NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One

I have no intro for this. The past few years I’ve been updating my weekly progress for NaNo. So, I’m doing it again. Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One.

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 1 | Creative writing | writing | patreon | short story | flash fiction | RachelPoli.com

My daily goal is always to write 2,000 words. I like the even number over 1,667 words. I also try my best to get it done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around at the end of the month. Here’s how I’m doing so far.

Word Count

Day 1: 2,203
Day 2: 2,125
Day 3: 2,175
Day 4: 2,114
Day 5: 2,061
Day 6: 2,132
Day 7:
Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week One Total:
12,810

Not bad, right? I had a steady stream of words each day. Day 3 was Saturday as well as Double-Up Day. I don’t know why I thought Double-Up Day was later in the month, but I wasn’t planning on that. When I found out I had decided to attempt 4,000 words.

I ended up not getting the chance to write until much later at night. I usually write early in the morning but I didn’t make my word count that day until around 10-10:30 at night. It just so happened that other things were going on that day (good things, of course) and I had decided to put my attention towards that instead of focusing on writing.

I thought Sunday, November 4, would be a good day to write 4,000 words and pretend I did it for my own Double-Up Day, but that didn’t happen either. I was at church for a few hours, got my 2k in, and then had other work that needed to be done. Maybe this weekend I can aim to give myself a mini writing marathon.

Projects

I spent the whole week working on my Short Story Sunday 2019 project. That is, if you don’t know, 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year.

I also put the last finishing touches of November’s short story for my patrons. They’ll be getting their exclusive story from me on Saturday, November 10. If you’d like to receive a patron-only short from me each month, then please join me on Patreon for only $1 a month. If you want to see what it’s all about, you can check out my Patreon page here.

I’ve also been working bit by bit on Sunday Morning. I’ll have more information on that as soon as I can, but if you’d like to be the first to know, then Patreon is a great place to be.

NaNo Week One

I can’t believe the first week of NaNo is already done. It was a good week though and I feel like I got a lot done. I’m happy with my progress and I’m looking forward to what I’ll get done in week two.

How did week one go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Advertisements

NaNoWriMo 2016: Week One Recap

A week has already come and gone for NaNoWriMo. Can you believe it?

I can’t.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week One Recap

Word count

1. 2,309
2. 2,073
3. 2,067
4. 2,198
5. 4,035
6. 2,031
7. 2,055
Total: 16,768 (5,101 words ahead of schedule)

My daily goal is to write at least 2,000 words. I’ve been pretty consistent sticking to that. Day 5 was Saturday and Double-Up Day. I double my daily goal and reached 4,000 words within three hours. It was a very productive day!

Short stories

I didn’t keep track of how many stories I wrote each day, but I’ve written a total of 14 short stories out of 52.

I’ve been aiming for each story to be about 1,000 words long. Most of them are, but there are three or four stories that are 2,000 words long. There’s also two or three that are less than 1,000 words. One is actually a poem instead of a short story that one reached just shy of 200 words.

I figured out all my prompts before NaNo started so I’ve been jumping around and writing these stories out of order. I have Short Story Sunday written for all of January and February. March is almost done and then I have a story or two for some of the other months.

The process

Writing has been going smoothly. Like I said, I have all the prompts assigned to a date. I’ve been jumping around and writing the prompts that I feel like writing first instead of going in order of the dates. I think that’s been helping me keep up the momentum of writing every day.

A couple of the short stories I absolutely love and I think they may even be novel ideas someday.

Week two

This first week went so well. I have a few days off of work in week two, so I think I’ll be able to write more this week than I did last week, even though week two is considered “the slump” week.

How is NaNoWriMo treating you? Are you enjoying your writing project so far? Let me know in the comments! 

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump

8 Tips for a Wonderful NaNoWriMo

Writing is hard. Participating in NaNoWriMo is harder.

Yet, there are many things you can do to control whether or not you reach your goal.

8 Tips for a Wonderful NaNoWriMo

1. Write what you think is right for you

Camp NaNoWriMo is way more flexible than NaNoWriMo in November. During November you have to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel. Of course, not everyone does that and neither should you. Are you in the middle of writing a novel? Then keep going. Add 50,000 more words to it. Are novels not your thing? Write 50,000 words of poetry or short stories. Write something that you want to write, something that you’ll be in love with all month long. Otherwise, you’ll lose momentum and that 50,000-word goal will slip from your grasp.

2. Find your time

Are you a morning person? Write as soon as you get up. If you have work, wake up a little earlier to get some writing done. That’s what I do. If you work better in the afternoon or at night, then set aside a certain time to get your writing done. I write from 5:45-6:45/7 in the morning every weekday. I write 2,000 words in that time and then I’m done for the day (unless I feel like writing/have the time to write later on). Having the same time of day every day helps your brain get into that creative mode.

3. Embrace the mistakes

Can’t figure out how to spell a word? Don’t worry about it, that red line will remind you to fix it later. Need to research something? Put it in bold and make a note to look it up later. All first drafts are terrible. As long as you get your ideas down on paper, that’s all that matters.

4. Use prompts

Feeling stuck on what to do next? Are your characters tired and coming to a halt in action? Look up some writing prompts and include them in your novel. You may or may not like them, but it will keep you writing and you can edit it out later.

5. Accept encouragement and give support

The world of writing has the best community ever. Meet some writer friends through NaNo and cheer each other. Find some writer friends in real life and relate with one another whether they do NaNo or not. Don’t do NaNo alone and don’t let others do it alone.

6. Reward yourself

Did you meet your daily word count? Did you reach 25,000 words? 50,000? 50,000 in two weeks? Reward yourself! Give yourself small rewards for reaching your daily goal and give yourself something big when you reach the end and win. I always buy myself a new video game if I reach 50,000 words. Video games are expensive, they’re something I love, and something I don’t buy myself often. I think it’s a great reward for NaNo.

7. Take breaks

Making a lot of typos? Falling asleep at the computer? Are you starting to feel a bit dizzy or maybe your eyes are crossing from the bright screen? Walk away from the computer and take a break. Your body and mind needs to rest, no matter what your word count is.

8. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished

Whether you wrote 50,000 words in 30 days or 500 words in 30 days, be proud. You took on a tough challenge, you met new people, came up with new ideas, and wrote something. Whatever you write is more than what you would have had if you didn’t participate in NaNo. Don’t feel like a failure if you don’t reach 50,000, be happy that you tried and you did your best. Remember, November is a busy month. Holidays, family, friends, sicknesses, and life in general, get in the way.

What tips do you have for writers participating in NaNoWriMo?

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double Jump

This Loss is a Win

Camp NaNoWriMo is officially over for another year. I’m proud to say that my winning streak has broken.

This would have been my fifth win in a row, but I never reached 50,000 words. I only made it to 33,259 words. While it feels weird not to make it to 50k, I’m oddly okay with not winning that certificate.

Losing Camp NaNo July 2016 Rachel Poli

I decided to add 50,000 words to my already 50,000-word novel Hunter. As I continued the story where I left off last July, I slowly realized that the story most likely wasn’t going to need another 50k. But I kept writing anyway because… why not?

I think I only added another 20k or 25k or so to the novel before the draft was complete.

I was going to edit it but didn’t want to start it right away. So, I decided to write some Short Story Sundays.

I ended up finishing those for the rest of the year leaving me with the word count I have now: 33k.

I had hoped to get a lot of handwriting done while I was away on vacation. That didn’t work out as I only wrote about 550 words one night and that was it. However, I hung out with my parents and cousins instead so I’m not complaining about not getting any writing done.

There was one day left when I got home and I wondered if I was able to bang out a bunch of words by August 1.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had already won Camp.

No, I didn’t reach my goal of writing 50,000 words in one month. But I got over half, which is better than nothing, I completed the first draft of another novel, and I also completed five months of Short Story Sundays (which is a load off my shoulders, seriously).

NaNo is just about getting the words down. It’s about quantity, not quality. The first draft of everything is crap. The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

That’s what I did. I got the first draft down. I wrote a bunch of shorts.

So I wasn’t able to print out that winner’s certificate or get the winner’s badges.

But I did win.

Unofficially, but I’m counting it.

Did you win Camp NaNo last month? How did your writing go?

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

Final Update: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016

I’ll be going away on vacation in a couple of days so my main goal for Camp this month was to write 50,000 words by the 22nd.

Since I finished my novel pretty early, I decided to finish off those words by writing short stories.

So, let’s see how I did.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016 Stats Rachel Poli

In order to make 50,000 words by the 22 of July, I had to write 2,500 words a day. As you can see from my stats, I started off so well.

Once I finished the first draft of my novel, Hunter, writing became harder. It’s easier to bang out nearly 3,000 words for one continuous story, but not so much when you’re writing short stories.

I decided to write some Short Story Sundays in advance to finish off my word count. I wrote and wrote and wrote and thought it would be easy.

It’s not.

I wrote one story and was proud when I tallied up the word count. I had only written 637 words. I thought I had at least 1,000 by the time the story was done.

It’s hard to figure out what to write next, too. I often sat there for a while trying to find a prompt for the next short story.

You would think writing short stories would be easier than adding words to a novel, but for some strange reason, it’s just not.

Not to mention that I only have about four short stories left to write for the rest of 2016. That’s not going to bring my count up to 50,000. So what am I going to do then?

Oh, I’m sure you’ve also noticed that I’ve gotten behind in my word count and then caught up and then got behind again and so on. That never happens to me, so we’re just not even going to talk about it.

I do plan on bringing a notebook or two on vacation with me. I think whatever I write up there, whether they’re short stories or beginning a new novel (yes, I thought of another new novel idea), I’m going to tally that up.

So this month, for Camp, I added words to a novel, I wrote a bunch of short stories, and I’ll be handwriting something completely different.

This month has been all over the place.

And it’s been a challenge indeed.

How has Camp NaNoWriMo been treating you this month?

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

Story Excerpt: Hunter

I finished writing Hunter within the first couple days of Camp NaNoWriMo. Here’s an excerpt from chapter 27. It’s been proofread, but not edited. So I hope you guys enjoy it.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016 Story Excerpt by Rachel Poli

            Cat walked around to the other side of the couch and noticed a small end table behind it. There was an oval-shaped picture frame sitting on top. Cat put her gun back into her holster then picked up the frame in one hand and dusting it off with the other.

The picture was of a man and woman, both smiling at the camera looking very happy. Cat squinted at the man. He looked familiar to her. It took a minute and then realized the man must have been Michael Hurst, Brandon’s father. If she was right, then Cat deduced the woman in the picture must have been Brandon’s mother.

Cat peeled her eyes away from the picture. She remembered when she went back in time with Brandon, that Michael went to X-Terminate to try to bail his wife out. She didn’t realize it before, but four-year-old Brandon grew up with no father and no mother because she was captured. Where did he go? How did he take care of himself?

Cat wondered where his mother was now. That was 14 years ago and she didn’t remember ever seeing a woman with the last name Hurst in the building. Cat swallowed a lump in her throat realizing that Brandon’s mother must have been dead.

“Cat,”

Startled, Cat dropped the frame and turned around while taking her gun back out of her holster. She stretched her arms out pointing her weapon to the man who spoke. Before anything else could happen, she heard glass shattering.

Cat squeezed her eyes shut realizing what she had just done. Still pointing her gun outward, she glanced down to her side. She had dropped the picture on the ground by accident and the frame was completely broken.

“What are you doing?” Brandon asked staring blankly at the broken photo.

“I am so sorry…” Cat breathed. She peeled her gaze away from the picture and back at Brandon. “I missed the table.”

“I see that.”

“Catherine?”

Cat looked towards the stairs. Max must have heard her dropping the picture.

“I’m fine, Max! I just walked into a table and something fell.” She explained trying to keep her voice steady, but it still shook anyway.

Cat turned her attention back to Brandon who kept a steady gaze on her. Neither one of them said a word.

What was Cat supposed to say to him? She knew she couldn’t help him. She was a Hunter from X-Terminate. Yet, she felt guilty bringing him back there. She felt guilty capturing the other mutants. She couldn’t be on both sides. She especially couldn’t be on Brandon’s side and let him go right now. Not while Max was just upstairs.

Speaking of Max, Cat turned to look at the stairs again. She was pretty sure he was on his way back down.

“What are you doing here?” Brandon whispered.

“I’m on a mission to bring you in.” Cat said in a low voice.

“And…?” Brandon stretched out his arms as though he was waiting for Cat to make a move.

“And…” Cat mimicked him waiting for him to say something else, even though she knew what he was waiting for her to do. She also knew that he knew she wasn’t going to do anything to him.

“I’m right in front of you, Cat. And you have a gun.” Brandon took a step closer to her.

Cat glanced back down at the picture she broke. She then lowered her gun looking Brandon in the eyes. “I’m a Hunter for X-Terminate. I’m going to be running the company some day.”

“That’s great.” Brandon deadpanned.

“I am on a mission right now. And my orders are you to capture you and bring you back to X-Terminate where you’ll rot in a cell for the rest of your life.”

“If your father doesn’t murder me first.”

Cat winced at the word murder. Was that what her father was? A murdered? She had seen him kill in cold blood and she didn’t agree with it, but she never thought of her father as a murderer. But that’s what killing in cold blood for no reason means… Her father has murdered many people.

Max’s footsteps were getting louder. It sounded as though he had finally made it to the staircase.

“I can’t screw this up anymore, Brandon. I’m sorry.” Cat raised her gun again. She couldn’t let Max see her talking to Brandon and she especially couldn’t let Max see her letting Brandon go. She was in enough trouble as it was and the other Hunters and her father already seemed annoyed with everything she’s messed up with lately.

Cat pulled the trigger and blinked.

Her eyes shot back open and her whole body jolted. She remembered pulling the trigger, but she didn’t remember hearing a shot or feeling the kickback. Once her eyes were open all the way once more, she realized Brandon was no longer in front of her. Cat drew in a deep breath and stumbled backward, gripping the back of the couch to help keep her steady.

“What the hell just happened?” Max clomped down the stairs and put his arms out as though trying to hold his own balance.

“I…” Cat tried to catch her breath. “I saw Brandon. I tried to shoot him. Or, I did shoot him. I don’t know… I pulled the trigger at least.”

Max staggered over to Cat and took her gun out of her hand. He opened it up and counted the bullets. “Nothing shot out of your gun. Are you sure you pulled the trigger?” He closed it and handed it back to her.

“I thought I did.” Cat rubbed the back of her neck putting her gun back into her holster. “I remember starting to pull the trigger but didn’t hear a sound. It was almost like I fell asleep on my feet, but no time passed… And I didn’t actually fall asleep.”

“I feel like I just woke up as well.” Max checked his watch. “But no time passed.”

It was at that moment that Harold, Adam, and Greg burst through the front door of the building, guns at the ready. Once they all looked around and realized Max and Cat weren’t in any danger, they all relaxed.

“Is everyone okay?” Harold let out an exasperated sigh.

“We are, are you?” Max asked.

Harold nodded.

“Did we just get frozen in time?” Adam asked.

“I think so,” Max replied.

Cat blinked a couple of times. She didn’t like the feeling of being frozen in time. She remembered the feeling she had when she teleported with Brandon and she didn’t like that feeling, either. But she would take the teleportation any day over time stopping.

She looked down at the ground next to her and realized that Brandon did indeed stop time. Then he most likely teleported away before unfreezing everything.

The glass was still shattered on the floor, but the fame and the picture were gone.

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

July 2016 Camp NaNoWriMo Update

When it comes to NaNoWriMo, whether it’s during November or a Camp session, most people have a hard time getting the words to flow as a steady stream.

This is not the case for me this time.

I’ll be going away the last week of July and while there will be Internet access, I won’t be bringing my laptop. So my goal this month was to write 50,000 words by July 22nd. That’s about 2,500 words a day.

Normally, my goal is 2,000 words a day so an extra 500 didn’t seem to be so bad. The truth is, it’s not bad at all.

My stats have been pretty steady. There have been a few days where I was able to write way more than 2,500 simply because I was on a roll and needed to finish the chapter.

Day 1: 3,005 words
Day 2: 2,629 words
Day 3: 2,549 words
Day 4: 4,939 words
Day 5: 1,735 words

See that spike on day 4?

Yeah, I finished the novel.

Before I started writing on day 4, I realized that I was nearing the end of the story. I thought I had about two chapters left and figured the story would end between 63,000 words and 65,000 words. Well, I wrote two more chapters and my total is 63, 278.

It seems a little short, I know. While the novel is “complete” and the ending is written, it’s not really finished.

As most of you know, I’m continuing my fantasy novel Hunter which already had 50,000 words tagged onto it from last July’s Camp NaNo session.

As I read through those first 50,000 words to prepare myself for this Camp, I kept a list of editing notes. Might as well, right? Well, the pacing of the story is completely… non-existent, I would say.

The story moves way too fast and Cat, the main character, doesn’t help it much. She’s supposed to be indecisive about right and wrong, her family and their supposed enemy, but she ends up switching teams just about instantly.

If you read it, you can totally tell that I wrote the novel for a NaNo session.

Needless to say, the novel should be longer than 63,000 words and it will be. During my editing I’ll be adding scenes, which will be interesting, to say the least.

In the meantime, Hunter is done for now. I was looking forward to working on it throughout the month, but I just can’t see to get myself to edit during a NaNo session because I’m not writing the actual words. I’m weird, I know, but that’s just how I feel.

So, for the rest of the month starting yesterday (that’s where day 5’s words came from–pay no attention for the lack of 2,500 words on that day), I’ll be working on short stories. I figured this is a good opportunity for me to catch up on some Short Story Sundays. I also hope to submit to a few contests here and there this summer, so I can write stories to submit to those and magazines and such.

So, thank you guys for voting Hunter on that poll. I have another completed first draft to add to my list (I have a lot of editing to do…) and I’m getting that extra time (more like extra push) to get some side stories done in an attempt to get my foot through the door in the publishing world.

I think everything worked out quite nicely.

How is Camp NaNo going for you? How is your current project moving along, whether you’re participating in Camp or not?

Poll Results: What Will I Write For July’s Camp NaNoWriMo?

July Camp NaNoWriMo Poll Results Rachel Poli

In my May Wrap Up post, I asked you guys what I should write for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session.

I included a fantasy novel, a romance novel, and a general young adult novel. All three are projects that I have worked on before, so I will just be adding 50,000 words to the novel.

The fantasy novel, Hunter, was what I wrote for Camp in July 2015. I also did a poll for that and Hunter won. I wrote 50,000 words, but never finished the story.

I included two other novels that I started. Neither one of them was for Camp or the November NaNoWriMo, so neither one of them is 50,000 words into the story. I think one is about 20k words in and the other is about 11k words in.

I always try to start a new project for any NaNo session, but I have so many novels that I’ve started and never finished that I thought I should be a “rebel” and work on something I’ve already started.

Hunter was my first choice, but I still wanted to include a poll to see what you guys thought. I couldn’t choose which two other novels to include, so Kris chose for me: Far Away and The Blank Page. I have to admit, I got in the mood to write The Blank Page again after re-reading some of what I wrote. There’s some funny stuff in there!

Anyway, with that long intro out of the way, here are the results:

For the second year in a row, Hunter is the winner! I will be adding another 50,000 words to the already 50k-word novel.

On the first day of the poll, Hunter was winning by a landslide. Then The Blank Page caught up and was actually winning by one or two off and on. Then they were both tied for a couple of days, both their votes going up at once. In the end, Hunter pulled through.

Thank you to everyone who voted! I really appreciate the help. Since it won two years in a row I can only hope that when the novel gets published (though probably not for a while) you guys will be thrilled and want to read it!

I’ve started a read through of what I have so far and have been making an outline of what I have so far. Then I’ll try to outline the rest of the novel for July.

The outlining shouldn’t be too bad. I already know how the novel is going to end. To be honest, this draft of the novel is actually a rewrite. I wrote this novel back in 2011, but the first draft, as always, wasn’t very good. This version is more or less the same as the original, but still vastly different.

I’m excited to dive back into the manuscript. I’ll still be working on my detective series in the meantime, but it’ll be a nice change of pace to work on something else and a new genre at that.

July will be here before we know it. Do you know what you’re writing yet? Are you planning your novel or not?

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

Camp NaNo: The End

Stats

It’s the last day of Camp NaNo. For some–depending on where you live–it’s already over. Did you hit your word goal and validate it? Did you go above and beyond? Did you finish your novel and are you satisfied with it?

Like I said in yesterday’s post, I’m going to take a break from my NaNo project. I thought the story was ready to be told, but I guess I got ahead of myself.

With that being said, I’ll be focusing on a few other projects that I’ll explain in another post.

Even though my novel didn’t go over as well as I thought it would, the main goal was to get the idea down on paper. I hit my 50k word goal.

My cabin, filled with 12 people total, had an overall goal of 600k.

Cabin Stats

As you can see, we rocked it!

For one person to hit 600k in 30 days, they would have to write 20k a day. Can you imagine? I’ve written 10k in a day before, but I think 20k is a bit much; especially if you have to do it for 30 days straight. It would certainly be an interesting challenge.

One of these days I would love to have my word count goal be 100k. I think that’s much more doable.

I hope you all had a wonderful April and you all won your Camp NaNo challenge!

Camp NaNo: Last Two Days

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

There are two more days left of Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the final stretch. How are your novels coming along?

I hit my 50k word goal about a week ago, but the story is not yet complete. I wrote the ending, but there are a lot of scenes missing in the middle. I don’t know how many more scenes, but I do know the story is no where near complete.

Despite middle scenes missing, I know that a few of the middle scenes that are there shouldn’t exist. It got to the point that I was writing for the sake of my word count.

Anonymous Tip is the third novel in my George Florence series. The first two novels are one case with two sub-cases. This third novel is the beginning of another huge case. Same main characters, different minor characters, different plot, different cases… it’s a brand new adventure for George and Lilah.

While writing this case I realized that it might be better for me to completely edit the first two novels first. Then I’ll start working on the third novel.

So, I’m not going to finish the novel completely yet. I have a head start with 50k words (that’s decent, anyway) and I’ll get back to it when I finish the first two books.

George and Lilah can handle only so much at a time. Apparently so can I.