NaNoWriMo 2012: Learning the ropes

It’s been a whole week since NaNoWriMo started, and I gotta admit, folks, I’m fuckin’ killin’ it.

I say that with humility, of course. Wouldn’t want lightning to mysteriously strike me down in my living room or find rabid weasels in my underwear drawer.

…goes to check…

Okay, yeah, no weasels. Also very little underwear. Must do laundry…

What was I talking about? Weasels, lightning, NaNo! RIGHT!


You’ll have to forgive me; my whole November has been like this. When you start mainlining a whole pot of coffee every day and are used to about a 0.05% blood-caffeine level, you tend to get squirrely. Let me tell you.

It’s Wednesday evening as I’m writing this, and my official wordcount is 18,500.  For you stats nerds, that’s about 2,600 words a day, and I’m technically ahead by 6,900 (or about 4 days).  I’ve had a few people tell me I’m making them feel bad, which of course makes me feel bad for making them feel bad, but I have to be honest:

I’m motivated by laziness.

All this productivity is so I can get ahead.  I’m leaving town on the 16th for Thanksgiving and won’t be back until the 23rd.  I also have an all-day, out-of-town doctor’s visit tomorrow.  And numerous other writing obstacles which I’m sure Mercury Retrograde will be happy to throw my way.

What’s been really interesting is that I’ve suddenly become okay with the idea of a shitty first draft.  I remember pulling my hair out in high school and college (sometimes literally) because I couldn’t pump out a perfect paper in one go.  With Inkchanger, though, I’m content to put in placeholders when I get stuck and not worrying much about accuracy or synonyms.

I’m also learning so much about the process.  It’s really a get-your-hands-dirty-come-on-don’t-be-a-pussy education.

My whole tone and approach to narrative and dialogue changed around chapter five, for example.  After my abortive attempts at fiction in middle school, I’ve tended to err on the side of minimal description, which seems to be starving my story.

And I realized that if I keep going at this clip, my outline will be used up by next Thursday and I’ll be 20K words short of the goal.  That’s got me thinking about all kinds of stuff I hadn’t considered putting in, like more conflict, character backstory, and environmental texture.

After a week of writing every day for at least three hours, I’ve also started dreaming about what life would be like if I did this every month, not just in November.  Kind of feels good.

Oh!  And if you’re doing NaNo and want to connect on the site, you can find me here.  Let’s stalk each other somewhere else!

Here’s to another week of fiction-discovery, banana cream coffee, and teenage angst (with a dash of FBI thriller thrown in)!



  1. W00p W00p!

    "I’ve had a few people tell me I’m making them feel bad, which of course makes me feel bad for making them feel bad, but I have to be honest:"
    ~ if this includes me, I'm motivated by non-laziness.. (erm.. or something) so seeing everyone ahead of me is the best way to get my muse to suddenly show up and spout words.. so if my jokey comments came across negative, please know that they weren't meant like it, and I have been more productive because of your more productive wordcounts :)

    ^_^ Glad it's going so well – you are totally rocking it!

    … And now I'm off to try and get my wordcount above 19000 :P

  2. I am stupid behind this year! BUT, I'm learning lots too and I've been consistently writing each day, even if it's in small amounts. I haven't written fiction each month, much less each day, in a loong time.

    Congrats on your impressive word count! Get it!

  3. I cheated a little this year with NaNo. I had already started writing before November and planned on having a novella ready for publishing in November, but I got stuck with some family stuff that took up my writing time. Now I'm having a hard time getting back into the high daily word count I was hitting before. I'm almost to 20,000 words. Which was where I was planning on stopping for this novella. But there are still some things I could add in and make the ending better. I had planned a a series of novella's but I don't know if that will work or not.

    I find your tweets & post motivational.

  4. I'm almost exactly on par with where I should be, but you're inspiring me to get a move on. I've been doing a fair amount of plodding. Considering. Plodding some more. I need to take my nonexistent balls (my fallopian tubes?) to the wall.


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