NaNoWriMo 2014: 38,295 Word Count Observations

With my NaNoWriMo novel now at the 38,295 mark, I have noticed:

…that, at this stage of the novel, I have been spending more time with my supporting cast than I have with my main character.
And I know why, too. Logan starts the story as a normal college athlete, and has bad and strange things are happen to him as the story moves along (not to mention that he is doing bad and strange things to others that he is currently not aware he’s doing). With my supporting cast, however, they were created as ‘abnormal’ from the start, so I can have fun with them right away. Of course, I’m just now getting to the part where Logan’s experiences start overlapping with everyone else’s, and, so far, it’s been a mind trip to work on. Logan and I are going to see a lot of each other the next few days…whether he likes it or not.

…I’m spending way too much time concerned that some people might feel I’m cheating.
One of the NaNoWriMo rules prohibits editing. Yet, if you look through my notebook, you will see arrows and revision marks and alternate passages on almost every page. All of these mark-ups will remind me of what I really want the manuscript to read like when it comes time to type it out. Are these additional—obviously, second thought—marks a form of cheating? Depends on who you ask. But, the more I obsess over that point, the less fun I have with this entire experience…and, of course, the less writing I get done. Perhaps, it will appease those who would claim I’m cheating by mentioning that I don’t include the edit notes and alternate passages in the official work count…unless they’re really good.

…that I will probably run out of time.
If you look at my stats (I’ve approximately 1,600 words over the pace that will get me to 50K words by the end of November), you might think I’ll make it without a problem…just keep my normal pace, you might suggest. And that’s where the problem lies: my ability to keep my current pace. I will be starting a new job soon, which will eat up much of my usual writing time until I can adjust to the new schedule. Also, I’m working most of Thanxgiving Day and well into that night, so I’m expecting I will not get any NaNoWriMo writing done that day. And, most potentially disruptive yet…I might have to go out of town at the end of the month for an extended period of time, meaning I might not have an opportunity to do much of anything writing-related. Stay tuned to these sagas.

…that I have no idea where this story is going to end up.
This is strange for me. With one or two exceptions over the years, I usually start the actual writing process of a story already knowing where it will end up. But, with this NaNoWriMo novel, I’m writing what comes to mind, barely following the anorexic order of events I never actually completed, making new story arcs up as I go. But, before I allow this unknown-ness to bother me, I remind myself that my main reason for participating in NaNoWriMo in the first place was to learn and experience a new way of writing. I‘d say I’ve accomplished this.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve barely written 200 words today, so I’m going to get back to it.


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A Few Random Notes For The Fun Of It

I just finished a two day training course on Tuesday. I went on an interview on Wednesday. If all goes the way I suspect, I could be working in an entirely new career (for me) by next week. So, if my writing output seems less than normal, you can blame this career move.

Which means it’s my fault.

I liked it better when I could blame my kids.


I’ve been following my high school alma mater’s football team, the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders (Greenbelt, Maryland), close enough to know that they finished their season undefeated, and won their first game in the Maryland 4A South playoff bracket last Saturday.

I find myself wishing they were that good when I was a student there.


Graphic of the day…

As much as it could be *cough* accurately *cough* said that this graphic is dedicated to the lack of true leaders I’ve worked for in my life, the timing of having found it reminds me that it is almost time for me to start production (a.k.a. full blown writing) on a series whose main character is a textbook example of what a workplace leader should be. Don’t worry…he has plenty of other faults for the reader to boo at.


Yes, I’m still participating in NaNoWriMo. My recorded grand total to date is 32,352 words, with approximately 600 words done so far today.

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Halftime Report

It is done. I officially reached the halfway point of the NaNoWriMo writing challenge last night.

My word count: 26,176!

That puts me a thousand-plus words over the pace for 50K words by the end of the month. This makes me very happy.

I suspect, though, this word count padding won’t last long. I’m taking a training course this Monday and Tuesday, and starting a new job on Wednesday, and I’m not entirely sure I know how this new activity in my life (along with the commute) will affect my writing time. It’s quite possible that my next post will be me bemoaning about how I’ve fallen thousands of words behind schedule. We shall see.

I can tell you this for certain: time might trip me up, but any decline in word count production will not be because of a lack of ideas. With each new scene I write, with each story arc I develop, I come up with at least two new ideas. Writers love this level of creativity from themselves. Even if I do not complete the word count challenge on time, the novel will be completed.

Thanx for checking up on me. Now…back to writing!

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Scratching That Itch

Simply put…

NaNoWriMo behind the wheel
…I do not care where I am when the NaNoWriMo bug bites…I’m gonna scratch that itch and write!

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LINK: Determining Your Success As A Writer

I’ve never been fond of success in an artistic endeavor being predetermined by how well you follow a checklist. But, that’s not what Bestseller Labs’ 10 Key Questions That Can Determine Your Success As A Writer is attempting to accomplish. As the list’s author, Jonathan Gunson, explains:

”Prepare to be ‘caught in the headlights’ by these questions – they’re designed to expose the reality of being an author, but also to give a useful insight into your career pathway. In truth, this is not a definitive list, but I’ve found these particular questions to be helpful guidance in my own work.”


As it turns out, many of his questions have been guiding me all along, whether I knew it or not.

10 Key Questions That Can Determine Your Success As A Writer

Let’s see how I’m doing (and, for my fellow writers who are also going through this list, total honest is required to receive all of the benefits and the wisdom that’s being offered):

1. Do you employ the potency of your TRUE self?
Absolutely. Oh…and the fact that I’m an ADDer means I have plenty of ‘true selves’ to work with.

2. Are you writing for a particular genre because it’s popular?
Considering that I write multiple genres, I’ll probably be able to answer an inadvertent ‘yes’ to this question one of these days.

3. Do you stick to a schedule? (Be honest.)
Not really…but I do see the importance of this practice, so I’m making strides to improve.

4. Are you afraid of being judged?
Fortunately for me, I’ve pole vaulted over this ‘issue’ a long time ago in all aspects of my life. Yeah, I’m curious to know before the story is released what people will think of it, but I cannot remember the last time I altered what I was working on because of how I feared it would be judged.

5. Do you edit as you write?
Guilty as hell. That’s one of the reasons I started participating in NaNoWriMo this month…I want to see if I can go an entire first draft without rewriting anything. So far, it’s been a successful experiment.

6. Do you use a professional editor?
I used to be quite lazy about this point. I once worked as a web applications developer for a business owner who refused to hire a software tester. He believed I should be the only one necessary for testing, which instantly caused my belief in his business intellect to crash and burn. One of the first Software Development Life Cycle rules I ever learned was that code writers are the worst people to test their own code; they know how the application works from both an internal and a customer-facing perspective. Because of this, their testing is altered (even at a subconscious level) to navigate the path of what they know the application is best at and (here’s where the subconscious comes into play) away from what they know the application’s design and functionality never accounted for. Ergo, a tester who has no foreknowledge of how the application works will him the testing process the best possible perspective of neutral expectations, which of course means the best possible chance of catching a potentially embarrassing (and dangerous) error after the software is made public. All that said, I believe that the person who wrote the manuscript is the worst person to cleanse it completely from typos, misspellings, and horrid use of sentence structure…for the exact same reasons: the writer already knows how he/she wants the story to read, and will inadvertently glaze over all types of mistakes that the reader with no idea what the next word will be, let alone already knowing where the unfolding plot is heading, will spot easily.

7. Do you write for a specific, easily identifiable genre?
Uhhhhh…I’ll let my readers determine that answer.

8. Are you hoping for a bestseller with your first book?
I knew going in this wouldn’t happen. I’ve also known all along that current works are a great way to sell previous works, so that’s why I keep writing. Oh…and I do have a series or two in progress.

9. Are you planning to just write and leave everything else to a publisher?
A lot of of my writing is self-published in one form of another, so I already know I’m essentially on my own as far as marketing goes.

10. Do you know WHY you are writing?
This one could take a while to answer, but the short answer for now is, yes, I absolutely do know why I am writing.

To my fellow writers: feel free to share your answers, if you wish.

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NaNoWriMo 2014: News And Notes From The 10K Mark

I completely pole vaulted over the 10,000 word mark yesterday. Here are a few thoughts and stats from my first full week within the NaNoWriMo world:

1 I currently stand at 11,094 words. According to the contest’s suggested ‘words per day’ output, I am 575 words behind schedule. No biggie, though. During the course of writing what I have now, I have come up with ideas for a few new scenes that promise to be quite meaty in both content and word count.
2 Even after handwriting all these words, I still enjoy the tactile sensation of pen and paper writing.
3 My handwriting is on the verge of becoming too incomprehensible…even to me.
4 I am seriously going to suffer during the transcription and revision phases.
5 I’ve been fighting the insistency of writing a novel by the strict definition of a ‘start to finish’ order, and I was convinced this NaNoWriMo experience would be my hand-delivered opportunity to finally put the scenes together in the chronological order they would appear in real life. After seven days in, I’ve decided this insistency’s services are no longer required.
6 Putting the vast majority of my focus on this NaNoWriMo novel has stolen time away from one other project I wanted to research his month.
7 Oh…and, by the way…I hit the 10K mark!

Now…back to more NaNoWriMo action!

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NaNoWriMo 2014: The 5K Badge Is Mine!

Yesterday, I catapulted beyond the 5K word mark.

I’m currently standing at 6,270 words (not including what I already wrote today; I haven’t added it to the grand total yet because I’m still working on a scene I started during lunch).

5K is only 10% of the way there.

Not very impressive stats.

I almost allowed my self to condone mental fatigue and frustration.

But, instead, I reminded myself that I still have 45K words worth of opportunities to write a great story.

And, on that note…I’ve been having a blast with the 5K I’ve written already. Projecting that enjoyment forward, the remaining 45K might just grant me one of the most reality-changing writing experiences I’ve ever had.

Actually…I’m feeling as if that’s already started.

I just hope that, when it comes time to transcribe and rewrite this first draft, I can actually read my own handwriting.

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