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Thursday, December 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update: Where I am with The Seven Noble Knights of Lara

As I learned after making a goal of 25,000 new words on a novel I'd already more than started, I was a NaNo Rebel this year. The only time I tried to do NaNoWriMo officially, I failed miserably. But being a rebel seems to help: a few days ago, I met my goal of where I wanted to be in the story! (It turned out to be the end of Chapter 12.) Yesterday, the very last allowable day, I finished Chapter 13 and started Chapter 14 and surpassed my word count goal (just barely).

The first draft (maybe technically second, since this is the same book I started for the official first NaNo) of The Seven Noble Knights of Lara now stands at 50,960 words, 25,061 of which emerged out of my laptop during the month of November 2011. I'd say I'm three quarters of the way through the plot, and since I'm not prolix, especially in the first draft, a lot of details need to be added, so it may end up in the 100,000 word range, which is pretty astounding.

It's also been happening astoundingly slow. I started this draft in February 2011, so my average is only 5,000 a month. I've always believed I was a low-output writer, but only recently has that become less than acceptable to me. A few months ago, I wrote 9,000 words of my other project, "Middle Awash in Talent," over the course of two or three days (hard to remember specifics when so much creativity is coursing through you!), so I know it's possible. If I want anyone to read my completed SNKL before the end of the world next December, I had better get serious.

Here are some things I think will help me finish before the Mayan apocalypse:

1. Write every day. (This is tough when my job has become unbelievably demanding... but no excuses!)
2. Write a consistent amount every day.
3. When I run out of the plot I have sketched out, take the time to sketch out the end of the book in some detail.
4. Keep enjoying the writing as much as I did in November. Yep, even though I had work and holidays and ten million things to think about other than the psychology of Gonzalo González, sitting down to immerse myself in his (and his aunt and uncle's) world was pure pleasure.

Roni Loren, Rachel Aaron, Susan Kaye Quinn, and Zoe Winters seem to have had success with similar notions. This bodes very well, indeed!