Give Yourself A Nudge During NaNo [NaNoWriMo Prep]

November is the official “NaNoWriMo” month. There’s no flexibility of choosing your word count like the Camp NaNo months. If you’re in it, you’re into write 50,000 words. No more, no less. (Well, technically you can write more or less, but that’s beside the point…)

During Camp NaNo you can write 10,000 words if you choose. Then you have to write about 334 words a day. That’s a pretty big difference compared to writing 1,667 words a day for a 50,000-word goal.

That difference can make it easy to get behind in your word count.

November is a busy month. We just get over Halloween, then there’s Thanksgiving (where I am), then begins the various Winter holidays. Everyone has either work or school (or both) during November. It’s just an all-around busy time of the year.

That’s why I’m here to tell you to write more than your daily goal.

Do A Little Extra During NaNoWriMo

I try to write 2,000 words a day for three reasons: One, because I like even numbers and two, because I think 2,000 words is a good length for one chapter.

The third reason is that I like to get a little ahead of the game. 2,000 words compared to 1,667 is an extra 333 words. It’s not much, but it’s something.

There will be days when you feel like you can’t write anymore. There will be days when you’re so busy that you write less than 1,667 words or you don’t write at all.

Allow yourself to write that little bit extra each day, even if it’s only 50 or 100 words. If you write a little extra each day, it’ll add up. You’ll finish earlier and you’ll be able to allow yourself some cheat days here and there if you need it.

It’s easier said than done, but if you get yourself into the mentality of writing 1,800 words as opposed to 1,667, it should come easier with each day. Even if you add an extra 50 words one day and then able to add an extra 75 words the next day.

Giving yourself that extra nudge will really pay off in the long run, especially if you’re on a roll with your writing.

This may not make sense to everyone, but it works for me and I think it’s a great way to get a little ahead, especially in the first week. Because we all know that second week of NaNo is the hardest.

Do you typically write the standard 1,667 words? Or do you try to go a little above and beyond when you can? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!
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Ten Things To Do In Between Writing

I try to get as much writing done in one day as I can. I usually sit at my laptop and write 2,000 words at a time. Then I take a small break and go back to it.

I repeat this until my fingers are numb or my brain can’t handle words or the computer screen any longer.

Because I do this, I’m able to write up to 10,000 words in one day. Those words may not necessarily be any good, but at least I’m getting the idea down on paper.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of things you can do in between your writing.

1. Take a walk.

I need exercise every once in a while and so does my dog. In between word counts I like to take Chip for a walk. Walking not only gets your body moving for a little while, it clears your mind and you’re breathing in fresh air. Then you can go back to your writing with a fresh mind.

2. Watch the rain.

You can’t go walking in a thunderstorm. I mean… You could. But I wouldn’t recommend it. I always found rain soothing; the sound it makes, its smell, and just watching it come down from the sky.

3. Play video games.

This is my personal favorite. Video games are my hobby and I don’t get to play very often between writing and work and other things. Video games help with writing, too. It teaches you about character development and has great story lines.

4. Eat.

I know I forget to do this while writing. I usually like to eat foods that get all over my fingers and who wants a cheesy keyboard? So, go make yourself a snack, eat, and refuel.

5. Clean or organize something.

Throw in a load of laundry or rearrange everything on your desk. A clean area to work is motivating and can make you feel more productive.

6. Play with the dog.

If you have one. If not… Go buy one.

7. Be social.

Why would you want to do this? You have your characters, don’t you?

8. Watch TV.

Just like video games. Except you should limit yourself to one or two episodes. Depending on the show before you know it, it will be the next day.

9. Run an errand or two.

Get out of the house every so often. It’s good for you.

10. Check social media.

Social media is a huge distraction. Get your word count done and use social media (and the Internet itself) as a reward.

What do you do in beweteen your word counts?

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: Week Three Recap

April 21 2015

Three weeks down, one more to go….

Daily Word Count:
Day 15: 2,385
Day 16: 0
Day 17: 0
Day 18: 5,514
Day 19: 0
Day 20: 0
Day 21: 2,023

Week three total: 9,922
Overall total: 40,037

Wow, I skipped a lot of days this week. I think this week was the “week two slump” for me even though it’s the end of week three. I guess I was a bit late on that front… at least I’m not behind in my word count, though.

My novel is starting to stray a bit. I had a little bit of an outline at the beginning and then decided to outline as I went on. I stopped outlining as I wrote and now I don’t know where I am.

I am coming up with new ideas for the novel, but a lot of the scenes I’m writing now I know are going to end up deleted in the editing process. The characters seem to be having fun, though.

The thing is, I finally introduced George’s mother and now I’m not so sure if it was the right time to bring her into the story.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out.

How is your novel coming along?

Camp NaNo: Week Two Recap

April 14 2015

Week two has come and gone. Where did the time go? I hope it was spent writing.

Daily Word Count:
Day 8: 0
Day 9: 3,010
Day 10: 2,013
Day 11: 7,044
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 2,024

Week two total: 14,091
Overall total: 30,115

My word count is still fluctuating a bit….

I still haven’t really gotten into that writing routine like I wanted to, but at least I’m keeping up. I guess that’s what matters, right?

Kris and I decided to get as much writing done as we possibly could on the 11th, so that’s why my word count was so big (success!). While I was writing that day, I did come to the realization that I was just putting words down for the sake of my word count. I’m pretty sure when I go back to edit, half (if not most) of those scenes will be deleted.

At least I’m getting ideas down on the paper though, right?

In other news, my cabin is now full. I started a private cabin and we began the month with just three of us. I set it to public and a few people joined here and there. Then I logged on the other day and about six more people joined and now we’re full.

Everyone seems friendly and really into their novels, so I’m excited about that.

I hope everyone is ready for week three.

How is your novel going so far?

Camp NaNo: New Characters

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

I wrote 3,010 words this morning. My official word count for Camp NaNoWriMo at the moment is 19,034 words. I would have liked to hit 20,000 words this morning, but I wanted to post on here and then I have to get ready for work (technically, I should be getting ready for work now).

I think it was on day two or three of Camp that I introduced a new character into my novel, Anonymous Tip (which is  a George Florence novel).

I didn’t expect her to come into the story. I didn’t think she would even exist. Her name is Celeste and she’s the mother of two side characters, so obviously she exists because those other two characters had to come from somewhere, right? Yet, she wasn’t supposed to make an appearance and she managed to push her way through anyway.

If you knew her personality, which is a stubborn and head-strong, you can easily see why she made herself known in the novel.

It’s a good thing because poor George and Lilah had a case, but they didn’t have a client. Well, this woman barged into my story and into their lives and now they have a client. So, I guess she has a purpose after all.

This morning, another new character came into play. I debated on introducing her to the series eventually, but I didn’t think it would be in this novel.

Her name is Ingrid Florence. Yes, George’s mother.

She and Celeste butt heads a lot. So, naturally when Celeste made an appearance, Ingrid felt as though she needed to join in as well.

Ingrid hasn’t actually been in the novel, yet. She left a message on George’s answering machine, but already I can tell that she too has a strong personality. Yet, she seems a lot nicer than Celeste.

I wonder if Ingrid and Celeste are going to end up in a scene together? I’m sure that would be interesting to see.

How are your novels coming along? Have any unexpected characters come for a visit?

Camp NaNo: Week One Recap

April 4 2015

Week one of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming to a close as of midnight tonight. Of course, depending on your time zone you may have a bit longer… or week one may already be done. Anyway….

Week one went well for me. I skipped writing a couple of days (oops) but I’m still ahead of the game, so it’s all good.

Daily Word Count:
Day 1: 5,015
Day 2: 2,005
Day 3: 0
Day 4: 4,047
Day 5: 2,454
Day 6: 0
Day 7: 2,503

Week one total: 16,024 words

As you can see, my word count fluctuates.

My original plan was to write 2,000 a day, extra on the weekends since I’ll have the extra time. As you can see, that has not been happening. I hope to get into a better routine for week two, but as long as I stay on par I’m good.

My novel is going well. I’m writing the next installment to my George Florence series. It’s a brand new case with new characters, new settings, new drama. It’s going really well (in my opinion). When the month is over, I plan on posting an excerpt as a Short Story Sunday that I hope you’ll all enjoy.

In the meantime, we need to prepare ourselves for week two of Camp. It’s the slump week, so I hope you’ve all got your coffee ready!

How is your novel going so far?

Camp NaNo: What To Write?

Camp 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015 starts in one month! Can you believe it?

For those of you who do not know what Camp NaNo is or have never heard of it before, it’s the same thing as NaNoWriMo (you write 50,000 words in 30 days) in November every year.

Camp has a slight twist on it because it’s obviously not in November, but in April and July. Also, based on what you write for the month, you have the option to get sorted into cabins. Cabins are a mini messenger system where you can chat with fellow campers; get to know them and their novels, help each other out, compete with one another, etc.

You can’t choose who is in your cabin, but you do have a good say in what you want your cabin to be like. We’ll get more into that on a later post, though.

Today we’re going to discuss what to write for Camp NaNo next month.

Another twist with camp is that you have a lot more freedom–for lack of a better word–in what you want to write. For NaNo in November you write 50,000 words of a novel. Some people don’t follow this rule in which they’re called “NaNo Rebels,” but there’s nothing wrong with that. For camp, you have a lot of flexibility for what you want to write.

For starters, you can pick your own word count. The default is 50,000 words, but you can choose 100,000, 75,000, 10,000, even 123,456 if you so wish. If you think you’re able to hit 123,456 words in 30 days, then go for it! Me? I tend to stick with the 50,000 word count. I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again. Despite that being my goal, I always trying to get a bit higher than that.

You can also pick the category. In November, you’re “supposed” to write a novel. As stated earlier, not everyone does that and that’s okay. With Camp, you actually have the option to do a novel or something else.

You can choose:

–Novel
–Nonfiction
–Poetry
–Revision
–Script
–Short Stories

I don’t understand how some people revise for NaNo, but I know it has been done before. I’m sure writing 50,000 words of poetry would be a challenge, too–but think of all the poems you’d get out of it. I’ve written short stories before (for November NaNo in 2014) and it made for a good variety. I came up with many new ideas.

The script was added because April used to be Script Frenzy. It was a sister site of NaNo where you wrote 100 pages of a script during the month of April. I did it for two years before it closed.

With the different categories and the flexibility of word count in mind, do you know what you’re going to write for Camp NaNo next month?

29 more days until it begins.

Be sure to check out my profile on the Camp NaNo site and also add me as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website!

NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

Winner

I hit 50k this morning on my NaNo!

I wrote 5,000 words this morning in order to finish before work. I am so proud of myself!

I hit 50,055 words and when I tried to validate it on NaNo, the word count came out as 49,985. So I needed to add in some more words. I don’t know how that worked out. Now Word says I have 50,100-something, but NaNo says I have 50,067. I don’t understand it, but whatever–I hit 50k!

As much as I love NaNo, I am so relieved that it is over. I did enjoy writing the short stories because I didn’t have to commit to one story and I was able to get ideas for new novels. However, I did miss writing a novel. Or, I should say, I missed writing Detective Florence. I didn’t think I would since I was begging for a break from it, but once I was away from it for the first week, I started to really miss the characters and such.

So, now that NaNo is officially over (for me, technically not for the month), I decided that I’m going to go back to working on my edits for Detective Florence 2. Then I’ll outline the third novel, write the third novel, and then it’ll be all editing all the time. I’m excited to work with George and Lilah again.

If you’ve won NaNo, congrats! If you haven’t yet, keep going! The end is near!

Fire And Ice

I wrote almost 3,000 words this morning. My NaNo word count is now 45,050. The end is near… it’s so close, but it’s so far away. I only have another 5,000 more words to write and then I’ll finally beat NaNo.

I have to say that NaNo didn’t go as well as I thought it would. My original plan was to write 1,000-word short stories so that come December I could expand and edit each story. In the end, I would have a decent collection of short stories that I thought I may or may not publish.

Some had potential to be decent short stories. Others I couldn’t see going very far. Most of them I’m keeping as back-ups for Short Story Sunday. Some of the short stories, as I’ve stated in other posts, have the potential to be something bigger than a short story.

For example, I am currently on part ten of something I called Fire and Ice. It’s a cliched title with a cliched pairing. However, it seems to be coming along quite nicely.

I don’t understand where the idea came from (or where it’s going to go for that matter), but it’s basically about two best friends who, on their 18th birthday, discover they have fire and ice powers. The girl, Joan, has the power of fire and the boy, Grant, has the power of ice.

There is a prophecy (I didn’t write this part as of yet, but the idea has been in my head since I wrote the first part) that states that both has a potential evil inside them. In order to kill this evil inside them, they must kill the other. In other words, if Grant wants to rid of the evil inside him, he needs to kill Joan or Joan would have to kill Grant. Like I said, they’re best friends so you can only imagine how devastated they are going to be when they hear this prophecy.

In the end, will Grant kill Joan? Will Joan kill Grant? Will they both decide to stay friends and allow the evil to overcome both of them? Wouldn’t that be an interesting sight… the two protagonists become the antagonists and run amok together.

I don’t know too much about this story idea, but I keep developing it in my head as I continue to write the parts for NaNo. It’s definitely an idea worth writing down to try to develop into a novel at a later time.

I am still going to start working on my Detective Florence series again once I hit 50k words and NaNo is over, so if I do work on Fire and Ice it won’t be for a long while. I’m sure I’ll be jotting down notes and ideas here and there, but what do you guys think of the potential new novel idea?