This has been an interesting month.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I endeavored to participate this year. Only really hearing about it for the first time last year, I decided I might as well give it a go with the sequel to my debut novel Dead Sleep, that will be titled Dead Sight.
When I wrote Dead Sleep, I started in January and went through June. Some days I wrote a lot and with a flurry, but other days went by without anything being written. In fact, there was a 3-4 week time period in March and April that I just put the book aside completely. My work as a teacher required my focus at the time, so I put it on a shelf. When I got back to it, I was determined to finish, but I had forgotten so much. I had forgotten a bit of the tone of the novel, certain attributes of characters that I had set up on a whim, and other random aspects of the book. A huge portion of my time in April, May, and June was simply going back over what I’d already written and figuring out how not to drop my characters into a gigantic plot hole.
For that purpose, NaNoWriMo has been an amazing success. I’ve been able to juggle more and multiple characters with various locations and I haven’t lost my sanity! My own personal memory can go back 30 days, so I am quite able to recall what I wrote not only yesterday but also two weeks ago.
Those that argue that this month teaches poor writing habits may think they have a point, but for me, I’ve learned I need to write a little everyday. I did miss one day this month, but I’ve written at least a few hundred words each day besides that with some days going upwards of 3,000 words.
I have enjoyed the month and learning about myself and about my writing ability over the course of the month. I’m not as prolific as some other authors (cough, cough Hugh Howey) but I still am impressed with myself.
Right now, I’ve got about 2,000 words a day to finish up by Saturday. I don’t know if the story itself will be finished, but I should hit the 50,000 word count goal set forth my NaNoWriMo. If all goes well, I’ll have a new novel out by spring.
Down below is my current NaNo chart — right short of 42K.