Monday musings, ramblings and nonsensical utterances (includes a lot of writing stuff)

It is the last day of the month and so the last day or NaNoWriMo. I'm not going to make it to 50K and I'm happy with that. At the time of writing this I am on 47,737 for the month so within touching distance. The only thing is it's gone 10pm and I have no desire to pull an all nighter and use the difference in time zones between England and wherever it is the NaNoWriMo servers are to justify making it at 4am or something like that.

I'm not a young man anymore and the days of being able to work to stupid hours and be in the office bright eyed and bushy tailed are long behind me. No I'm done for the night. I guess that mini-block in the middle of the month really did me in.

So I am going to learn from this. I went in to the month thinking 50K should be easy. After all I'd written an 88,000 word novel from scratch in not much more than that. Well I am going to learn not to be so confident about it. Each project is different and takes the time it takes. I guess I could have just done what they say and scribble out a really rough first draft without any revision as I went. The thing is I don't write like that.

I present chunks of the book, usually a chapter at a time, when complete to test reader number 1 (my wife). Now I know that people say spouses might not make good test readers but they haven't met my wife. She won't let me get away with anything and will pick up anything from badly phrased sentences, grammar errors (oh, the shame), plot holes, repetitions etc. So she will read it, highlight the bad bits which I go back and fix, then make a few more changes, additions before getting onto the next bit.

So lesson number one is be more humble. Lesson number two is choose your projects better. Euphemisms take time to conjure up. If I do it next year I will pick something where I will concentrate just on plot, characters, setting and nothing else. Of course I'm rather thinking I might see if I can do 50K in December.

This NaNoWriMo idea fits in perfectly to my personality. I have this thing for lists and information and charts and forms and I could go on. I won't though.

Here is the final breakdown for my (FAILED) NaNoWriMo effort

Words written - 47,737
Shortfall - 2,263 (real touching distance, eh?)
Percentage of Target - 95.47%
Daily average word count - 1,591
Day Maximum - 4,073 (November 1st - very first day)
Day Minimum - 0 (Three times, 12th, 16th, 17th)
Current Novel word count - 75,714
Number of Animal Species referenced - too many to count

Other writing news - received another rejection for my YA fantasy novel. The reason given was this kind of thing is not what she's looking for. Not sure if that's a stock reply or not. Either way it's going no further. I will find more time this week to send in some more submissions.

Away from writing I caught up with TV series You, Me & the Apocalypse. Really great bit of end of the world surreality. Do these programme makers know how my brain works or what? Only worry is there is only one more episode to go.

Anyway - out of time now. Going to go get ready for another day in the office tomorrow.


Colin Garrow said…
The first (and only) time I attempted NaNo, I got to 10,000, so I reckon you've done pretty well.
Edmund Lester said…
Thanks for your comments. I do think I made a good stab at things without relaxing any of the standards I try to write to.

I will give it another go next year. In fact I'm thinking I might continue keeping a writing diary to see how the tallies go for different projects. Could be interesting
Terrye Toombs said…
I would still consider that a HUGE win. I've always considered the point of NaNoWriMo was to get the writing juices flowing and learn to be a consistent writer. I think you did spectacular and should be proud. Congrats!
Edmund Lester said…
Thank you very much Terrye. Your words are appreciated. If I gave the impression I was feeling sorry for myself for having failed to make 50K I can assure you I do not feel, and have never felt, that way for failing to make an arbitrary target and falling 2.2K short.

I wanted to see what the experience was like and what it would do to my writing. In truth it did add a little pressure because I like succeeding in these little challenges I set myself but the main point is that the first draft of my novel, started a week before the end of October is now at 75.7K and about 12-15K from done.

If NaNoWriMo is about getting writing done in that I think I did okay.

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