my head? *laughs*

  • Kristy

    My first week was a success. I am over the 20k mark, and I also feel that I haven’t let other areas slip for the sake of my characters. I just blogged about how my night writing might be hindering my ability to write more, and or write better. So I am working on that for the week. Sounds like you are doing awesome!

    • Aheïla

      Hi Kristy and welcome to my blog!
      Sounds like you’re doing quite well yourself.
      Finding a good writing time is really important in a writer’s process. At least, that’s what I think (or I wouldn’t have discussed it in my creativity tips. 😉 ) Sometimes pushing yourself too hard (i.e. losing sleep to write) isn’t working in your favor on the long run.
      I’m sure you can make it work! Just don’t give up!

  • Alyssa

    LOl, well – as you know, I’m on 47K this week. I’m hoping to reach 50k by the end of the day. Went through my work and realized it’s not as bad as I thought it was due to the high speed. I’m slacking down a bit to try and pick up plot pieces that hvae scattered in my wild and crazy nano dash.

    Good luck Aheila!!

    • Aheïla

      Hey Alyssa,
      That’s awesome! Congratulations! I knew from the get-go I couldn’t race you to the finish line. *laughs*
      Personally, I’m likely to pick up speed a bit this week since the only thing holding me back has been the various things on my schedule. I’m hoping to reach 50k before the weekend. We’ll see what happens.
      Good luck for your plot pieces hunt! 😉

  • Lectin Gaezat

    I feel sad that I’m at a measly 14k words at of this time, and scrambling to hit 15k…. but it is way longer than anything I have actually sustained writing.

    Without a plot- I trashed it about 100 words into the story when I realized it wasn’t going to work out. So I’ve been writing absolutely blind- for a detective story.

    *curls up and eats my last chocolate cookie*

    • Aheïla

      14k isn’t that bad! If I’m not mistaken, it means you’re a little bit ahead if you reach for 50k. You should be proud of it.
      Everyone’s rhythm, circumstances, etc. is different so word counts are really a personal thing. Go for what works for you.
      Writing a detective story without a plan is a risky business; it’s normal that you take your time. 😉

    • Larry Marshall

      Heck, 14k is Grrr..ATE [best Tony the Tiger imitation I can do in print]. Everyone writes at their own speed, even for something like NaNoWrimo. You’re writing faster than most.

      Writing without an outline is, in my view a fool’s errand. I don’t want to start the outliner vs pantser debate but I fail to see the mystical muse.

      Having read a lot of those debates, outlines are always depicted by pantsers as something that stilts creativity. To me it frees me to be creative. I don’t have to worry about the basic direction and can concentrate on what’s happening. As for locking me into a plan, I’ve added scenes, deleted scenes and rearranged scenes as I’m writing my current draft. I’ve even added an entire subplot as I wanted to affect the pacing of the story a bit. Then again, my “outline” is a bunch of index cards, not those stodgy I, IIa, 3) kinds of outlines they taught us in school. Never found much use for those.

      Cheers — Larry

      • Lectin Gaezat

        I also usually find writing without an outline particularly disturbing. It’s painful at times, but I usually talk to my muse everyday before hitting the keyboard (dang, I thought it sounded much better in my head)… so it helps me actually have a general sense of direction.

        I usually work with outlines most of the time- I just have to so I feel safer with them, and I agree with you: they free me up to be creative, so the entire pantser approach this year is really a baptism by fire for me. It felt awful writing the first few chapters, about the first two were absolute garbage which I hated because I was purely describing with characterizing, but somehow now the tide has turned and my character Travis is going to hit a bar after talking to one of his work mates who revealed that he chose not to take a promotion though he could have years ago.

        Mehs.
        Lectin

      • Aheïla

        I’m post-it notes dependant when it comes to outlines. 😉

  • Anna

    I did fine until Friday, but then I both got down with some stomach bug and ran out of pre-planned plot, so I struggled over the weekend. I could ‘just write’ but that’s not what I want this time around. I want a draft that holds itself together and can be revised without major rewrites.

    I have plenty of time anyhow. No need to make myself sicker by pushing.

    • Aheïla

      This is definitely a “get better now, catch up later” situation! I hope the bug leaves you quickly!

      I’m right there with you about the draft that holds itself. I just don’t feel like I accomplished something if my NaNoWriMo project turns out to be unusable.
      I have plenty outline to go on though! 😉 I absolutely wanted to avoid running out of pre-planned plot. In fact, I think I obsessed a little bit about that; I have two other projects outlined in case I complete this one with time to spare.
      Who knows? Maybe you can figure it all out by the time the stomach bug dies! 😉

    • Larry Marshall

      This is my fear. Right now one of my friends has a bad cold and my daughter was moping around yesterday, saying she didn’t feel good. I’m keeping my head down, and away from everyone 🙂

      Cheers — Larry

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