Monday, November 22, 2010
NaNoWriMo Halftime Report
On Saturday night, Day 20 of NaNoWriMo 2010, I hit 40,000 words, and have now passed the halfway point. Yeah, I know that doesn’t exactly compute. The official NaNo goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. But I figure a mystery novel should be at least 80,000, so I plan to finish the whole first draft in 40.
This is my second time playing the game, and its been a different experience. Last year, averaging 1700 words a day, my eyeballs were burning after a week. I felt stressed. My back hurt and my shoulders bunched up. I had to force myself to write at strange times, like during the commercials of a TV show. When I reached the end, somewhere around 51,000 words, I was exhausted and didn’t write for a week.
This year is much more relaxed. I’m doing 2000 words a day, usually in two or three sittings. Sometimes I'd rather be grabbing a book or a remote, but the stress is gone. What’s changed? Mostly me, I guess. Last year I learned I could do it, and this year I’m just doing it.
Last year I spent only two days coming up with a story and a four-act outline. This time I devoted two weeks to that task, which helped. But the plotting is still a work in progress. I’ve changed a couple of milestone scenes and added a lot of new wrinkles. After finishing each scene I still have to stop and plan how the next one will play out.
Anyway, I'm having a great time. Don’t have a title yet, but the basic idea is that Skyler Hobbs and Doctor Wilder square off against a serial killer right here in Portland. What will happen? I’ll find out, along with Hobbs and Wilder, in another twenty days.