Week one winds down... where are you?

So how is everyone doing? Who’s still in? Who’s out?

I’m at 13,400 and I’m not going to bed until I see 15,000.

By way of outlining, I created and named every scene I plan to write in the book and assembled them in the binder within chapters. It’s been amazing and thrilling to watch the words trickle down and fill up the scenes like ants in a new ant farm! Right now I’m working on Chapter 8 (I’m shooting for 40 chapters, 75,000 words. I’m one day behind already!).

I am really having a blast, but this is INTENSE.

A bit behind, nearing 8000 words. But I’m not worried …

Also a bit behind, 8624 words so far. I have a good (medical) excuse :wink: but I do plan to see this through. Even if I ‘fail’ I’ll still have written more words than if I hadn’t done it at all.

I don’t aim to fail though, I’m just a little stuck with my current scene and sidetracked by cooking.

Maybe I should have my MC cook too…


Well, I didn’t make him cook but I had a little inspiration and I suddenly have 11127 words.

It went well.

He didn’t cook.




Nice job, Tanja.

I’m up over 19,500, which is thrilling. I would love to be at 21,000 before I quit tonight…

You can’t fix it until you get it on the page!

Having said that, if I didn’t have a good outline I would be screwed.

Keep at it,


I have a sort of outline in my head, but nothing ‘on paper’.

The thing is, I’ve never made one before, so I feel a bit lost when it comes to creating an outline.

I think I would benefit from it right now, even just to keep track of the bigger picture. How do you start one? What exactly do you write in an outline? How do you use it?

I have taken a little time so far to copy key-phrases into my character-files. I haven’t put much in it, but when I write something important like ‘Hero has excellent night-vision’, I select the phrase and use Scriveners ‘Append selection to Document’ so I can quickly find info about his special (or unspecial) abilities, his looks etc.

Very handy! (Thanks Keith!)


I’m not going well. 3500 only and I’ve just realized that though I made notes, it isn’t helping. But I haven’t given up (yet)!

Good to see I’m not the only one in the 3000 word range.

Eep. I’ve never started out this far behind before.

Extensive planning and notes can be crippling to an intensive writing project like this. I think it depends a lot on one’s own personality. I benefit from planning when the pace is not quite so rapid, but have found that with NanoWriMo it often works better if I have very little material to work with. The pace, which starts out okay (1,667 is after all only an hour or so of typing) really starts to catch up with you by the middle of the month. Some people will then benefit from planning as they can fall back on pre-plotted structure and save every ounce of creativity for the prose. Others do better allowing the elements of the story to drive the structure; letting the characters run free to an extent; letting events impact a larger area of the story; and so forth. It’s really hard to say what will happen until you hit that point. Nano, if anything, is a pretty fascinating mirror into what makes you as writer tick.

I’d say, if you are starting to hit a wall (which many do by the start of week two—once the novelty wears off), try doing something completely different than what you might otherwise do in a writing project. In my second attempt, back in 2004, my story kind of hit a structural wall around week three. So I tossed aside my preconceived notions of where the story should go, and wove in new material throughout the existing material essentially expanding what had been the halfway point back toward the end of the book. I used the two writing styles as counter-point and ended up with a fairly interesting examination on conciousness and perception. I don’t think I would have crossed the finish line that year if I had kept hammering away at the original plot.

It’s weird. I didn’t really plan the story, just made little ‘memory jogger’ notes and the vaguest of outlines. What I’ve ended up with is two stories. I have no idea how that happened.

I’ll keep going but I’m pretty sure that at the end I’ll still have two stories. But that counts, right?

Sure, so long as they get tied together somehow. That could be fairly loose in interpretation, but so long as it isn’t NationalTwoShortStoriesMonth. :slight_smile: This is kind of what happened in the example I mentioned above. The second direction had the same characters, but the events were all perpendicular to the original events. So I had two stories coming at each other in such a way that the details were complementary to one another, but revealing different aspects around third a “negative space” situation that was never defined except by what was defined around it by the other two stories. I consider it one cohesive story, but to someone else it might just look like two stories with the same characters—I’m not sure.

It’s a puzzle, that’s for sure. Actually, I’m not too worried. It’s only for fun and if I get two stories instead of one, well that’s the price I have to pay :wink:

It is amazing when in the space of only a few hundred words, you sit back and think to yourself that you have no idea where the heck you’re going. I am enjoying the chaos though.