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November 1, 2014

I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo

Filed under: wordsmithery — Tags: , , — lexifab @ 2:38 pm

It’s National Novel Writing Month. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. I did that once and it was painful, and that was over ten years ago when I didn’t have kids.

But my online media and social circles are abuzz with November-related creativity. People are talking about their projects and getting excited about making stuff. I live for that kind of positive creative vibe and I don’t intend to miss this chance.

November is going to be my get-stuff-written month. Not the officially-mandated NaNoWriMo target of 50,000 words, because that’s a minimum of 1667 words per day, which at the pace I’ve been setting over the last year or so would require a commitment of two to three hours a day. There’s a strong body of evidence to suggest I wouldn’t keep to that sort of commitment.

(Yes, I could write faster if I shut my brain off and just typed, as I’m more or less doing here, but in previous trials I haven’t exactly produced my best work under those conditions).

So, I’m going to try to write 500 words of new draft fiction a day, minimum, for a target of 15000 words. I’m hopeful I’ll beat that target early, but I’m going to give myself permission to have the odd day off.

Also: I’m going to do a short blog entry every day or two to track my progress. In the highly likely event that you will find a constant stream of whining and excuses about missed wordcounts tedious, maybe switch off or mute your RSS feed for the rest of the month. However, I will try to make it at least partly interesting by including random bits of whatever writing I’m working on in the daily updates.

So what will I be working on?

Serpentine Precipice is a fantasy-noir thing about a quasi-Medici merchant family set in an archipelago. It’s basically a fun excuse to play with demons, monsters, dirty politics and shipboard combat. I’ve set myself a probably-insurmountable challenge of making the protagonist engaging despite an awkward physical impairment. It’s a dumb idea – I’m seeing what I can make of it. A novella, most likely – at least 10,000 words, maybe more like fifteen or twenty.

I’m also planning to take a run at another themed anthology. I was brainstorming ideas on the theme earlier in the week and came up with about six or eight ideas that are good enough to pursue. I have a mad idea I might try writing all of them. It’s a broad enough theme that most of the ideas will bear no particular resemblance to each other.

I have to completely rewrite School Hall (good ideas, terrible execution and it doesn’t have a proper title yet either) and my story about a breakdown in the middle of the Nullabor is still an amusing anecdote in search of an ending.

I don’t think I’ll be starting my novel this month, although I’m leaving myself room to get bored with researching and outlining and just start.

That’ll do. See you tomorrow.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Dave!

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been following along with your NaNo posts and have been enjoying seeing the progress you’re making. I like this kind of NaNo adaption and how you’re tailoring it into something that better suits you.

    Good luck with the rest of the month!

    Comment by Elizabeth @ Earl Grey Editing — November 16, 2014 @ 10:12 am

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