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50k Day One – Complete

For anyone who didn’t see it on Twitter yesterday –  I HIT 50,000 WORDS IN A DAY!!!

I wanted to sleep the whole evening before, but I ended up sleeping from 1-6 pm on Oct. 31. Then I started at midnight and pretty much did not stop writing until 10:18 pm, when I hit 50,001 – about 15 minutes after Sushi beat me to it. I was really hoping I could beat her to it, but she has done this twice before, so I really should have known better.

If you check out the hashtags #50kkillmenow and #50kdayone, you can see all the other awesome people who wrote 50k in a day – or at least came really close to it!

For those who are interested, here is my spreadsheet for yesterday:

Day One – 2013

And for anyone who would like a reminder of how I failed last year:

Day One – 2012

My fingers felt like they were broken by the end of the day. My back was killing me. My forearms were numb. And my novel ended at 46k. I was worried I wasn’t going to finish. So I started writing some intentionally horrible fan fiction with a drunk narrator. Not by best writing, of course, but it was cracking me up while I wrote it, so I’ll go with it.

I had a lot of fun racing to 50k yesterday. My arms and back and everything feel better this morning. That said, I’m not sure I’ll ever attempt 50k day again. I wanted to see if I could do it, and I have. But I will definitely be there to cheer on anyone else who wants to attempt this in the future! 🙂

And just remember – no matter what you wrote yesterday, you should be proud of yourself!

NaNo Goals – 2013

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 27 hours. Part of me is really excited to start writing again, and the other part of me is terrified that I’m not ready. I should probably be working on another outline right now, but I’ve reached that point where I just feel all prepped out. I used to get the same way before tests. I’d make study guides, but then I’d get tired of pretending to study and just say “Screw it – whatever happens, happens.” That’s pretty much where I am right now.

Before this thing actually starts, I suppose I should share my goals for this month. I’ve posted these on the NaNo forums, but it can’t hurt to post them here. More accountability is always good, right?

• 50k Day One
• 75k opening weekend
• 100k by end of week 1
• 250k by end of month (dream goal of 300k)
• Finish at least 3 novels (5 if necessary to reach word count goal):

  • Degeneration – Contemporary YA
  • The Story of Em – NA Romance
  • The Whole Truth – Literary YA
  • Trail Magic (formerly 2,000 Miles) – Contemporary NA
  • Imprisoned Lightning – Contemporary YA

• Another 50k weekend
• Write at least 2k every day (preferably 5k)

That looks like a lot, but I think I can handle it. As you might remember, last year I got to 243k, wrote 2 novels, one novella, finished a third novel, started a fourth, and wrote a bunch of short stories. I’m hoping my projects will be longer this time so I won’t have to deal with short stories. Also, I’m pleased to say that I’ve gotten every school assignment out of the way – EXCEPT for the lesson plans that I need to write once a week for my student teaching experience. I’m still going to be spending two days a week at a high school. Plus I have two Thanksgivings to do to and several things on that second Saturday of the month. Other than, though, I’m completely free.

I have the first three chapter outlines finished. The fourth one is about three-quarters finished, which is enough to get me almost to the climax. Really, I should be able to figure out what I’m doing by that point. The last novel is the one I’m worried about. I have the basic concept and the characters, and I have my three-act structure planned out. Sadly, that’s about it. I was hoping to have the rest of it figured out by now, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. I kept changing my mind about what was going to happen. What makes for more interesting characters is making the plot suffer, and what made for an interesting plot had rather stereotypical characters.

That said, I’m holding that novel off for the end. Hopefully I can get to 250k with the four mostly planned novels. Imprisoned Lightning is going to be the backup novel. I also have another idea that I got from the OA chat. I have two characters and a basic concept for that one. Plus, there’s always the dystopian series I started last NaNo. I still don’t have that one planned enough, but I could start rewriting it if I had nothing else to write.

I have tomorrow off, so I’m going to spend the day doing laundry and making food for the next few days. I’m then going to sleep most of the afternoon/evening so that I can wake up around 10 or 11 pm and get ready to write at midnight. I’m hoping I can quickly get back to the 3k/hour I was able to write last November and really get 50k Day One off to a good start.

Degeneration is my Day One project. I feel a bit like I’m cheating since I’ve written this story so many times, but I’ve decided to go with it anyway. I wrote it twice as a screenplay and once as a novel, and each draft has taken me one step closer to something I’m proud of. The last draft I wrote for one of the 2012 camp sessions, and it was about 49k. Now I’ve added a whole different subplot and changed her trip from two days to a week. It really is a significant difference. I’m not just rewriting scenes I already wrote – I’m adding like seven chapters that weren’t there before. And I’m not going to be looking at any of the previous drafts while I write, either. It’ll be just me and my outline.

I’ll probably end up doing what I did last year and write a brief post letting you all know how my 50k day went. I feel more prepared than I was last year, but you never know. Here’s a link to the spreadsheet I’ll be using, if anyone wants to keep up with my word count as the day progresses: Quix’s Day One Spreadsheet

I probably won’t post again before NaNo, so good luck to everyone who’s participating! Remember – don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about your goal. You’re only competing with yourself.

Also – don’t call anyone else a cheater just because that person can write more than you can. Hopefully no one following my blog would ever do that, but I felt the need to mention it anyway. Also, just because someone writes faster than you do doesn’t mean that that person’s writing is horrible. We’ve already had people in the Beyond 50k forum tell us that our novels must be utter nonsense, and I’m really not in the mood to deal with that crap already. So, just, yeah – be nice to all the other participants! 🙂

Day 1 Recap

As many of you probably know, I was attempting to write all 50,000 words required to win NaNoWriMo yesterday. I failed. I was doing really well for the first four hours. By 4, I had written 10k. Then I napped for 15-30 minutes, woke up, and wrote some more. Up until about 7:30, I was on track to win.

And then I took a nap.

That was really my downfall. See, I meant to sleep for an hour. I somehow managed to sleep for four. I woke up around 11:45 and just lost motivation. I spent a lot of time staring at the screen, thinking of how stupid my novel was. I guess that was to be expected. I had hit the week 2 word counts, which is when most people start to question their novels. I had hoped that I was writing fast enough to avoid that, but it seems that’s not the case. Week 2 catches up to you whenever you’re hitting it. Even if it’s noon on day one.

I tried to get back on track after that. I really did. But then I had to go pick up my mother because her car broke down, and I lost half an hour of writing time. That half an hour shouldn’t have mattered, but it did. I found it hard to concentrate after that. I started to spend more time in the Atlanta and Overachiever chatrooms. I watched two episodes of Masterchef Australia. I caught up on some of my forum reading. I just did not want to go back to that novel.

I eventually managed to finish the “novel,” which I put in quotes because it was only 30,531 words. That’s a great amount of words to write in one day – more than I’ve ever managed to write before. But it’s a crappy amount for a novel, which is all right because it was kind of a crappy novel. I really like the beginning of it, but it sort of went downhill after a while. I thought that I was being clever, writing a novel that I didn’t really care about for 50k day. I thought it would help if I wasn’t as emotionally invested, since I wouldn’t care if it was horrible.

As it turns out, that was horrible logic. True, I didn’t care as much if I wrote something I knew was horrible, but I also didn’t care if I wrote anything at all after a while. Perhaps if I had written one of the novels I cared about, I could have written more. That is what I’m taking away from this. Next year, if I attempt this again (which I will unless I have other responsibilities that day), I will make sure I’m writing a novel I care about – and a novel that should last way more than 50k. For the curious – I was working on the zombie novel, which is now titled Choices even though I don’t think anyone except maybe my boyfriend will ever read it. 🙂

I still had a lot of fun. I know a lot of people who actually did hit 50k. I know even more who didn’t hit it but still wrote more words than they’d ever managed to write before. I have three newbies in my region, and two of them managed to write more than the daily goal. I’m so proud. This year’s NaNo is going to be awesome.

And now, if you’ll excuse me – I really should get back to writing. 😀