NaNoWriMo progress – Part 1

So NaNoWriMo is underway for another year. And I’m making some progress, but not enough. I explained here about my plans for this year.

I have been achieving my aim of writing non-linearly (scenes from different parts of the book), but only in one of the two threads of the story. For the other one, I find it difficult to drop myself into the story at a later point.

In terms of pure word count, I’m a bit behind the curve. I need to write at least 1,667 words per day on average to finish the 50,000 goal by the end of November, but I generally try to write at least 2,000 words per day, because that keeps me ahead of the curve and allows me to make up for days when I can’t write enough due to other things happening in life.

I managed over 2,000 on 1st Nov, but it took me quite a while. Then I managed only about 700 words on Saturday. I got to about 2200 on Sunday, but it took me nearly 7 hours, interspersed with faffing around on the internet and generally trying to fight my brain to get it to think of ways to phrase things. Today, I’ve managed only about 700 words again, and now I need to go to bed. Somehow I need to get faster.

I’m definitely failing to shut up my inner editor — I managed to do that much better during the last NaNoWriMo I participated in, in 2010. It’s tricky, though, because after NaNoWriMo 2010 I ended up rewriting almost all of what I’d written, whereas this time I’m much happier with the quality and structure of what I’ve got so far, even if there’s fewer words than I intended.

And although I’ve already started agonising over whether the current scene sequence is right, I’ve managed to avoid rewriting or scrapping the scenes I’ve already done — instead, two of them have shifted into a different chapter and I know what new ones to add into the original chapter.

So overall, I can’t predict how this is going to turn out. I’m happier than in 2010 with the underlying structure and overall quality of the work, rather than purely churning out words for the sake of word count. And even if I cannot keep up 2000 words per day, I would still like to keep up an average of 1000 per day, because I think that is achievable. But it’s still feeling like such a strain and struggle — not during every writing moment, but frequently — that I don’t know if I can keep going with that beyond November, beyond the point where there’s that nice external framework to keep pushing me onwards.

Sorry if that sounds negative. I am not feeling very hopeful about this task at the moment. I will keep trying, but I’m anticipating problems.

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3 Responses to NaNoWriMo progress – Part 1

  1. neenslewy says:

    Good luck – sounds like the first 10% of NaNo has been quite a struggle for you. If you want motivation I am writing a daily Nano post and always include some top tips.
    I take it that you are taking breaks and not being too hard on yourself when you under write. If not, take breaks.
    I think 700 words of quality script is better than 2000 words you are unhappy with, it will save editing time later.
    Forgive yourself and keep going. You WILL get there!

    • ringedcastle says:

      Thanks! On any day when I’ve been struggling, I’ve tried to work out what’s been causing problems, so that’s helped. And it seems as if my typical word count is about 900-1000, but yes, those are stronger words than if I’d just randomly scribbled another 1000 to fill my daily goal.

  2. Pingback: NaNoWriMo Progress – Part 2 | Stats, Linux and Kiwis

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