Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nanowrimo day 22

On Friday the 21st I only managed about 700 words all day, but dashed off another 600 after 11pm to end up with my smallest daily total for quite some time.

On Saturday the 22nd (yesterday as I write this), I really didn't feel like writing anything. Friday's 1300 words were reminiscent of a scene in Hal Spacejock No Free Lunch, and so I needed a new direction and some fresh ideas. That's never good when you're facing an empty screen first thing in the morning.

Eventually I abandoned my plans for the characters, skipped ahead an hour or so of their time, and threw them into a dangerous situation. Having Hal and Clunk protecting someone else was a novel experience for all three of us, and I ended up writing over 3000 words.

I guess the editing side of my brain will just have to piece all this together later...

The graph below shows my NanoWrimo progress from day one. The grey part represents the required daily count, red shows under and green over.

The reason for those two zero days, and two huge green days? The NanoWrimo servers are based on US timezones, so if I submit my wordcount after a certain time of day it's added to the NEXT day's tally instead.

You can see how the required daily count has been shrinking at an ever-increasing rate, thanks to my goal of writing 2000 words every day. As it stands now I only have to write about 900 words a day to finish, but I'm sticking to 2000 because I need a 120,000 word first draft by Feb next year, and December is always a write-off. (Hah)

How's everyone else's Nano going? Feel free to gloat or moan in the comments ...

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Ben-M said...

Glad to see it coming along. I can only imagine editing the 120K draft is going to be all kinds of fun in and of itself.

I managed to hit the "magical" 50K this morning and I'm surprised at how ambivalent I feel about it. And then I'm surprised at being surprised.

On the one hand, it provided me the motivation to write much more than I usually do, which in turn prompted me to be a little more structured in how I planned the up and coming scenes.

And on the other hand, it really is a meaningless goal - my real goal is to finish the draft (a very modest ~70K), and that won't be until early December.

It certainly has been educational so far though.

Lee Battersby... said...

Where did you get the cool graph?

I'm on track to finish with three or four days to spare, although that's really only the first step as the novel itself shapes up as being substantially longer than 50K in length.

So while you're all sunning yourself on some exotic beach come December, I'll still be Sean Williamsing my way through 1500 words a damn day....

Simon Haynes said...

Cool graphs here, pre-filled with your NanoWrimo ID:

And as for the sunning ... snort. I have to spend December catching up on all the odd jobs which have been queueing up since the day after Xmas last year. (I get to do NanoWrimo on the understanding that December is SiFixHouseMo)

However, before November I foolishly asked my publisher for a November 2009 release date for Hal 5, and they rashly agreed.

Working backwards, that means the novel has to be completely finished, proof read and ready for production by (I think) April.

Which means I need the first draft by the end of January.

Wonder if I can paint and decorate with one hand while typing on one of those netbook computery things with the other?

Andrew Buntine said...

Simon, have you ever [or, perhaps, are you now?] attempted NaNoWriMo whilst working full-time?

Or is this a momentously silly question?

After years of procrastinating my writing efforts, and of watching NaNo from the sidelines, I intend to give it a go in 2009. Just trying to plan my failure accordingly, and find something handy to blame. ;)

Ben-M said...

Andrew, I don't want to steal Simon's thunder and answer your question directly, but you'd be surprised what you can achieve with a deadline looming over you.

Simon Haynes said...

I was working full time when I did my first two NanoWrimos - and also running my own software business part-time, as well as developing programs like yWriter.

I used to do about 500 words at lunch time (20 mins) and 1200 or so at night. I also used to do 3000-4000 per day on Sat & Sunday.

It's certainly doable if you put everything else on hold for the month. And that's the point of Nano - it shows what you need to sacrifice if you really want to write a novel. (Each of my novels is the equivalent of three NanoWrimos per year, plus all the editing.)