We are one week into NaNoWriMo 2021 and hopefully, if you are participating, your manuscript is growing. For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, that's shorthand for National Novel Writing Month.
Each November, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, flock to this community-powered internet-wonder of-the-world-event with one goal in mind: to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel by the end of the month. I am one of those people.
A bit of a rebel, and not yet the novelist I would like to become, I'm playing a little differently. I started the month with a few story ideas or characters that have been living in my head for the past year or so. Stories usually come to me first as characters, with little to no plot attached to them. And this motley crew was no exception.
Known in writing circles as a "panster," I jump into a writing projects without knowing beforehand what the whole story is about. Sometimes I have a pretty good idea of what I think the character's story is, and other times, I have no idea until I'm writing it. The later was definitely true for these characters.
My goal is simply to get them on the page and write until I find the bones of their stories. And some heart, with a little luck. They each came to me at different times while working on other projects, and were cast away. So November, this is their time.
Are they all connected? Can they live together in a novel? Probably not. But that would be really cool. My guess is I'm working on a series of short stories. Either way, the goal is the same: write 50,000 new words in November.
The Journey So Far
To write 50,000 words in a single month and win, you have to write 1,667 words each day. However, with factoring in my work schedule, family happenings, and time loss due to migraine, I blocked off a certain number of days I know I'm not likely to get any writing in. After scheduling in the times and days I would commit to writing, my personal daily word count goal is 2,275 words.
As you can see from the graph above, I'm a bit behind. Quite a bit behind. Already a four day migraine, a necessary family interruption, and a broken dryer have shown me how wise it was to schedule days and times off. Even with a couple extra writing sessions in, I have yet to meet my daily goal.
What I have done, is consistently shown up, growing those numbers and chasing those stories bit by bit. That has added up to 7,377 words so far. It's not the 11,375 words I hoped to be at, but it's 7,377 more words than I had on November 1.
Each day I show up and write, I add a spiral on my NaNoWriMo tree. Below is a picture of it after week 1.
Each Sunday this month, I'll be posting my progress and sharing a picture of my NaNoWriMo spiral tree. Come on back and see how it's growing.
If you're doing NaNoWriMo say hi in the comments, tell us what you're working on, or find me on the site.
Thanks for reading!