Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo Week One

12173 / 50000

So I've been Nanoing for a week now. I've managed to "rock the minimum" every day, which is quite a feat though mostly accomplished by fear (if I get behind I'm so never catching up). Towards the end of the week I've managed to eke out a 300-500 word lead, only just.

Word count posts are fascinating, aren't they?

Our local gang of reprobates/writers have put together a mighty schedule of near-daily meet ups, the idea being that we can all make one or two a week. So far I've managed to make one public session at the fish & chippery at the docks (at which the baby mostly behaved, hanging sleepily in her little pouch), one domestic session which is a minute's drive from my place, and another domestic session in my own house. I may not do nearly as well next week - am even considering blowing off my own hosting duties in order to shout 'hooray' at my daughter's athletic's carnival.

I was going to head out for writing purposes today but decided against it because the day was so hot, and some **** broke the left-hand mirror off my car last night when it was parked out the front. I'm still a new driver and couldn't quite get up the nerve to tackle the Derwent Bridge without being able to see out that particular mirror.

So I stayed home and did word wars with Kaia (in Sweden) and Hannah (in US) instead. For those unfamiliar with the technique, word wars can be done in person or online, and consists of shouting GO! at each other and writing like a maniac for 15 minutes then comparing wordcounts. The downside of doing this with Hannah is that she actually is a maniac and is perfectly capable of getting 800-1000 words in a war every single time. It's both demoralising and inspiring - you can't help trying to keep up, however impossible.

But hey. I've managed to write 12,000 words of a new novel in a week. I don't kid myself this would be possible at any other time of year. NANOWRIMO ROCKS.

If wordcounts really do fascinate you, you can keep track of my daily progress over at - otherwise I'll see you back here next week, hopefully in one piece and with at least 24,000 words under my belt!

How is everyone else's Nano going? Post your wordcount below!


Melanie said...


This week has been an amazing experience of un-learning for me. In commercial translation and academic work you're taught, encouraged and forced to be economical with words. (One of the easiest ways to improve a translation from Japanese is to cut out the "which", "that", and "who" words which usually has the affect of making you shuffle things until the word order is more natural in English.)

But Nano, and I presume "real" novel writing, encourages you to let the words out, let them fly, tweet, roar or sink, but you can use words, any words and lots of words. In doing so, my characters have started to do things I hadn't imagined they would and I suspect this is one of the reasons why people write.... I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would when I did the first 1677-very-closely-counted words on Day One.

Another thing I'm finally accepting is not checking, not correcting and this is beginning to lead to not self-censoring. The first few days I used to waste precious screen time, reading through and collating the special terms I'd created for the space station we're still currently in. A glossary saves time and allows me to find the word I need in a timely fashion.... But it also leads to despair and gloom. When we get on-world things may be easier because to keep the flow I'm just writing terms in Japanese to start with and I'll alter it later.... Otherwise I find myself writing "She picked the red [insert thirty minutes of anguish in word creation] up and... the author has now forgotten what the FFFF she was going to the with the wonderfully named red thing....."

I've got exam marking that has to be in this week, so the time split will be interesting with the kids etc. Mais, I have very almost a full day of words up my sleeve if I need them.... I am so determined to WIN this so that I can feel I have done something for myself in all this motherhood dirge, distraction and snot. Thanks for everyone out there suffering and shining alongside me.... I really hope to be able to get to at least one get together in person this month!!!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Word races, Tansy? What next?

Melanie, I had a week of marking, three weeks off and another week of marking. So I feel for you!