Writing for NaNoWriMo!

Writing for NaNoWriMo!

It’s almost NaNoWriMo time!

That sounded better in my head. Now that I say it out loud I… never mind. It makes me think of Mork and Mindy.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. I know. We have a month for everything or a day for everything. Maybe tomorrow will be National Take a Donut to Work Day.

In November of every year, NaNoWriMo takes place. It’s a time when people around the world sit down and try to pump out an entire novel (50,000+ words) in one month. That sounds like a lot, but if you plan well, work hard and discipline your time, it’s not unrealistic. It works out to less than 1700 words a day. Still a challenge, but doable.

The nice thing is, NaNoWriMo doesn’t require a perfect novel, just a written one. So your 50k novel would, at the end of the month, be a really rough draft.

If it seems like a lot, you can consider that this is only about 70 words an hour or less than a word a minute. If your words are, on average, 8 letters long then you get to take about 6.5 seconds to write each letter. If you worked 24/7, you could use the hunt and peck method to type it up. This is going to be easy!


I’ve decided to jump in on NaNoWriMo. I have had my third book in my series (coming 2018) outlined for months now and have been toying with the idea of writing it during NaNoWriMo.

To join in on NaNoWriMo, what you do is register an account on NaNoWriMo’s site and announce your book (sometime in October). There are forums for people in your area and you can encourage one another to keep at it! Sometimes people in a certain area will gather together and have what they call a “write-in”. It’s a chance for people to get together and just type.

While I’m not likely to join in on the write-in, I’m excited about taking on this challenge. I have also been wanting to write the third book in my series and this is a good way to focus in and get it done. One of the challenges to writing is, of course, just getting the book typed up. Once you have it typed up you can start to edit it and move toward publishing, but until you get it typed it’s hard to do all that stuff. NaNoWriMo helps this get done.

If you complete the novel during the 30 days, you get a lot of prizes. To be honest, I don’t see an awful lot of prizes on their list that I’m all that interested in, but I’m more excited about the challenge of trying to get this done. The two prizes which interest me are a 50% off discount on Scrivener (check out this blog on this great software) and IngramSpark is offering a free setup for your book (although I think you might be able to do this with or without NaNoWriMo).


So, anyone up for joining me?

In this blog, I’m going to share my progress working through the novel. I have set up goals for myself below, keeping in mind which days are likely to be busier for me and days when I’m likely to have more time to write. I’m hoping to reach the 50,000 word mark by November 27 at the latest. The last few days of the month may end up being catch-up. As I move through, I’ll keep updating my progress below so you can see how the challenge goes. I usually take some holidays in November so I’ll aim to get more written during the second half of the month (holiday time).

Due to some health issues, I’m not always up for writing when I have free time–so that may set me back. At the same time, due to my health issues, often writing functions as a kind of therapy for me. Hopefully that’ll push me ahead.

I’m looking forward to the challenge!

I’m not sure how I’ll do or if I’ll even finish it in time, but here are my goals for November!


Goal: 50,000 words

Total written so far: 15,806 words


November 1–Day one kickoff!
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 5785 words
Total Written: 5785 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Okay, so I didn’t plan on writing nearly 6k words today.  I got up early to try to get 1000 words written before work and I wrote a lot more than I meant to (something like 2200 words).  Then, this evening I had a lot of time so I managed to get around 3600 words written.  A good start to a great experience!  Two chapters in my third novel finished!  Well… rough draft of the first two chapters.  Very rough.

November 2
Goal: 1700 words
Wrote: 2556 words
Total Written: 8341 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I found today a little harder to get some time in.  I had an early meeting so I just had some time in the evening and that was split up with some other tasks.  Still having a blast, though!  This is a great experience!

November 3
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 2978 words
Total Written: 11,319 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Today was fun!  I’ve written some short stories based on some bedtime stories I used to tell my sons and I’ve kind of created a bit of a crossover in my series with those bedtime stories.  Today I wrote a chapter that connects up with a couple of the short stories in a big way.  That was a lot of fun.  I’m also noticing that I’m having to “mature” one of my main characters a little bit.  He’s grown a lot in the first two books so I can’t keep going with the same approaches and responses he gave in times past.  It’s a challenge, but fun!

November 4
Goal: 1500 words
Wrote: 2050 words
Total Written: 13,369 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I really had some fun with this one.  I try to get a good balance between humor and adventure in these books and I think this chapter flowed well with both.  I’m excited about sharing this story with my Alpha Readers to get their feedback!

November 5
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 2437 words
Total Written: 15806 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I passed 15k today!  That’s pretty exciting.  I am aiming for 2500-3000 words per chapter and I’m about half-way through chapter six.  This has been a lot of fun so far.  I’m excited to be way ahead of schedule as I may fall behind this next week.

November 6
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 2311 words
Total Written: 18,117 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  This section was a lot of fun!  The characters in the book have to go on a quest to accomplish something (I know… that’s somewhat vague).  In this chapter, they finally set out on this quest.  This brings me to the end of chapter 6!

November 7
Goal: 500 words
Wrote: 662 words
Total Written: 18,779 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I didn’t have much time today to write, which was fine.  I just squeezed some in at the end of the day to make sure I at least moved forward.  I’m trying, at this point, to exceed my goals every day and so far so good!

November 8
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 2051 words
Total Written: 20830 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Just made it past my goal today… just.  🙂

November 9
Goal: 1700 words
Wrote: 3080 words
Total Written: 23,910 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Oh, this one was fun!  I had a small idea of something I thought was a little funny that I wanted to throw in and it turned into a major part of this chapter.  I’m happy that I managed to get a lot more written today that I had planned!  An extra nearly 1400 words today!

November 10
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 3264 words
Total Written: 27,174 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Oh, this was a fun one!  One of the things I love about writing is that I never know what will happen in the story!  I have a pretty good idea of where I’m going, but there’s so much in terms of the detail that ends up being a surprise for me.  That was true today.  Some fun stuff showing up in dialogue and in story.


Amount I should have written by this point: 18,400 words
Actual amount written by this point: 27,174 words.

I’m ahead of the game!  And I’m passed the half way mark for the 50,000 word goal!


November 11
Goal: 1000 words
Wrote: 1322 words
Total Written: 28, 496 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I love writing.  I find it’s this great adventure when I never know what’s going to happen in the story!  Some fun stuff came out today, although I left it at a spot where I’m not sure how to properly get through the next section.  Looking forward to how this goes!

November 12
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 3323 words
Total Written: 31,819 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Oh, this one was fun.  I had a bit of a challenge part way through as I needed to make a decision if I would reveal something in the story now or closer to the end.  I think I made the right choice.  I think it would have been funnier to reveal it at the end, but I think it was more impactful to reveal it early and deal with it.  I’m really enjoying this book.  I hope others do as well.  🙂

November 13
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 3768 words
Total Written: 35,587 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I ended up writing a lot more than intended today, but had some challenges with how to move forward on certain parts of the story.  I feel like this part is really strong in terms of adventure and in terms of being interesting, but not overly funny.  That’s fine, but I’d like it to be really adventurous and funny.  Can’t we have both?

November 14
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 4522 words
Total Written: 40,109 words
Reflections on today’s writing:This was a more difficult day for me as there were many distractions, but I ended up writing a fair amoung!  There was a point where I was ready to stop, but then I realized I was really close to hitting 40k and wanted to reach that point!  Just under 10k words to go to reach the goal of winning NaNoWriMo!  I do, however, think I probably have another 30k words left in the book in order to finish the rough draft.  I have some fun stuff coming up in the story in the coming chapters and can’t wait to get to it!

November 15
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 2890 words
Total Written: 42,999 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Only 7,001 to go to win the NaNoWriMo contest!  Unfortunately, I think I still have about 40k words left to write to finish the story.  I was aiming for 65k words in total for the book, but there’s a lot of fun stuff that just keeps appearing in the book!  This is one of the reasons why I like writing so much.  I never know what’s going to come out of the story and when it does start to come out, it’s fun to see it unfold!

November 16
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 3344 words
Total Written: 46,343 words
Reflections on today’s writing: I’m running into some tricky stuff.  There was something funny and suspenseful I was looking to put into the book around this point, but I just can’t seem to figure out how to fit it in.  I think I’ll leave it and try to insert it during the edits.  Not too far from the 50k goal!

November 17
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 4240 words
Total Written: 50,583 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I made it!  50k words!  This was a hard day.  I was really tired, but I wanted to hit the 50k mark before midnight!  I have about another 30k left to write in the book, though, so still along ways to go.

November 18
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 2908 words
Total Written: 53,491 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  This was a good day.  Some fun stuff to write, but I think I’ll probably only write a little bit tomorrow.  Too busy of a day.  I’ll likely just write a few hundred words so I’ve at least written something.  I’m loving this, but I think I’m pushing myself too hard with writing.  🙂

November 19
Goal: 1700 words
Wrote: 702 words
Total Written: 54,193 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  I did something today I hadn’t planned on doing.  I decided to not reach my goal for the day.  I wanted to get at least something written, even if it was 100 words, but I decided to take a break.  I’m loving the story and the typing, but I’m averaging nearly 3000 words a day and it’s taking its toll.  Writing typically energizes me and relaxes me, but it was leaving me tired.  This was a good day.  I look forward to getting back at it tomorrow!

November 20
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 4065 words
Total Written: 58,258 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Oh, this was a hard day to write, but a good one.  I made up for what I didn’t get done yesterday and it is still early.  I may even write just a little bit more.  There’s a really cool part coming up in the story that I’ve been looking forward to writing for a while… I might get back to it again this evening…  but, even if I don’t, I was able to validate my novel today in terms of word count.  NaNoWriMo is about trying to write a 50k novel in a month.  You can’t validate that you’ve reached 50k till the 20th, I believe, so I validated my 50k words and I got a certificate!  Pretty cool!  I think I have about 15,000 to 20,000 words left to complete the story, though.  Maybe a bit less…


Amount I should have written by this point: 39,100
Actual amount written by this point: 58,258 words.

Woohoo!  Nearly 20k more words than planned!


November 21
Goal: 2500 words
Wrote: 10,022 words
Total Written: 68,280 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  So, I’m on a “writer’s retreat” right now by myself.  I’m just focusing on doing a lot of writing.  I didn’t plan on writing over 10k words.  I was going to stop a short while ago, but realized I was just within reach of 10k and didn’t want to pass up the chance to break 10,000 words in one day!  My butt hurts.  I’m tired.  It’s time for bed.

November 22
Goal: 2000 words
Wrote: 961 words
Total Written: 69,326 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  Didn’t get much done today.  The story is being wrapped up.  I think I might only have another 2000-3000 words, unless inspiration hits and I get a few more ideas.  🙂

November 23–My Anniversary… not likely to get too much written
Goal: 500 words
Wrote: 4470 words
Total Written: 73,796 words
Reflections on today’s writing:  This afternoon I finished the rough draft of my book!  It’s done!  Now I have some editing to do before my alpha readers can get at it and help fine-tune it!  I wasn’t planning on doing much writing today, but I woke up REALLY early this morning and got at it!

So, Book III in my series, the rough draft is finished!




17 thoughts on “Writing for NaNoWriMo!

      1. On track to publish (maybe even this week). I’m aiming for 60-70k novel, fantasy allegory (didn’t start that way) and it’s been fun. But the initiating push was to get scrivener at 50% off (being the starving artist and all, you know).

        1. Scrivener was definitely a motive for me… Lol… The thing that’s overloading me with it all this month, however, is I’m also trying to finish off all the final details for a proof copy for the first book in my series (April 2018). Working on the artwork right now with an artist. It’s fun, but a lot of work!
          So, trying to start one book and finish the publishing of another all at the same time… 🙂

          1. Same horse, different cart. But it’s worth the effort in both areas – and I see you’ve won the NaNo! So congrats are in order, because I know it takes not only dedication but a defined and structured understanding of the story, the work required is immense and unpredictable, and requires a strong and enduring passion to get to ‘the end’ – once again, congrats!

    1. Did you get your discount? I picked up my half-price copy of Scrivener yesterday and I’m already loving it! It’s pretty great! I was using yWriter up till now. I like it a lot, but Scrivener definitely has some extra perks to it!

      1. Yes, got the code yesterday, downloaded it, started up with the first 25% of the new WIP – it does save me a lot of time and effort with hardcopies of notes (or having multiple open documents, which creates instability in the sw).
        I think it will greatly assist the productivity and reduce the stress levels (hmmm, is that asking too much?).

          1. It was the NaNo novel I used as the ‘learning’ process for the trial version – after I’d done a scene list, and always having a backup copy in the ‘other’ sw as well. Won’t need to do that anymore. I just wanted to see what it was everyone raved about (because they all had different elements they considered ‘best’ and not all the same! Confused me, until I did it.). I’m a convert now (and I don’t even use the corkboards!).

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