Tag Archives: Word count

Are you stuck somewhere in your NaNo Novel? Need some help?

It is no secret I’ve been stuck in my Nano novel for most of this month … stuck in that I have not written to bring my story to a satisfactory end. I stopped last November at a place where the reader should be eager to turn the page to see what comes next. My sister was when she read my very rough unedited first draft after the last NaNoWriMo ended. In fact, she told me she was perplexed and wondering where is the rest of it! She thought I had skipped a page in my binder — I write longhand — but no, it just wasn’t there. I had purposely stopped there, unsure how the story would proceed, anyway, but I had run out of November and had to lay down my pen to finalize my word count.  I left off where a mystery box had been discovered. “Laurice took the key, put it into the keyhole, and turned. It clicked.”  You see why she was perplexed? There was such a tension build-up to this point, and then … nothing more to read. Mean me. ;)

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Now, here I am with less than two weeks to go in NaNo 2013 and I still don’t know how to end this story, or how to move from the cliffhanger and on toward the solved mystery and sensible end. I’m sure it is there waiting to be found, I just have to LISTEN and write what I hear and see.

I tend to be a very visual person; I often see words as they are spoken, and when I write I see what I hear in my mind – not only in words but in scenes. Sometimes I see it and then have to listen for the words to go with it. Is that bizarre?

I thought maybe someone else might be in the same predicament – stuck in their NaNo novel (or any writing they’re trying to work through) – so on the odd chance one of my readers fits that category I am posting here something that might help you. I’m even testing it out right now.

Are you a writer who likes background noise or do you prefer absolute quiet? Do you like the murmur of voices or it is music that helps you write? I have, during the past NaNos, usually preferred QUIET but sometimes low instrumental music or some other nice calming music. Nature sounds come to mind. Somewhere, was it on the NaNoWriMo website? I can’t recall, I found Coffitivity – a free link for people who would like to do their writing in coffee shops or cafes but can have the same background ‘noise’ without going there. What you get is the sound of people talking and laughing but you don’t ever catch what they’re saying, so there is no distraction of conversation. It’s a constant hum and rise and fall of voices along with the occasional clink of a cup or spoon or the clatter of dishes being cleared. Interesting, but it has been proven to actually help people in their creative thought. It seems there is a level of such sound that doesn’t hinder but helps people think better. Of course it doesn’t work that way for everyone, but if you are stuck give it a try!

This morning two of my girls were chatting about their cats, comparing notes and cutesy things they do, which gave me Idea #25 for PiBoIdMo! Yeah! Just now something happened here at Dad’s regarding a chiming clock and my daughter taking a picture of it, and her tale of woe regarding a mouse … ideas #26 and #27! Gosh! I’m on a roll~ Maybe this link works! or my daughters inspire me.   Yeah, that. :)

And now my post for NaBloPoMo is done. On to NaNoWriMo with the hope I can break through the block and help my characters find the resolution to their dilemmas. And mine!

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If you try Coffitivity, please let me know does it work for you? What tricks do you use to help you write?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

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NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me

Wow! Here it is December 1 which means National Novel Writing Month has just ended for another year. After this month I believe myself – even more – to be a writer. Why?

The goal for the challenge is 50,000 words in the month of November. My personal goal was to finish my novel – the novel I have written only during NaNoWriMo. I started it in 2010, added to it in 2011, and planned to finish it this time. (You can check my progress, if you are interested, through each one of my pages called NaNoWriMo Updates 2010, 2011, 2012)

I have an accumulated word total of over 123,000 words through those three Novembers, every word written by hand. No editing has been done yet so there are whole sections which will be taken out or changed or added to in some way. Someday.

The cold truth is … I did not make the 50K mark. I tried hard to do it. My hand is so sore and was getting cramped by the time the clock reached 11:59 and I had to stop writing to post my final word count — of 41487 — before the stroke of midnight. (I managed to write 9750 words today.) Once midnight arrived the clock stopped in the NaNoWriMo stats chart. It now reads: Event Finished, where all through the month it had shown the number of words written that day, which day it was in the event, and how many writing days were remaining in the challenge.

polilla-lynn stats

Another thing is that my first goal was to finish my novel this time, second was to reach 50K. I did neither, although I wrote 82% of the 50K, and I am so close to the end of this story.

polilla-lynn,wc,pc,days

Am I disappointed? A little. I believe that if I had been able to ignore things, such as normal life stuff and responsibilities (although I tried to), I could have finished this novel.  ;)  Now maybe I can cook a decent meal for my dear husband, although I usually don’t have writing to blame for my not-so-great results in the kitchen. Oh, and my internet connection dropped today, so the repairman came by to fix that for me. It is working fine now, yay!, but that was another time stealer – although I am not complaining about that. I am truly grateful for my Internet service.

The worst culprit for stealing time is ME, though. The times I could have been writing, but other things took priority; the times I had nothing coming to me at all; the times I just didn’t feel like writing. So now I still have an unfinished novel. But you know, that is okay too, because I can work away at it at my own pace now without a clock. That might not work in my favour, but that is something I will have to find out.

As I said at the beginning, now I believe myself to be a writer even more than I did before. One big reason is because when I am writing in the NaNo challenge the story practically tells itself to me. Sometimes things I write I wonder about, but later it all ties together; it makes sense as I go along. I find it to be an amazing process. And I enjoy it!

Thank you for your interest in following along as I attempted the National Novel Writing Month challenge again. I appreciate your support.

NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me.  :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

One NaNoWriMo day left! I think I can, I think I can …

Here it is down to the wire. One day left in National Novel Writing Month. ONE DAY!

I do not have 48343 words written, which is the total suggested for the 29th day in the challenge. What I do have is 31737 words captured. Yes, I am way behind, but in looking at what I managed last year I am ahead. In 2011 at the close of the 29th day I had 24133 words.

In checking over my progress in 2010 and 2011, I see that the most words I added to my total in one day was 8017. That was last year on the last day when I was making a valiant attempt to get closer to the goal. This year I have to write 18263 words on day 30 to have accomplished a win at 50000 words! 

I think I can, I think I can …

That’s if I need that many to finish this novel. I really don’t know even yet. I can probably stretch it out, make it longer that way, if I have time to do it. There is much that I can play with later in pulling the story together during editing to make it really work. The main thing is to finish this novel! As I have said before, that is my main goal, secondary being a NaNo win of 50K words.

As I am nearing the end of NaNo I am also gaining ground in pulling together some threads that will bring this story to an end. I just hope it can be sorted out later, because in writing it this way there are conflicting statements and unintentionally duplicated scenes that have to be fixed. But, that’s for later. For now I have a story to write.

First things first — I am about to catch some zzzzz’s and then in the morning – Day 30 – I will start writing again, because …  I am going to finish this novel! That is the plan, anyway. :)

How do you do with your deadlines? Do you write better under pressure or do you need lots of time to get there?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

NaNoWriMo’s nearly over! Can I complete the challenge?

Another day has ended, a day of little writing for me. I simply was stuck … no words sprawled themselves over my paper (remember, I write longhand) until late in the evening. Not a good sign.

Here is it November 25 already and I have not made it to the halfway point yet in my NaNo Novel writing for this year. My word count stands at 43%. This does not look good for me.

Let’s see now … comparing my totals at this stage of the NaNoWriMo challenge, by the end of DAY 24:

  • in 2010 I had written 32,179 words
  • in 2011 I had written 8,722 words
  • in 2012 I have written 21,651 words

Looking at it this way, I could make it! If I take the next six days and write like crazy, that is. Six days to go to midnight of November 30.

(And I am grateful!)

My goal is to find the end of this novel by then, too, so my questions to you are:

Do you think I can write 50,000 words by the deadline?

If you think I can, do you think I will?

And, do you think I will finish writing my novel in this challenge?

Let me know your opinion about this. Send me a little encouragement if you want, I can use it!  :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

Nearing NaNoWriMo end, not enough words

Here it is, November 30th, according to Nova Scotia time. Last night I stayed up until 4:00 this AM, slept several hours, then got on with today.  I have been writing all day today with some short breaks in there. 

Even with all that progress, and I do consider it progress, I am still just shy of the halfway mark.  How I can ever write over 25000 words in one day is beyond me! I am making a valiant attempt nonetheless.  The problem is that I have to go out to do a few errands, and that will mess up my writing time considerably. I suppose one could say I have already lost, but .. in NaNo vocabulary, I have already won just by taking it on.

My story is going along with its twists and turns and puzzles. My characters are full of surprises.  I am not sure how I can stretch the story to include a second 50000 words (having the first 50000 written last NaNo), but I don’t think I am going to have to worry about that. I will just write until NaNo has ended in 24 hours. (Admission: I now doubt that I can get to 50000 words by the end of Wednesday, but we shall see how close I come.)

At least my stats don’t look quite as pathetic as they did 5 days ago. You can refer back to this November 25 post  to compare.

Your Average Per Day — 832

Words Written Today — 6,926

Target Word Count — 50,000
 
Target Average Words Per Day — 1,667
 
Total Words Written — 24,130
 
Words Remaining — 25,870
 
Current Day — 29
 
Days Remaining — 2
 
At This Rate You Will Finish On — December 30, 2011
 
Words Per Day To Finish On Time — 12,935
 
It says there are 2 days remaining, so I think it is going by Central or Mountain time zone.  It will soon flip over to 1 day remaining.
 
I will keep writing and posting my word count. Maybe I will have made it to to 25000 by the time the NaNo site recognizes a new day. That would be rewarding.
 
Okay, end of break time! Looks as if it will be another all-nighter before NaNoWriMo ends.
 
Do you ever pull all-nighters to write?
 
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

How does a NaNoWriMo novel come to be? (and PiBoIdMo update)

If someone were to judge by my word count, one could conclude that all is lost for me.

My NaNoWriMo total does not look good in light of a remainder of four days in which to write 38155 words.  Even so, I can’t say that I agree with that doubt one hundred per cent, because there is still a chance, albeit a slim one. (Does that sound convoluted and writerly enough?)

Have I given up yet? No! Not yet, and I probably won’t until that last stroke of time on November 30. I will keep writing to see how far I can get in those four days.

It isn’t as if I have not been writing, it’s just not down on paper yet. You writers know what I mean. :)

This year I have a sketchy outline .. if it can be called an outline – more a list of ideas – a rough plan of where my story is going. I didn’t even have that until 7000 words in – page 24 of my notes – written in long hand, not on computer. My characters have become more complicated, my plot has thickened, and the loose ends are starting to have some meaning to them. Starting, you ask? Well, yes. How do I explain? …

When I began writing this novel for NaNo 2010, I started with nothing. Truly nothing. I prayed. The first line of my story is: I’m not even sure what I’m doing, but here I go anyway. So began my novel, with the main character adopting that line as her beginnings in my evolving story. (I use the word ‘novel’ rather loosely as I have never written one before and that is the goal of NaNo .. to write a 50000 word novel, or the beginnings of a longer one.)

With that first line the character took over, fleshed out as we went along, became a real person in my creative mind. She has a mother, a best friend, a boyfriend, a mystery person to learn about, a ‘treasure’ to research and find, and a whole set of emotions, fears, desires, irritations, and challenges to keep her going. Plus, there is a little humour woven in which makes it more real. (What is life without humour?)  And did I mention? .. there is an undercurrent of the paranormal in the mix.

When I stopped writing at just before midnight on November 30, 2010, my characters (the list had grown by three more essential ones) had complicated the plot considerably. It had become exciting to write this story. In fact, whenever one particular character appeared in a scene I would get chills right down my spine every time!  What’s with that? And the personalities were developing so that I had quite an assortment interacting with one another. It was amazing to me!

When I stopped writing … I set them all aside. I had three different conflicts to resolve. I had a vague idea of where the story was going, but no clear direction of how to get there.

I left the story untouched, read it through months later and was amazed – not because I thought it was genius (which I didn’t), but because it came out of my imagination. With a pen and a large binder full of paper this whole adventure appeared. That is amazing to me.

I put it away.

Then entered NaNoWriMo 2011. Another large binder full of paper, the desire to finish what I had started last year, but …

I found it was so difficult to pick up and keep going with this story. I chose to do that, though, because I really want to see how this story will turn out before I start creating a new one. Only this time it is not flowing the way it did last year. This time it is a struggle. But .. more has come to light, my main character has a summer job now, the intensity is growing, the twists and turns add depth and drama. I seem to be going deeper into conflict, which means it will be more challenging to find my way out .. to help my characters find satisfactory resolutions.

But, you know .. I love it! Is this what it means to be a writer?

Learning as I go, I know that I have to work out my time line so that things connect and not remain disjointed. Therein lies the biggest challenge for me, equal to sorting out the small details to make it all work. Hopefully, that will all come together in the editing.

I know this novel may never go anywhere, but I can dream, can’t I? Maybe it will be of interest to someone. Maybe it has to wait its time before being picked up. But .. I digress ..

I have a story to complete in four days! I have mysteries to solve, people’s lives to sort out, justice to be served.  Yes, and a treasure to find. Even I don’t yet know for sure where it is. I have to write!

This is a fitting place to end this post, but I want to add that I am also participating in PiBoIdMo this year, as I did last year. I have been trying to come up with an idea a day for picture books. That is another challenge, and a fun one. I haven’t found one every day, but almost, and on some days I came up with more than one. By the end of this month my total should be 30 ideas, one for each of the 30 days of November. Right now I stand at 37 ideas .. so really, I have already won! :) I am learning even more this year about writing for children, and I love it. Thanks to Tara Lazar, a creative spirit and author of children’s books. ( http://taralazar.wordpress.com/ )

I have much do to, but .. first I must write!

Any comments?  If you are a writer, what do you most love about the process?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

NaNoWriMo word count update

It’s not looking good for winning NaNo this year if you consider I have five days in which to complete, but at least I made it just past 10000 words tonight.

I didn’t get as much writing done today as I would have liked, but I was distracted (sure do have a hard time with that!) … and I spent quality time with Dad. He would have said, “You go write!” but that’s not fair to him so I set my writing aside and we worked on word puzzles and a jigsaw puzzle together. It has been an exceptionally good week thus far, for which I’m thankful.

I would continue writing more on my NaNo novel tonight but it is past midnight and I think I hear my pillow calling me.

In case you didn’t notice, I added a new blog page called NaNoWriMo Updates (2011) on which I am keeping track of my progress.  (Note the pretty badges I am awarding myself as I go along.) I have been the tortoise in this event, but I’m hoping to morph into the hare near the end and win this challenge – and thereby finish my novel. We shall see what happens. :)

Thanks for reading, and believing in me … and Creative Musings!  :)