I did it.
After an absolutely crazy typing session last night, in which I wrote 14,076 words over six hours, I reached my final word count of 41,824. At seven minutes to midnight, I knew that writing the whole 50,000 words was going to be impossible – no matter how fast I typed, there was no way that I could write just over 8,000 words in seven minutes. I’m only human.
So, with only minutes to spare, I wrote the final section of my novel. Comprised almost entirely of “and ran,” repeated 4,000 times to make up the word count, I validated the novel with only seconds to spare.
So I did it.
Technically I wrote a 50,000 word novel in a month.
For those of you who have been reading the novel as I’ve been writing, I shall be uploading the rest of the novel over the coming week.
In my first NaNoWriMo Diary post, I quoted Chuck Wendig:
“I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.”
I am a writer, and N-Day will be finished.
Thank you all for reading the novel so far – it’s been a real encouragement to write.
I’m at 17,007 words.
I’m going to need to type seriously fast to catch up. I’m predicting that I’m going to have burn the midnight oil soon to catch up… perhaps the final couple of nights will be full of frantic caffeine-induced typing.
There have been days when I haven’t written this week – where my course workload has been my focus. This week I plan on getting up a little earlier and writing 1000 words before I go to work, and then writing another 1000 words when I get home; I hope to write a little bit in my lunch break too. This will enable me to catch up a bit: the NaNoWriMo’s calculator says I need to write just under 4000 words a day to catch up!
As I’m posting my NaNoWriMo progress on here, for people to read, there is a massive impetus for me to write the novel chronologically: in the order that it is to be read.
This is quite restrictive in some ways, and has resulted in me having extensive plans for some bits of the novel, but not actually writing those bits because I haven’t got to them yet. It does give me a drive to write each day so that I will reach them sooner, and on the days – so far – where I haven’t written, I get a slight feeling of self-disappointment at not reaching my target/goal.
On the plus side, it does mean that when I get to them, I will have all the planning down and will hopefully find the actual writing fairly easy – meaning that the word count should (hopefully) leap up!
The average amount of words needed per day, to reach 50,000 words in 31 days, is 1666.6 recurring. On that basis, by the end of day ten of NaNoWriMo, I should be at 16,666 words.
Before I continue with today’s writing, I’m at 7898 words. That’s just under half way to where I should be!
That’s the effect of not writing for a couple of days, and writing less than 1,666 words a day. Because of this, according to the NaNoWriMo website, my current daily average is 789 words, and my estimated date of completion is 3rd Jan 2016. Hmm.
Although the website does say that I only need to write 2,005 words a day to finish on time, which is perfectly doable.
I didn’t write anything on Thursday or Friday. After a long day on teaching placement on Thursday, my foot hurt a lot – I had surgery last year – and kept distracting me from my writing. Although I did manage to write about 100 words, I upload them to WordPress or, annoyingly, update my NaNoWriMo word count, which means that I won’t get the full month of writing achievement.
Friday turned out to be a busy day, where I did a lot of work for my course: so much typing and writing that my hands began to ache. I had planned to write in the evening, but I ended up going round a friends for a casual game of poker (and pizza.)
I started to write yesterday but forgot to upload it to WordPress or the NaNoWriMo counter: today’s upload will include the writing from Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
That all leaves me much further behind on my NaNWriMo word count than I would like to be; even without the couple of days with no writing, I was behind. It means that today I need to get a lot more written. I’m aiming for 5000 words today, to make my Week 1 total just shy of 10,000 words.
Rather than sitting down and writing out 5000 words in one go, I’m breaking up the writing into 1000 word “sprints”. Once each of theses is written, I’ll upload them all as one post.
Let’s see what time that ends up being posted…
Alongside the actual novel writing, I’m going to be keeping a NaNoWriMo diary. Here’s Day One:
I’ve got an idea. It came to me yesterday, and it’s called “N-Day.” The novel will be a retrospective autobiography from the view of the leader of England, writing many years after a nuclear war. I’ll be using his autobiography, which he dictates from his deathbed, to write about his story and what happened after the nuclear war.
I managed just over 1,000 words in one sitting today, which is a little under the average daily word count needed (1,667), but I’ve had a lot of thoughts as to how the no
vel will develop, and of what I’ll be writing tomorrow. Tomorrow, or perhaps even later today, I’ll catch up to where I should be.
On the door to my room in Halls (“Dorm room” folks in the USA), I’ve stuck a signed copy of the NaNoWriMo’s “Novelist Agreement”. Part of the reasoning behind this is that it’ll hopefully drum up some interest in the blog from the people on my corridor, as well as getting them to motivate me in this journey.
Speaking of this journey, I feel I ought to put a sort of disclaimer on the writing. This comes from reading Chuck Wendig’s blog post: “25 Things you should know about NaNoWriMo”. His 7th point is that NaNoWriMo produces a “draft zero”. This is very much what the novel written on this blog will be. It will probably have all sorts of errors, and will be written with the quantity and quality goal in mind. Then, after the month is over, it will be edited thoroughly… The finished product will probably bear little resemblance to the original. That said, I hope my writing is of reasonable quality, and it doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out too much!
In Wendig’s words, “I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.” The “shit” (I hope it isn’t too bad!) has been started. It’s time to type.