Today's NaNoWriMo Update

Posted: November 7, 2006 in Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Update through Day 6:

Total words completed to date: 12,315 (36 pages)

Words left to go: 37,685 (139 pp.)

Approximate time spent writing: 1 hour-ish per day

Characters introduced: 7

# of murders in my murder/mystery/thriller: 1

Level of satisfaction with recent work: 55 %

It turns out I couldn’t even post a link to my novel-in-progress if I wanted to, as they don’t have the capability to hold all the data from the 60,000 + participants who signed up this year. That takes the dilemma of whether or not to direct anyone there out of my hands, and also allows me to make grandiose claims as to the superior literary quality of my effort. That’s what they refer to as a win-win scenario.

But what I *will* tell you is I have a librarian main character, and no, she hasn’t killed anyone (so far). She’s my main protagonist, and will surely put all that vast knowledge to work in figuring out whodunnit. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but that’s the plan. I’ll try to keep her from getting knocked off while she’s on the case. I can promise that.

One thing I’m learning in this endeavor is writing a novel is a LOT harder than jabbering out blog banter (I know, shocking it doesn’t require immense amounts of work and pre-planning churning out these posts). It’s also very different from writing short stories, essays, etc., despite the fact you’d think it’s the same thing just longer. It really isn’t. It requires a completely different thought process to plan out a long work, or at least I’m assuming it does as I’m not even bothering to plan anything. I’m opting for the fly by the sea of your pants school of novel writing. I don’t have the time or energy to plan out a strategy for something I’m supposed to have done in a month. I’ll just be spewing it out (not a pretty image, sorry!) in a hurry, then worry about editing later.

What happens to my characters each day is a surprise to me, and I never know where I’m going with anything beforehand. I always thought writers were exaggerating to sound more mysterious when they said things like that, but now I can see what they’re talking about. Unless you’re the intensely prepared type you very likely do write on the fly, without thinking out every single detail. It’s really an eye-opening experience I’d recommend to everyone, whether or not you’re interested at all in publishing. It’s a good little lesson in how books are written. Not necessarily written well, but written…

I’m glad I took the challenge this year. I’ve been staying ahead of the curve, words per day-wise, in anticipation of the holiday weekend in November. I’ll be on the road then (have laptop will travel), and while I’m away hopefully I can also swing a “blog from the road” as I careen wildly through my native Mississippi.

I’m hoping to visit Oxford, Mississippi, while we’re away, to swing past the home of William Faulkner. If I can manage that I’ll of course take photos, seeing as I can’t go anywhere without taking photos. If it doesn’t startle them too much I may also take photos of assorted relatives, especially if my cousin’s sons bring their “tater gun.” I won’t even attempt to explain that one without photos, but imagine Myth Busters on steroids with a southern accent. Yes, it is that frightening, but it also has potential for entertainment. If they’re willing to risk becoming an urban legend, I’m willing to take the photos.

In the meantime I’ll be typing madly, burning up the keyboard at the rate of at least 2,000 words per day. Wish me luck…

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