What I learned about writing two novels at the same time.

NaNoWriMoFor NaNoWriMo 2018, I wrote two novels at the same time: Revelation Stones and Beyond the Myst. I didn’t plan it that way. My goal was to complete the first novel. The second one started as a homework assignment from my writers’ group.

I focussed on the book I wanted to complete first, writing a minimum of 2,000 words a day for it. I wrote 1,500 words a day for Beyond the Myst.

To keep the stories separated in my mind, I wrote Beyond the Myst in the morning between 5:30 am and 7:20 am. If I didn’t reach my goal, I spent a few minutes after the morning chores to complete it. I wrote Revelation Stones from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Often I finished early, so I was in bed by nine o’clock. I get up at 4:35 am, so I need to go to bed early.

Before each writing session, I’d envision the scene I was about to write. This put me in the mood to write and provided details I might not have considered. I run scenes in my head like movies, so I get a clear idea of what I want. The scene is basically written before I sit down to the computer. I just record what happened.

I’ve never tried to write two full novels at once. I have written a short story while writing a novel, but usually I’d write the short story in a few days, then return to the novel writing. This whole experience of writing two in one day was completely new to me. Here’s what I have learned listed under the benefits and the drawbacks.

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NaNoWriMo Saturday Word Count Update

NaNoWriMoThis is the last Saturday update (late, but still here) to share my writing progress for NaNoWriMo.

Between November 24th and the 30th, I wrote 34,835 words. That brings my total world count for NaNoWriMo to 143,770 words. The most I’ve ever written in a month.

Beyond the Myst still needs about 45,000 words to complete it. I plan on writing those by December 31st. Revelation Stones was almost complete by November 30th, so I spent the first three days of December finishing up the final chapters, writing the major battle scene, the homecoming and the epilogue that carries readers into the next book. The first draft stands at 164,256 words. I hope to trim that to 150,000 words.

Later this week, I’ll share what I’ve learned about writing so much in one month and working on two novels at the same time. All I can say is I love writing more now than when the month started. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than this. I’m so psyched about the next book, Healing Stones, I’m already dreaming up the opening scene. I’m excited to see January 1st, although if I finish Beyond the Myst early, I cannot promise I won’t dive into Healing Stones to let the adventure continue.

Last Day for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMoIt’s the last day of November and as of bedtime last night, I’ve written 135,880 words since November 1st. It’s a record for me, one that once stood at 60,000 words in a month, one I don’t plan on breaking any time soon. I still have one more day to add to that record. Specifically, 18 hours, but I’ll be in bed before midnight, so that will trim down to about 15 hours.

My goal today is to write every minute I can. It’s unrealistic to do this every day, but today, the last day, I will. I’ve cleared everything off my schedule. Besides usual housekeeping duties, getting kids off to school and work, feeding animals and the unexpected interruption (fingers crossed the power will stay on today), I will write, drink tea and work towards the end of Revelation Stones, the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series. It currently sits at 139,614 words, Chapter 32, Scene 2. Looking at the six scenes left to write, I imagine it needs about 15,000 more words before I can write THE END. Much of the second-last scene has already been written – it came to me a week ago, so I recorded it.

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NaNoWriMo Saturday Word Count Update

This is the 4th of 5 Saturday updates to share my writing progress for NaNoWriMo.

This week, I passed three milestones:

  • 100,000 words in the Revelation Stones novel
  • 50,000 words in the Beyond the Myst novel
  • 100,000 words written for NaNoWriMo

For book 3 in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, the number of words written between November 17th and 23rd was 22,978. The book now sits at 112,669 words.

Book 1 of a new series, nicknamed Project M [official name Beyond the Myst], now contains 52,059. I’ve added 12,646 words between November 17th and the 23rd.

In total, I’ve written 35,624 words in 7 days and drank countless cups of tea and hot chocolate.

Good luck to everyone who accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge.

NaNoWriMo Saturday Word Count Update

NaNoWriMoThis is the 3rd of 5 Saturday updates to share my writing progress for NaNoWriMo. Life’s been busy, so I’m a little late with the report, but it’s better late than never.

For book 3 in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, the number of words written between November 10th and 16th was 17,135. The book now sits at 89,691 words.

Book 1 of a new series, nicknamed Project M [official name Beyond the Myst], now contains 39,413. I’ve added 12,409 words between November 10th and the 16th.

In total, I’ve written 29,544 words in 7 days.

Good luck to everyone who accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge.

NaNoWriMo Word Count Update

NaNoWriMoThis is the 2nd of 5 Saturday updates to share my writing progress for NaNoWriMo. So far, I’m ecstatic with my progress.

For book 3 in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, the number of words written between November 3rd and 9th was 20,347. At this rate, I’ll reach the intended goal of 130,000 words in about 20 days. This means, the book will be completed by the end of the month.

Book 1 of a new series, nicknamed Project M [official name Beyond the Myst], now contains 27,004. I’ve added 11,981 words between November 3rd and the 9th. I plan to finish this 100,000-word novel in mid-December.

In total, I’ve written 32,328 words in 7 days.

Good luck to everyone who accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge.

NaNoWriMo Word Count Update

NaNoWriMoThis is the first of five Saturday updates to share my progress writing for NaNoWriMo. So far, I’m happy with my progress. The two novels I’m writing, Revelation Stones and Project M, were already works in progress, so I wasn’t starting cold.

For book 3 in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, the number of words written in the first three days of November was 9,004. I’m putting extra effort into getting the words down now because I have a 3-day craft show next weekend, and I doubt I’ll reach my daily writing goals.

Book 1 of a new series, nicknamed Project M, had 4,864 words added since November 1st. This is second in priority, so my daily goal is only 1,500 words.

In total, I’ve written 13,868 words for NaNoWriMo and drank 11 cups of tea.

At this rate, Revelation Stones will be almost completed by the end of November. I may have to add an extra 10,000 words, but I’m aiming for around 115,000 words.

Project M will only have 57,000 words. I am aiming for 100,000 words for that story, so it won’t be finished until mid-December.

I plan to write book 4, Healing Stones, in January, then I’ll self-edit Revelation Stones and Project M. My totally insane goal is to release Project M in April, Revelation Stones in May and Healing Stones in June.

Good luck to everyone who accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge.

NaNoMoWri is Fast Approaching

Here we write again. NOVELmber is almost here, which means thousands—maybe millions—of writers across the world will challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Are you onboard? Are you up for the challenge?

The last time I participated was in 2015. Since then, my schedule hadn’t aligned with the challenge but this year, it does. I’m working towards finishing the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones. As of last night, it was 43,334 words complete. I have about another 90,000 to go.

I’m also writing Project M, which is turning out to be a full fantasy novel, not the short story I expected. I’m debating on where it will fit in with the Castle Keepers series. Technically, it is book 4, but I’m leaning towards it being the first book in another series. It intertwines with The Land of Ath-o’Lea but can lead to additional stories not related. Time will reveal its purpose. So far, 10,183 words have been written.

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Write Your Little Hearts Out

NOVELmberIt’s November 1st, and from my wee corner of the world, I can hear pens and pencils scratching on paper and anxious fingertips striking keyboards. It must be NaNoWriMo!

November is National Writing Month, a month set aside during the year to encourage writers to write up a storm. They might write something completely new or finish a work in progress.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

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Completion of NaNoWriMo Novel

NOVELmberLast night I wrote the final words to The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. This was the novel I started for NaNoWriMo on November 1st. It took me 37 days to write and concluded with 64,092 words. That’s an average of 1,732 words a day.

So now what?

I’m putting it in storage. I’ve sent it to my off-site back up system, and when I get to the store to buy an ink cartridge, I’ll print and store it in my first draft file. I print a copy of all my stories because I feel the need to have it. Just in case.

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NaNoWriMo Completed

NOVELmberThis was my first kick at the can for NaNoWriMo, and I kicked it far enough to meet the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. In fact, I wrote 54,247 words in that time frame. The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes is not yet complete, but it will be by the end of the month. The novel will be between 60,000 and 70,000 words.

The story is about a middle aged woman who struggles to re-find herself after her kids are grown and moved out of the house.

Almost every day, I was able to write at least 1,667 words. Most days, I wrote slightly more. There were four or five days when I managed to write only a few hundred words, so the following day I had to play catch-up and get them down before I started on that day’s word count.

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Last Day of NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberThere’s less than eleven hours left of NOVELmber, the month many writers accept the challenge of writing a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’ve learned a few things from participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ll do a wrap-up of my experience and why I won’t be doing it again any time soon in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, I’ll just say, “Yes, I met the challenge.”

I reached 50,000 words on Friday November 27th. It wasn’t because I wanted to be ahead of the game going into a busy market weekend. The reason why I reached the goal is because of the days I forced myself to plough forward regardless if I wanted to write or if the story excited me. Slogging through the mud got me to those peaks where the writing took off and sailed for a few thousand words.

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45,000-word Milestone with NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberYesterday I passed the 45,000-word milestone while writing for NaNoWriMo. With six days left to write until the November 30th deadline, I don’t believe I’ll have a problem reaching 50,000 within 30 days.

What I Learned Since My Last Post

Every adventure in writing has its ups and downs, its fast times and its slow times. It’s exactly like reading a novel: there are exciting, fast-paced scenes, and there are slow, plot and character-building and transition scenes.

I’ve rediscovered that I enjoy writing scenes of conflict. This could be a sword fight (which doesn’t happen in this particular story) or an interesting argument between husband and wife (which does happen). I find it very difficult to close the file for the day when I’m in the middle of a conflict. It’s like taking a commercial break in the middle of a fist fight, saying, “I’ll be back after I make popcorn, and we’ll pick up where we left off.”

Ideas for quick comebacks and quirky lines are filling my head, and I just have to get them down. These great ideas won’t return tomorrow when I sit down to continue writing.

This is the reason my word count is so high.

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Over Half Way in NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberIt’s been a long sixteen days in November, but I’m on schedule in the NaNoWriMo challenge. As of today, I’ve written 28,003 words. Although the intended day’s word count is supposed to be only 1,667, I’ve managed to write 1,750 words a day on average.

It hasn’t been easy.

There were days when I wrote those words in an hour. Then there were days I had to break up the writing into two or more sessions because I was forced to be involved in life outside of writing. There was one day I wrote only about 300 words.

So it’s been a challenge. But I’m a little over half way there. Yeah!

The story—The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes—is progressing well. I’m on chapter twelve. My main character has had small growth spurts and a few minor setbacks. I’m setting her up for a horrible turn of events and a vacation. At the end of the book, she’ll still be standing. I can’t say that for all the characters.
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First Milestone in NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberAt 10:45 (Nova Scotia time) tonight, after six days of writing, I reached a 10,000-word marker in National November Writing Month. So far, the going has been fairly easy. There was only one night I had to stay up until midnight to get my 1,667 words down for the day.

Regardless of what happens during the day or what crazy schedule I have, I promised myself I would not go to bed until my word count was done. With 24 days left to write, only time will tell if I can keep my promise.

Currently I have 10,227 words written. That’s an average of 1,704.5 words a day. My word count is recorded each day on this page at the top of the right-hand margin.

The working title for the novel is The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. It’s about a woman who turns fifty and wonders what life holds for her in the second half of her century. She’s led an uneventful life up until this point, but things are about to change because she goes looking for change.

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