Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little Panicky

I preparation for NaNo, last night I went through the calendar on my computer and figured out where my word count needs to be each day. I set it up so that I can enter what the actual word count is, followed by a slash and the goal number. Right now they look like this: #/1667. That's day one.

I started freaking out at day seven: #/11,669.

Then day fourteen (halfway mark): #/23,338.

I knew day thirty is 50,000 - that's the whole point of the competition - but when I wrote it out like that, it suddenly struck me how much competitors are expected to write. To give a little perspective, my current wip is stuck at 45,000 words and I started that last MARCH. Granted I wasn't very focused and took week-long breaks several times, but holy cow.

I fixed the plot hole in my other wip yesterday so now I have a couple days to focus on my outline and character building. I'm wrapping up a freelance project this morning so hopefully I can split my time evenly between writing and web design.

If you're doing NaNo, do you already have an outline? Are you ready to go?

29 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

Wow, and that's a big reason I haven't done NaNo yet. Wow.

I'm glad you filled the plot hole, so you won't have that looming over you in November. :)

Turkey Lurkey said...

I was under the impression that NaNo is pretty much 'speed writing'. You are basically tossing the story out onto paper without editing. You know, the "Just write it!" philosophy. I think you'll do fine. (hugs)

Robin said...

Melanie, I downloaded this little pamphlet off NaNo called "It's a Jungle Out There! Nano for the New and Insane - A NaNoWriMo Survival Guide" by Lazette Gifford. It's fast to read, and I found it really helpful. Particularly the "Do the best you can" advice. I'm just going to write and not worry if I don't hit the 50,000 word mark. What the heck? I'll have something down!

However, I think you are going to do the whole bagel with cream cheese.

WendyCinNYC said...

No suh, no NaNo for me.

I wish you the best of luck, though.

Rachel Burton said...

Wow. When you put it like that, I'm kind of relieved not to be doing Nano! But try not to look ahead. 1667 a day is doable, and if I had a great outline, I think I could keep up. Sounds like you're prepared!

Jenna said...

I am ready to bust out of gate. I know it's going to be tougher than last year (I have an added kid here several days a week and I'm dedicated to getting back in shape) but I'm anxious to get started.

I don't have an outline per say but I did a few brain dumps, i.e wrote down everything swirling around in my brain for this story, and I plan to do a few more.

Turkey is right, no editing, just get the story on paper. If you know you'll change something later just make a note somewhere in the manuscript and move on.

Just try and let it fly out of you.

Good luck Mel!!

ac said...

I'm not doing NaNo this year due to my commitment to a book contract. Last year, however, I participated.

I had no outline. Just an opening scene in mind - a woman driving in her car listening to the radio.

Turns out my opening scene is a cliche. Who knew?

But that was the least of my problems. My MC was Puerto Rican and poor in the beginning of the book. And by the end she was a rich Mexican.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, really YOU should be glad, lol. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, it is speed writing but I want to have a rough outline so I don't waste time getting stuck. I didn't do any editing on my last MS until I finished the first draft so I think I'll do ok with this.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, now I want a bagel and cream cheese. :) I'll look into that booklet.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Wendy.

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, I'm not quite prepared yet! I have the mindset, just not the actual planning. Soon... soon...

Melanie Avila said...

Jenna, YOU sound prepared. :) Goods luck to you - you certainly do have less time than last year. Can you email me your screen name so we can be buddies?

Melanie Avila said...

AC, lol! That's a bit of a problem... and one more reason why I need an outline!

Zoe Winters said...

Damn this makes me sad I'm not doing nano. Stupid scheduling. I just can't justify taking a month time out to write another manuscript.

Creative A said...

Hey :)

I've, been there, done that. I hear that you don't actually end up writing a daily wordcount - it's more like, write a bunch the first week, barely manage anything on the second week, try to catch up the third week.

I'm going to be writing weekly Nano tips on my blog (plug, plug) about what to expect...hopefully, I can trick myself into thinking that it's all part of the process, and it'll turn out fine.


-CA

Sara Spock said...

Hey Mel! I did it 2 years ago. And I'm going to do a pseudo nano in January. Basically, it's not feasible for me to get to 50K in one month with a toddler, but it is a great kick start. When I participated in 2005, I reached 38,000 words, which was amazing. Then again, I'm neck deep in revisions on that novel now... So, outline and just write! Enjoy the process. And even if you just write 10 more words than you normally do, you're a winner. Right?

Jen said...

Well, I'm slowly rebuilding a new outline for NaNo, and I think it'll be okay. Not as detailed as I had before, but that's not a big deal.

As for the word counts, don't worry too much. I'd never written that much before either, and I was really intimidated before I started last year.

By day two, I had something like 13k words. (I don't recommend doing that, by the way, LOL) The words will come, and if it starts getting hard, you can always try word wars...I think the NaNo website has people hooking up for those throughout November. I did that last year with a couple of writer friends, and it really helped the words flow.

And as everyone else said: NO EDITING! Sketch out scenes you can fill in later if you're not sure exactly what's going to happen in them.

Good luck, Mel, and remember to have some fun with it, too. *hugs*

Melanie Avila said...

Zoe, I just got hit with a couple web projects (which I still don't fully know how to do) but I always seem to work better under pressure.

Melanie Avila said...

Creative, I've heard similar things about the word counts. Hopefully I'll have a strong two weeks, then pass out, lol.

Melanie Avila said...

Sara, that's a good point. I was thinking this morning and 800 words seems to be a steady amount for me. So... I just need to double that. Oy.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Jen. I really need to get on my outline instead of playing on the intrawebs. *smacks hand*

I'm not worried about the editing. I'm mainly worried about the idea fizzling out before I've reached my goal.

Janet said...

The outline is far from complete, but the main plot points are there, and I know how to start, so I'm good for a while. I'll have to flesh it out as I go.

Allen said...

I did NANO two years ago. Last week, I finally hit 20K. Three or four more and I might finish the manuscript, at least the first draft.


Yeah, I know. But at least I will finish. I save the book for November every year. I only work on it while others do NANO.It lets me feel like I am a part of it instead of the LOSER I was in 2006.

So, who wants coffee with biscuits and gravy?

Melanie Avila said...

Janet, I finally started mine last night.

Melanie Avila said...

ROFLMAO Allen!

spyscribbler said...

No outline, no nothing. I have no idea what I'm going to write! But you can definitely do it, I know you can. Just think of how many days you write over 2,000 words! You'll be fabulous!

I'm trying to get back in gear.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Spy. I just started my outline but I know I need to put more thought into it.

YOU are the queen at getting high word counts every day!

spyscribbler said...

Only when I'm on a roll. I've been off a roll so long, they don't even count!