NaNoWriMo 2016: Week Three Recap

Week three was the winning point for me!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week Three Recap

Word count

16. 2,053
17. 466
18. 874
19. 2,345
20. 2,186
21. 37
Week Three Total: 7,961
Overall Total: 52,231

I reached 50,000 words on November 19th! I was so proud of myself.

I had planned on reaching it on the 18th, but I didn’t continue my 2,000 words a day streak. That weekend was pretty busy and I was tired, but whatever. I did it and that’s all there is to it.

I want to continue writing each day though, even if it’s just a little bit… So don’t make fun of yesterday’s word count. Of course, it would be nice if I could write at least 100 words a day.

Short stories

I have six more short stories to write for Short Story Sunday next year. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll finish them by the end of the month, I hope to get most of them done.

Week three

For the final stretch of NaNo, I hope to finish all 52 stories and keep updating my word count every single day, even if it’s just a little bit.

How is NaNoWriMo treating you? Have you crossed the finish line yet? Let me know in the comments! 

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My First NaNoWriMo

I joined NaNoWriMo in October 2008 because that’s when Kris discovered it and told me all about it. I skipped that year, though.

I didn’t feel as though I’d prepared enough to write a novel when I had only just found out about the challenge a week before it started. So, I hung around on the website all month long lurking in the forums and getting to know the community.

It wasn’t until November 2009 that I decided to give NaNo a real shot.

My First NaNoWriMo

I wrote a novel called The Others. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken of this story on my blog since I started blogging in May 2012 and by that time The Others was already a memory.

I remember planning as best as I could the October before. However, at this point, I had never actually completed a first draft of a novel before. I didn’t even know how outlining worked best for me, so I didn’t have my system all worked out just yet.

But I did it! I wrote 50,000 words that November on The Others. The only downside to it was that I had no idea you needed to validate your word count.

So, when November 30th came and went, I was disappointed to see that I had no certificate. Kris asked if I validated my novel and I believe I responded with, “What does that mean?”

Yep.

I won, but it’s just not official. You have to take my word for it. I wrote 50,000 words, but I never completed the novel. There was a lot more to it.

The Others was an interesting story, from what I can remember about it. There have been novels about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), or Multiple Personality Disorder, and I thought I would write one with a twist.

Those kinds of stories are always told from someone else or the main personality as they try to figure out what’s going on. The Others was told by the various personalities inside the protagonist’s mind.

I promise is sounded much better than how I’m explaining it right now. I remember the basic gist of the story, but I can’t remember too much else about it. Other than the fact that the main character’s name was November… very original.

I don’t have the novel anymore. This was a time when my desk was in the basement of my house and I only saved my stories onto my flash drive.

In January 2012 (I think) my flash drive died. I lost a lot of novels and I was devastated.

Though, now that I think about it, the flash drive might have died in January 2013 because I vaguely remember talking about it on the blog… I don’t know.

Either way, that’s why I have Google Drive, Dropbox, and my flash drive now (except now my USB ports on my laptop don’t work anymore, so my novels are kind of stuck in my flash drive until I get a new laptop).

Maybe I’ll go back and try to write The Others again, maybe I won’t. It was a fun idea to explore and maybe someday I’ll expand on it. But it won’t be anytime soon.

What did you write for your first NaNoWriMo? Do you still have it or did you stop working on it after NaNo? Let me know in the comments! 

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NaNoWriMo 2016: Week Two Recap

So, the second week of NaNo is over. That was a thing and it happened.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Week Two Recap

Word count

8. 2,402
9. 2,026
10. 10,095
11. 2,066
12. 4,584
13. 2,097
14. 2,110
15. 2,120
Week Two Total: 27,500
Overall Total: 44,268 (19,268 words ahead of schedule)

I kept up my streak of writing 2,000 words a day. Week two is usually the toughest because of the “slump,” but I was lucky and actually had three days off from work. I was able to get in a little extra writing done on each day.

On the 10th, I had the house to myself and no work so I challenged myself to write 10k that day. And I met my goal! That extra boost of words have helped because I’ll reach 50k a lot sooner than I originally thought.

Short stories

 

I have 14 short stories left to write, which mean I’ve written 38. When I first started this I thought each story would be about 1,000 words so I would end up writing 52,000 words during the month. A handful of stories turned out to be about 2,000 words long while others were about 500 words.

This isn’t a big deal, but if I stuck with my 1,000-word rule, I’d have about 8 stories left to write as opposed to 14. In other words, my Short Story Sundays for next year will be well over 52,000 words. I wonder how much of it I’ll get done by the end of the month?

 

The process

 

I think I’m starting to slow down a bit… Especially after that 10k day I think my mind is screaming at me. But I’ve been staying strong! Writing has continued to go pretty smoothly.

Week three

I would like to finish all 52 stories by the end of the month if I can. However, keeping up the 2k a day, I’ll reach 50,000 words on this Friday, the 18th. I still want to write a little bit every day for the rest of the month, but I’m not going to force myself to write 2,000 words every day if I don’t have the time or just don’t feel like it.

I want to keep the routine and hopefully finish the 52 stories, but it won’t be as big of a priority. I’m usually pretty good at balancing NaNo and life, but this month has been so crazy compared to past Novembers. I’ve had a lot of family events happen so balancing that with NaNo and then everything else. (Like blogging… I’ve neglected all my fellow bloggers and totally ignored everyone’s posts this month… sorry, guys!)

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

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Why I’m Writing Short Stories for NaNoWriMo

I’m sure most of you know by now that I’m writing short stories for NaNoWriMo this year.

I tend to write whatever I want during the Camp months because they’re more flexible, but I like to stick to the “rules” of writing 50,000 words of a brand new novel in November.

I tried to write short stories last year for November and it didn’t go over that well. I can’t remember if I won or not, but I don’t think I did. It was hard and I said, “Well, I tried something different. Next year I’ll stick to my novels.”

So why did I change my mind?

It’s not that I changed my mind, I just had completely forgotten I told myself to stick to novels during November until just the other day.

I decided to write short stories this year for a number of reasons…

1. Short stories are “easier”

Short stories are not easy to write, but I think writing a novel is harder. Some people may agree or disagree with me and that’s fine. But short stories are smaller in the word count and there’s not as much planning as a novel. Sure, it’s difficult to wrap up a conflict in a short amount of pages, but overall I think it’s “easier” than writing a novel.

2. To get ahead for 2017

I’ve been trying to plan ahead for my blogs for 2017. There’s a lot that I want to do and the only way I’m going to get it all done is if I can get some things done right now. If I don’t have to worry about taking the time to sit and write a few thousand words every so often, that would be a huge weight off my shoulders. Any writing time can be spent working on my novels next year.

3. New novel ideas

The short stories I’ve written so far (I have January through May completely done and the other months are half done) vary in genre. I’ve written mystery, mainstream, memoir, poetry, and fantasy. I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with the different genres. It’s great practice and the best part is I think I’ll be turning some of those short stories into novels someday. One story in particular (I think it’s a July short) I already have mostly planned out for a novel.

4. To submit to contests and magazines

I’ve been getting serious with submitting my work lately. I’ve submitted to magazines and a few contests at least once a month since August. I currently have two short stories out in the world that I’m waiting to hear back. I hope to keep that trend up and hope that something comes from it. I’ve written a few shorts so far that I think will be worthy of magazines some day in the near future.

Here’s a reason as to why I love writing short stories for NaNo: I don’t get burned out as easily.

Last Thursday I attempted to write 10,000 words and I ended up with 10,095 (I was pretty tired afterwards). I don’t remember how many shorts I wrote (most are about 1,000 words, but some are as long as 2,000 and as short as 500), but after every break I went back to writing something completely brand new.

There was no thinking, “Where do I go from here?” or, “What should my characters do next?” I just grabbed a prompt and went with it.

My word count is currently at 40,000 words. I have 10,000 more to go. I wanted to finish by Thanksgiving, but if I keep my 2,000 words a day trend up, I’ll reach 50,000 words on Friday the 18th.

And let me tell you, it’s been a wonderful thing.

Have you ever tried to write something else other than a novel during NaNo? How did it go? How is NaNo going for you this year? Let me know in the comments!

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NaNoWriMo: A 10k Kind of Day

I can’t stress enough that November has always been a busy month. I’ve had a lot of family events going on which makes this year tougher than the previous years.

Despite this, I’ve been making great progress on my NaNo project.

I got lucky with a few days off from work. I had the day of the election off, I have Veteran’s Day off, then there’s Thanksgiving.

Today is a normal day, but it’s professional development for the teachers. Since I’m an aide, that means I have the day off.

Everyone in my family still has work and school so it’ll just be me and the animals. I have no obligations, no deadlines, nothing.

So, I’ve decided, I’m going to challenge myself to write 10,000 words today, Thursday, November 10.

(I just realized that I’ll be writing 10k on the 10th. I hope that’s a good sign!)

Of course, I won’t be sitting at my computer for five hours straight writing. I’m going to take breaks here and there.

My daily goal is 2,000 words. In between every 2,000 words, I’ll take an hour break. I can write 2,000 words in one hour if I focus hard enough so maybe tomorrow I’ll end up writing every other hour. We’ll see if Chip and Chase allow me to write for that long!

I’ve attempted to write 10k in one day twice before. The first time I tried it, I quit after a few thousand. I think I made it to at least 5,000 though. The second time I did it, I got 10k. I think I wrote every other hour and that’s what helped me stay on task.

I don’t know if I’ll have enough juice in me to write 10k today, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway!

I’ll be updating my progress on Twitter, so be sure to follow along.

Also, if you have no other obligations today, feel free to join me! The more, the merrier!

Have you ever attempted 10k in a day before? Did you reach your goal? Let me know in the comments!

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