NaNoWriMo 2013 daily diary

Week One – Building up a buffer

After my first NaNoWriMo failure in nine years I’m nervous about this year. My story has turned out to be a prequel to my multiverse series (at potentially four books, I can’t call it a trilogy any more). I love incorporating places I know well into the story and I have a great location in downtown St Louis to use for my story.

Friday 1st
3211 words. Got up with the first squawk of the alarm and hammered out 650 words before word, 1100 at lunch, and more after work. I feel rusty, it’s been a while since I wrote fiction, and five months since my last blog post. I really want to win this year and I feel woefully under-outlined and under-plotted. Hoping the characters start doing stuff to pick up the slack.

Saturday 2nd
6300 words, 3072 today. Hoping to hit 10k in 3 days for a good week one start. Wrote 1100 words at Stone Spiral in Maplewood, another thousand at the Crooked Tree Coffee House in St Charles, and more at home. Why is it easier to write in coffee shops? Perhaps because of Rule #1 of writing: turn off the WiFi.

Sunday 3rd
9303 words, 3003 today. Thank you Daylight Savings Time, for the gift of an extra hour to write in. Scenes are coming out around 650 words long, nine of them so far. Characters are taking jobs I didn’t expect and connecting to other characters. Need to figure out a good end-of-week crisis.

Monday 4th
11019 words, 1716 today. Tough day for writing, with two hours in the karate studio eating up the evening. On the plus side, I did surprise two of the sparring instructors (in a good way). Planning a quarter-book crisis.

Tuesday 5th
13060 words, 2041 today. Want to get back to my 2k a day schedule today. Little written at lunch or before work, and a hair appointment after means I have to clock 1350 words in the evening. Managed it, and finished part one of the story.

Wednesday 6th
15093 words, 2033 today. Came home with a thousand words, wrote more before karate class and my private lesson. It’s hard to write after a 90 minute workout.

Thursday 7th
17125 words, 2032 today. Week one is over. Wrote all through lunch for over a thousand words, and at home after finishing off the required reading for an Agile Leadership book club at work (could the timing have been any less novel friendly?).


Week Two – Plowing on

My story needs more boom. More explosions, more crises, more stuff going horribly wrong.

Friday 8th
19175 words, 2050 today. A little writing before work, leadership book club ate my lunchtime, so everything else was at home. The NaNoWriMo validator shaved off about 20 words from my total when I tested it this morning, that was reassuringly close to the Scrivener word count. Struggling to make my words for the day.

Saturday 9th
22189 words, 3014 today. Marathon novelling day! Went up to the Crooked Tree Coffee House in St Charles and came home with 2800 words written. Crossed over the 3k mark after seeing Thor: The Dark World at the cinema (do stay until the lights go up). Hoping to hit 25k tomorrow. Also need to read another 5 chapters for book club and practice 30 self defense techniques and 11 kata.

Sunday 10th
25007 words, 2818 today. Wrote over a thousand words at the Clayton Bread Co, then more at home while doing laundry. Two characters have teamed up unexpectedly, another one went somewhere I hadn’t planned, the story is coming along nicely.

Monday 11th
26371 words, 1364 today. Wrote a little at lunch, some after work, and none after two hours in the karate studio. Gave one of the instructors my 2009 novel to read, the one that started the series I’m working on.

Tuesday 12th
29239 words, 2868 today. Really good day, got 300 words before work, over 1100 at lunch, writing in the Flying Saucer pub, and even more at home. Which is good because tomorrow will be a bad day for writing. Introduced a villain and a monster. I think I just hit the story halfway point.

Wednesday 13th
31289 words, 2050 today. Crossed the 30k mark before karate tonight, still need another 900 for the day though. Keeping on pace, but this was a difficult day with no lunchtime writing.

Thursday 14th
33314 words, 2025 today.The last day of the infamous Week Two! What I thought was a minor character keeps popping up all over the place, and what I thought would be a fun character to write seems to be dragging. Thinking I need to take some time tomorrow and plot the next couple of weeks.


Week Three – Plague and meetings vs. the word count

I had something planned at lunchtime every single day this week, and then I got sick. It’s going to be hard to get the words in, but I can see the end of the story coming.

Friday 15th
35359 words, 2045 today. Working on a summary of what’s been written to plot the rest of the month. A lot has happened in my story, not all of it planned. Writing in the dentist’s waiting room (no cavities!), 44 scenes written so far.

Saturday 16th
37385 words, 2026 today. Knit group at Stone Spiral in Maplewood (zero words), followed by lunch and write-in at the Crooked Tree Coffee House in St Charles. Mistaken identities are good for word count, and I know where this chapter ends now. Quick nunchucks demo for a fellow WriMo after the write-in.

Sunday 17th
40013 words, 2628 today. Plotted out another 20 scenes I need to write and put then in a Scene Bucket folder on Scrivener, there are probably others but I can see the ending of the story from here. Needed a break today so I skipped the write-in.

Monday 18th
40189, 176 today. Team lunch, group class and sparring class in the evening. Succumbed to the lure of XCOM: Enemy Within and started my first game.

Tuesday 19th
42203 words, 2014 today. I have the plague, or some kind of zombie death cold. James did a mercy run for cold meds, when I opened the door and he said “Good God, you look awful,” you know you’re not well. Writing under the influence of cold meds.

Wednesday 20th
43016 words, 816 today. No karate today, cancelled it yesterday. I’m not entirely non-functional, but it’s close. Team lead tried to send me home early but another team grabbed me for an hour. I have no brain power left. Paul crossed the 50k mark today, but his story is far from done.

Thursday 21st
45082 words, 2066 today. Skipping ahead to a really fun scene to get me back in the groove. Love how I can tie this story into the start of my 2009 novel, and its 2011 sequel. Now if I can just write the final part of the story I’ll be set for a mammoth editing task.


Week Four – Rounding the bend

I usually find week four hard, especially once I make the official NaNoWriMo winning word count, because my story usually isn’t done. I have promised myself a bribe for finishing the story.

Friday 22nd
47303 words, 2221 today. Management book club at lunch, writing before Paul got home, and after dinner. Have well and truly broken into the scene bucket, all of Part Four is planned out scene by scene and I’m working on the last piece of Part Three. I think the hardest part of each day is when I’m over the NaNoWriMo target of 1667 words, but below my personal target of 2000 words. I love watching my spreadsheet cells turn green when I slide over the 2k and those last 333 words are hard to find.

Saturday 23rd
50016 words, 2713 today! Write-in at the Crooked Tree in St Charles, bread-baking to fulfill our StL NaNo raffle prize (2 loaves of Guinness molasses bread), and 50th anniversary Doctor Who in the evening! Rocking through with coffee and other WriMos. Bo staff demo after the write-in.

Sunday 24th
51071 words, 1055 today. I still have thirteen more scenes to go before I’m done and I’d like to make a thousand words a day. Delivered both loaves of bread to the raffle winners. Cast on a new knitting project, played some XCOM, it was a good day.

Monday 25th
51082 words, 11 today. Validated my novel at 6:15am! The validator trimmed some words off my total, but I was far enough over the line it really didn’t matter. One-on-one lunch with a VP today, I think I’m done with lunchtime writing. After 2 hours of karate, I’m taking the day off writing.

Tuesday 26th
51712 words, 630 today. Wrote after Paul took an early night. Managed to knit today, and watch TV, and have lunch with a work friend. Having fun with my villain in a scene I planned a while back.

Wednesday 27th
51780 words, 64 today. One of those office-half-empty days, followed by a brisk karate group class and my private lesson.

Thursday 28th
52806 words, 1026 today. Thanksgiving! Wrote while the Guinness molasses bread was rising, and while the honey-roasted rutabaga was between bastings. Always surprised when adults say they’ve never had rutabaga before. Eleven more scenes to write.


Week Five – Plowing on

Slowing down but still plodding on. Must finish the story!

Friday 29th
54689 words, 1883 today. Black Friday, thankfully an office holiday. My task for the day is to caramelise condensed milk to make a banoffee pie for dinner with friends tonight. And write more scenes, I’ve removed some from my list so there’s only four more to go…

Saturday 30th
55818 words, 1129 today. It’s Shop Local Saturday! Or Small Business Saturday. Either way, I’m hitting a local bead shop for supplies for a beaded shawl/scarf, then up to the Crooked Tree to finish off another scene. Two down, two to go, and my Mac just got upgraded to 8Gb of memory.

Sunday 1st
56664 words, 800 today. Finished off the final scenes, this story is DONE!