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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The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes

Ready. Set. Go…

Today writers around the world begin one of the biggest challenges of their writing career: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

This week I decided on the main character’s name. I also decided it would serve as the working title: The Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes.

The novel will open in a scene a few days after Mary’s birthday when she ponders over the last piece of her birthday cake.

I’ll post daily updates on my word count in the right margin. Each time I reach an increment of 10,000, I’ll make a blog post.

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Tips for NaNoWriMo

NOVELmberIn three days, pens will drop to begin the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Are you prepared?

I recently read a post with a gazillion tips on how to survive and reach the 50,000-word goal. Several of them were ones I had planned to put into practice as I wrote my 1,667 words a day. They included:

Don’t Edit: This is not an editing exercise; it’s a writing marathon. If I stopped to edit, I might fall behind. I’m going with the philosophy of Don’t Look Back, which means once it is written, it won’t be read. I’m going to force myself to just write, not read. The most I’ll read is the last paragraph before I begin writing for the day to ensure I’m continuing the story correctly.

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One Week from NOVELmber

NOVELmberAre you ready? Is your calendar cleared for 30 days?

NOVELmber is one week away. Take a deep breath. You can do this. You’re not alone; there’s a whole cast of writers waiting to start their stories.

If you plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), here are a few tips, things I plan to do to help improve my chance of success with the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

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Write a Novel in 30 Days

NOVELmberWe are two weeks away from NOVELmber. Are you taking the plunge? I have considered it many times, but not until this year did I actually make plans to do it.

Never heard of this month before? You’re probably not alone. Here are the basics:

Commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

That’s it. That’s really all you have to do. If you want to take it a step further and be both held accountable to your commitment and share your success formerly with others, you’ll have to register with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

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