What I’m Writing – NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo!

Yup, doing NaNo this year and kicking ass at it.

As I type this quick update, Scattered on the Wind is sitting at 40,011 words.

For those who don’t know, the idea behind NaNoWriMo is to just sit down and write. Your objective is to write a 50,000-word novel, preferably complete, in the month of November. Doesn’t sound hard until you realize that’s 1,667 words per day. Every day. But you aren’t supposed to stress about plotting or planning or how good or bad the story is or how consistent your characters are. Just write. A lot.

I did NaNo a few years ago for the first Troll Wars book (which doesn’t read nearly as badly as I remember it), finishing just before the end of the month, breathing a huge sigh of relief, and then taking a big chunk of December to write the last few chapters and finish at 59,000 words. So I beat the word count, but didn’t actually finish the story. I still called it a win.

And then life moved on in all kinds of crazy directions, but I’m back this year.

This time, things are looking pretty good so far.

With 40,000 words in the document, I only need 10k in the next 13 days to hit the word goal, and just a bit more than 12 chapters to finish the story in the same time. And that is completely doable.

I’m currently projecting the finish line at just under 64,000 words, meaning I’ll need another 24,000 after today, which is a pace of 1846 words per day, and that will actually slow me down from where I’ve been drafting at.

If that sounds like I’m bragging, well, maybe I am a little, but the high word count is a combination of two things. First, I’ve somehow found the focus to concentrate the bulk of my effort (85% so far this month, by word count) on just one thing. Second, my first draft is mostly being dictated.

I have a 45-minute commute and I just talk into my phone, letting the recording software capture it and my computer produce the sometimes entertaining results at night. Even with long silences while I think about things sometimes, I’m averaging almost 3400 words per day on commuting days. At a far slower pace, I’m spending my breaks at work and a little bit of time on weekends tidying up the dictation. By bedtime tonight, I’ll probably be seven chapters behind with most of Chapter 18 dictated and most of Chapter 11 tidied up.

So I’m feeling good about the current project, rough as my first drafts are, and about winning NaNo this year. So good, that I’m wondering if I can keep the focus beyond this story and transfer it back to book 2 of my epic fantasy trilogy so I can get that finished off and maybe start the next major work before Christmas.

But I desperately need to find some editing time.

Be well, everyone.

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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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