Off to a good start?

So, chaps and chappesses, how is your NaNoWriMo 2007 going? Have you got off to a good start?

I have tried NaNoWriMo three times before, and have never finished. In fact, I have twice managed to write not one single word for it (quite some feat, you’ll agree). So I wasn’t at all sure about signing up again this year.

However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a would-be novelist in possession of lots of grand ideas but absolutely no progress must be in want of a deadline. So I signed up. This particular book (if it ever gets written) will be longer than 50,000 words - but 50,000 words by the end of November would be a jolly good start, and a target well worth aiming for in my bid to break out of authorial torpor.

So far, so good. Three days in, I have done one writing a session a day, as planned, and my word count is standing at 5,048. It’s a long way off 50,000, but is considerably better than 0! I’m hoping that the daily routine will prove to be habit-forming.

I hope it is going well for you all. Please feel free to nag me, and keep my nose to the grindstone :slight_smile:

Well done, keep it going and Good Luck.


Word count: 0. :blush:

yeah, but you gorra family t` look after.


Keith, NaNoWriMo’ing with Scrivener 1.09b is pure pleasure. So, don’t miss the opportunity of using it, after having created it.

I find one of the rules of the GTD very useful, when writing: what you can do in less that two minutes, do now. How long will it take to write a sentence? Less than two minutes. So write it down it now.

Maybe, write about a young software engineer, tempted by a career as a writer. He stops developing his software for pursuing his passion, and suddenly receives threatens from the users. Will he return to software developing, or go on and face the risk?


It’s breaking my heart.*

As much as I am looking forward to 1.1, I think now that November has begun, your word count should be the priority.

You just have to put it first. The way these things work, if it was not 1.1, it would be something else. My partner teaches supposedly-part-time, but at the start of each day she has away from school, I have to remind her that if she does not schedule her writing before her class prep and errands, no writing will happen. Strangely, this helps.

The funny thing is that no matter how much she knows it has to work that way, she still manages to set in each time convinced that she will just take care of her class prep first and then her mind will be “free to write”. Our capacity to fool ourselves this way seems boundless.

There is no such thing in life as “free to write”, you have to steal it. It is hard to do it, but, as Yevtushenko observed, the stolen apples are the sweetest.

Write first, code after.


  • Unless, of course, you’re out there just goofing off, like me.

How about we shift NanoWriMo, just for Keith, to start on Nov 6 and end on Dec 6. That way, he can release 1.1 first, and we’ll all acknowledge his 50,000 words, even if no one else does!

Never done it before, but to me, the November part doesn’t seem so important. The idea, I take it, is to allocate a month to sit down and write. Surely the start date is somewhat arbitrary???

(Or is a shifting start date just another form of procrastination?)



There are, indeed, individuals who could do a go-it-alone PerNoWriMo (Personal Novel Writing Month). They are called prolific writers. They probably have bestsellers. And money. And no day job. Most of us are not them–or not them yet.

NaNoWriMo is a group action. A flash mob for the writing desk set. And that is part of its (curious) power to make something happen that one has not been able to get happening before.

Get your novel on!

You shouldn’t be reading this :slight_smile:

But I wanted to share a funny thing; I write much better on days when I plan nothing, nothing but writing… and after three or four hours my brain is screaming and I go off and do something else.

But if I sit down and say, okay, in three hours I must be doing something else… little gets done.

So I have to fool myself. Mental attitude, I suppose.

I have a deal with my friend: we have to send each other our day’s writing.

Also, all the nifty little counters update each a.m, so if I get my wordcount done first thing, then I’m ahead all day. Whereas if I wait to write until the evening, I’m behind all day. I hate working in deficit mode.

Oh, and today I didn’t have a carrot handy, but I did have a stick: If I don’t start writing in the next half hour then I have to go grade student exams.


I was away to visit my mom and dad when nano started, so today when I’m back home I just got 600 words, pretty discouraging but I think I will take aim at 2000 a day to get back up on the horse. But then again, I might just continue with a hundred a day… :confused:

Thanks for the good wishes, Vic!

Just thought I’d check in with a quick update…

It’s Day 5 in the NaNoWriMo house, and Siren is in the living room. As usual. Curled up on the sofa with her ageing iBook on a tray on her lap, with her iPod earphones plugged in, playing some rather weird Scandinavian music. And, yay!, for the first time ever, Siren is up to date with her word count target for a piece of fiction!

My plan is simple. Every day, regardless of other commitments, and regardless of whether I am ahead of or behind target already, I will write a minimum of 1667 words, even if I have to get up early to do so. :open_mouth: But they have to be half-way decent words, not just any old brain-dump rubbish, so 1667 is the net target after an initial drivel excision. Not having had a plan in advance (I decided on my subject on 31st October), I am doing my research as I go along, so my bedtime reading is looking rather heavy-going, and my text books are going curly-edged in the bath. If I make factual errors as a result of writing and researching in parallel, I’ll just have note them when realisation dawns and weed them out later.

Progress is fine. The first day, I was a couple of hundred words under target for the day, but I really didn’t have any more to say about that particular scene, and didn’t want to start another one. On Saturday I managed two extra writing sessions, clocking up an excess 3k words beyond my target. The other three days, I have microscopically exceeded the target each day. It’s not all been easy, though - this morning’s session was torture, but I wrote through it, and even though it took forever, I got there in the end and I’m quite pleased with some of that section.

My aim in doing NaNoWriMo is to build a habit of consistency, both in effort and in output. NaNoWriMo as just an excuse/motivator for me - a sort of external impetus for when my internal one flags.

Scrivener is great for this! Full-screen mode for writing in green ink; document notes which magically appear in full-screen mode when you can’t remember what you’re meant to be writing about; project notes for instant recording of things to fix/research; word count targets for project/document/session; all sorts of research stuff stored in the project, including web archives dragged from Safari, maps, photographs, text docs/notes etc – fabulous.

I hope you are all doing well… getting started… sticking at it… churning out words you are thrilled with… or whatever your personal target might be.

Oh, and by the way, hallogallo - if I had written 100 focused words a day for all the twenty years that I have fooled myself into thinking I was writing, I would have completed a good eight or nine novels by now! It all adds up. That’s why my aim this time round is for consistency. There’s no point in my being wildly prolific in bursts if I never finish anything and never stick at it. So even 100 words a day is worth something :slight_smile:

I’m cheating. I’m doing the one thing that, for me, is easier than fiction and that is a memoir. In 2005 I managed to crank out 15,000 words of one particular two-year period. After skipping 2006 I got a last minute brainstorm to do it again this year, only this time I’m starting with my birth. No, not fiction, but it could be fictionalized at a later date. But having a 50,000 word rough draft will be a nice place to start.

So while I’m sorta cheating, I have a question…if I take the pre-existing 15,000-word section and completely reword and retype it, would that count? I’m hoping I will get wordier with the years 1973-1986 and not need the 15,000 to hit the 50,000 word target, but if I don’t…

What do you think?

Here’s my work in progress (warning: some semi-sensitive adults only parts)