Tag Archives: novels

NaNoWriMo Update and Word Count, Day 20: 31,148.

On Thursday, while I was out of town, the Siren was called to Unfocused Girl’s school to pick her up; she had a fever and chills.  The pediatrician finally diagnosed H1N1 over the phone at 2:15 Friday morning based on her symptoms. She was a little better on Friday — at least the vomiting had stopped and the fever was under some kind of control — but when I got home Friday evening with a stack of comic books I’d picked up from a store near the Des Moines airport, she was too wiped out to read them.  She slept through the night, though, and this morning came downstairs for breakfast and asked to go to taekwondo (the answer was no, BTW). I think she’s already read all the comics.

National Novel Writing Month is two-thirds over, and for the first time all month, I’m significantly behind.  I started Week Three with a sizable margin; I was 2,000 words ahead of pace by Monday night.  I did manage to get around 1,300 words written on Tuesday, but it was a 14-hour day and completely wiped me out.  Wednesday morning I was up early and hit the road, driving a hundred miles west for a hearing, then back straight to O’Hare to fly to Iowa for depositions.

Wednesday and Thursday were also 14-15 hour days.  I managed a 15-minute word sprint each day, 300-400 words, so that I wouldn’t lose all of my momentum, but that was all the time I could steal.  Friday wasn’t quite as long, but I was so wiped out that I fell asleep on the plane after about 200 words, the last of which was the letter r typed 699 times.  When I got home and we got the kids to bed, I faceplanted onto the kitchen counter in front of the open laptop, and finally the Siren was able to convince me to go to bed.

At the end of Friday night, I was 2,148 words behind; the furthest behind I’ve been before this was just a few hundred words at the end of week two, and I was totally caught up, even a little ahead, by the end of Saturday.  Since I would have to write 3,852 words today to be caught up at the end of the day today, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  If I can catch up by Sunday night I’ll be delighted but very surprised.  My guess it that it will be Monday or Tuesday before I’m all the way back on pace.  If you’re interested in a word war, either using Write or Die Desktop Edition or just on Twitter, email or DM me on Twitter and we’ll set it up; I could use the help.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 20:

31148 / 50000 words. 62% done!

If you’re in the area of the Des Moines airport and you have time or need for a comfortable internet cafe and/or comic book store, I enthusiastically recommend Cup o’ Kryptonite. Comfy couches, wifi, some connected desktop computers, a decent comic selection and helpful, friendly staff.


NaNoWriMo Update, Day 15: 26,755 Words.

I hit the 25,000-word halfway point for Breezeway Blows Town today.  I hit the 25K mark, rolled right over it, and kept going for another full day’s worth of words.  I’m going to need that cushion this week; things are going to be busy at work.

My total word count for the weekend was 5,300.  I made up my deficit and got just a little ahead on Saturday, calling it quits for the evening at 23,733.  Today I wrote just over 3000 words, my highest single-day word count for the month, and probably my highest fiction word count for 2009.

I am definitely starting to feel the lack of physical activity.  Between my lunchtime writing and staying up too late writing to have the energy to get up in time for a pre-work run, I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I’m used to, or as I’d like.  I’ve been going with the kids to taekwondo on Saturday mornings, and this week I managed one short morning run on Wednesday and a slow 5.64 mile run — ok, jog — this morning, but that just isn’t enough.  A few weeks ago a bought a couple different decks of FitDeck cards, and brought the set for bodyweight exercises down into the study. Each card has a different exercise you can do, pretty much on the floor wherever you are, for about a minute without any equipment.  I flipped over a new card every 500-1000 words and did whatever exercise turned up (except for any that required more room than I have available in the study). It kept me a little sharper and got me up from the keyboard and moving. It seems silly to even comment about 3-4 minutes of extra exercise each day, but during NaNoWriMo, with all of the extra time spent in front of the computer, I think it makes a difference.  At least, I’m pretending it does.

I also abandoned the Siren to the kids — both of them cranky and not feeling so hot — more than I should have.  She’s been incredibly supportive the last two weeks, and probably deserved better than for me to spend most of the afternoon in the study with the door closed and noise cancelling headphones on.  I should bring her some chocolate.

But before I do, here’s the word count widget showing my kickass word count:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 15:

26755 / 50000 words. 54% done!

NaNoWriMo inspiration: I’ve been listening to a lot of Dead Robots’ Society lately, catching up on back episodes.  DRS is a podcast by three (usually) writers who are farther along than I am — they’ve each completed multiple novels, at least one has podcast it, they’ve had short stories published — but have not been published commercially yet.  They’re an interesting group, and while I haven’t been interested in every episode I’ve started, I finish far more of them than I drop.  I don’t know if any of the hosts are specifically doing NaNoWriMo, but they talk about the same issues all of us WriMos struggle with every day in November (and hopefully most of the rest of the year).  They don’t always make it, but these guys are shooting to accomplish something approaching NaNo every month.  Well worth a listen.

The Full NaNo! Maybe. Also, Word Count as of Day 13: 21,455.

Days 12 and 13 were not good days for my NaNoWriMo novel; I wrote about 350 words on Thursday, and 225 on Friday.  Work — that thing they pay me to do — leaped up and bit me on the ass.  I was a couple of thousand words ahead of pace for the full NaNo when I went to bed Wednesday night.  Now (Saturday morning) I’m starting Day 14 a couple hundred words behind.  Not too bad, really; I’ll catch up and build a little cushion again this weekend.  I’m going to need it; this is going to be a rough week at work.

Even with that pressure, I think it’s fair to say that I’m putting aside the Half-Assed NaNoWriMo goal of 25,000 words that I made my initial commitment.  Ever since the Siren got passed over for grand jury service on November 2, I’ve thought I might be able to handle the full 50K, and so far, I’ve been able to stay on pace for it (less 211 words).  So I’m dropping the “Half-Assed,” and committing to make a run at doing the full 50,000, with the understanding that between a rough few weeks coming at work, plus the holiday, there’s a good chance I fall short.  I’ve hung in there so far, and I may as well take the shot.  Even if I don’t get there, I’m going to get a heck of a lot farther than 25,000 words; my real goal has always been to get a running start at Breezeway Blows Town, and that I’ve already accomplished — I’m very happy with how it’s turning out so far, and the NaNo goal has kept me at the keyboard and rebuilt my discipline.  With that in mind, here’s my word count widget with the new goal number:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 13:

21455 / 50000 words. 43% done!

Doyce Testerman is posting daily NaNoWriMo tips on his blog, many of the motivational sort.  If you’re getting bogged down during the long dark tea-time of the soul that Weeks Two and Three can be, check out his site.

HANaNoWriMo Day 11 Update, Word Count Total: 20,879.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 11:

20879 / 25000 words. 84% done!

Got a little more than 2500 words done today, which is damn good for a weekday.  I even took a short run this morning, which I desperately needed.  Things are crazy at work, but otherwise, everything’s going pretty well, so of course I’m waiting for a meteor to land on my head.

The Australian writing and publishing podcast The Creative Penn recently ran an interview with Mur Lafferty, with tips for NaNoWriMo, which is well worth a listen.  In the next episode, she interviewedJ.C. Hutchins, author of the Seventh Son podcast trilogy, with the first book just released in print — J.C. mentioned that he started writing the trilogy during NaNo around 2002.

HANaNoWriMo Day 10 Word Count Total: 18,353.

After a couple of days where the writing seemed to bog down a little, I think I worked through a couple of tricky plot points and got my momentum back today and burned through just over 2000 today.  Pretty damn good for a week day, especially during Week Two. NaNoWriMo conventional wisdom is that Week Two is usually a complete disaster; it’s only Tuesday, but so far, so good.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 10:

18353 / 25000 words. 73% done!

Fellow Wrimos or writers may already be familiar with Write or Die on the web, a sprint timer for writing that plays awful sounds or actually deletes your writing if you pause or go to slowly before the clock runs out.  Now for a nominal fee, you can download the Write or Die Desktop Edition, with all of the functionality of the web version plus the ability to save your text directly from WoD (instead of copying and pasting into a word processor or text editor) and to engage in real-time word wars with other users.  I bought the Desktop Edition the day it came out (no freebies in exchange for promotional blogging, I should note) and have used it several times to boost my daily wordcount.  I haven’t engaged in live word war yet, but I am open to challenges.

HANaNoWriMo Day 9, Total Word Count: 16,321.

No time for much of a post tonight, but I hit 15,000 this morning and 16,321 words tonight, leaving me a margin of more than 1,300 ahead of where I need to be.  Here’s the graphic for those of you who need a visual aid:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 9:

16321 / 25000 words. 65% done!

NaNoWriMo tip:  Geek Survival Guide is running daily NaNo tips this month, plus how to evade space vampires and more!

HANaNoWriMo Day 7, total word count: 12,725.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 7:

12725 / 25000 words. 51% done!

Today I wrote 2,626 words (up from 10,099 words yesterday) and passed the halfway point for a half-assed NaNoWriMo goal of 25,000 words, or the one-quarter point for the full NaNo 50K.  It’s starting to look more and more like the full 50,000 words is doable, but you never know.  The big thing that I thought was going to cause all kind of havoc in November turned out to be nothing, which means that it’s just an ordinary month with a major holiday at the end of it.

I’m still in the very early stages of the story; in the last day or two it started to bog down a little, so I finished the early scenes with the Chief Protagonist and moved on scenes introducing to other point-of-view characters for a nice change of pace.

I haven’t gone for a run or gone to the gym since NaNo started, and I feel like a complete slug.  I still don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow morning — I missed last Sunday’s long run, I don’t know about missing two in a row.  Maybe I’ll take a shorter long run as a compromise.  We’ll see.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s output:

As he fired up a five-dollar Rocky Patel, he heard the crackle of a patch of ice breaking behind him.  “Hello, Felicia,” he said without turning around.  “You’re getting clumsy in your old age.”

Try not to get too excited.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you might want to give a listen to I Should Be Writing #135, which is all about NaNo, including interviews with pro authors and serious WriMos Nathan Lowell and David Niall Wilson, and NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty.  Host Mur Lafferty is doing NaNo as well.

I just looked back through the archives and it took me exactly a month to get through the first 25,000 words of Meet the Larssons last year, as noted in this post.  I’ve got to believe I can do better now than I did in the first month I started writing again, right?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Chadicus looks like he’s trying to catch up to my word count. Can’t have that…

HANaNoWriMo Total Word Count: 8714.

No time for an update, it’s ridiculously late. I’m backdating the time stamp on this post by 10 minutes so it hits for the correct day. Been working on work work all evening, so no NaNo progress since the train home. Big day in other news, but that will have to wait until tomorrow or the weekend.

HANaNoWriMo Word Count Total as of Day 4: 7547.

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 4:


7547 / 25000 words. 30% done!

My half-assed NaNoWriMo project continues apace.  While it looks like I’m on track to do a full NaNoWriMo novel at 50,000 words by November 30, I’m painfully aware that it’s only November 4, and a lot can happen to throw a wannabe novelist of his or her game.  I’m sticking to my 25,000 goal until I get a hell of a lot closer to 25K.

I finished rereading Stephen King’s On Writing this morning.  This is my third time reading it, and I think I got more out of it now that I’ve been writing my own fiction for close to two years.  If you’re writing and you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend it, even if you’re not necessarily a fan of King’s work.

HANaNoWriMo Word Count Total as of Day 3: 5766.

I’m falling asleep at the computer pathetically early, but so it is.  It’s 10:37pm, and, after writing both ways on the train, at the ChiWriMo South Loop Write-In over lunch, and again at home, I’m falling asleep on the keyboard of my MacBook.

Here’s today’s chart for my NaNoWriMo progress:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 3:

5766 / 25000 words. 23% done!

One resource for fellow Wrimos that I’m enjoying is the encore presentation of The Nanomonkeys over at The Secret Lair. This is an encore feed of a short daily podcast that ran during the 2006 and 2007 NaNoWriMos, but is essentially as useful today as it was then. Highly recommended.