Writing Challenge: Day 31 – VICTORY!

So today was the last day of my writing challenge and here are the stats for Day 30 and Day 31:

Day 30:

  • Words Written: 4808
  • Total Word Count: 84,185

Day 31:

  • Words Written: 1518
  • Total Word Count: 85,703

I WIN!!!!!!! Sort of.

If you recall my tentative challenge was to write 2472 words per day x 31 days giving me approximately 85,000 words. But my overall goal was to have a completed first draft by midnight on the 31st of October. I did achieve the word count goals, but not the completed first draft. I estimate I have 10,000 words to go. which will make this a very long first draft, but it is what is.

But even though I didn’t meet the overall challenge, I feel pretty good about writing 85k in 31 days. I hit 50k (the Nano goal) on Day 18, so that’s something to be proud of.

I’m going to take it a little easier now since the challenge is over. is till want to get this first draft finished ASAP, but there’s no rush to be worrying about word count. Tracking your word count is just an arbitrary goal to help you push yourself through writing, especially if you have a tendency to get bogged down in making things perfect. NaNo can be a great tool to help the writer with a chronic unfinished manuscript problem to get past those hurdles holding you up and push through to THE END.

For anyone attempting NaNo starting tomorrow, good luck! I wish you the best writing and no interruptions!

And even if NaNo is not your thing, good luck with your writing, at whatever speed that is. It’s important to remember that speed of writing does not determine how good of a writer you are, and we all need to find the methods that work best for us!

Writing Challenge: Day 29

I wrote 1656 words today which brings me to 79,377 words and I am only 141 words behind.

I could have done more writing tonight, but I got to a point where my characters are going to do their “great big mission” and I still don’t know exactly how that’s going to play out. I’m fine with pantsting it a little bit, but I’d like to have a little outline to start with.

In this case, I need to make sure I know what order things are going to happen in because they will be taking place in numerous scenes that will converge into one big scene, so I’m going to make a spreadsheet of all the plot points and then arrange them in the order they should probably occur. I’ve done this for scenes before, and also for entire books. Sometimes you just need to be a little organized.

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Writing Challenge: Day 28

I didn’t write a single word yesterday. Between preparing for Halloween, soccer games, Craig’s birthday, and the fact the poor man came down with the flu, there wasn’t any time. Luckily I’m still 945 words in the black due to several good days this week. I’m sitting down to write right now, so we’ll see how that goes. Kids are on the loose and Craig’s too down in the dumps to do much, but we’ll get done what we can.

Writing Challenge: Day 27

I wrote 5287 words yesterday, bringing my total to 77,721 words and putting me 3687 words over my goal. And I’m going to need every last one of those words.

The last 4 writing days of my challenge are a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Halloween. Weekends have been difficult for me to get writing time in (and it’s my husband’s birthday!), though I should have a little so it won’t be a total loss (as far as word count goes), Monday is the day I spend the morning with my kindergarteners, but I will have from about 11am until 3pm, so once again I should get some words in, and Halloween, well, I’m room mom for two different parties and I’ll be taking the kids trick-or-treating, so Tuesday I probably won’t get a single word in until after 9pm.

So basically I think it’s totally possible I won’t reach my goal of 85k by midnight on Tuesday. And no, I’m not staying up late to do it. It’s just not that important. In fact, my real goal was to have a completed novel by that time and it’s looking more and more like I won’t have that done either. There’s still too much ground to cover.

And of course there’s this nagging worry that it is too long already and I’ve forgotten things that the story needs so I have more pages to write within the first 77k. *deep sigh* I’m not unaccustomed to editing, cutting, and adding where needed. I’ve had to cut my darlings before. But the prospect is disheartening. I’m not sure I can do what I want with this novel if I have to cut too much.

Anyway, I’ll be working hard this weekend to keep up with my goal, but I’ll also be spending time with my family. So have a good weekend!

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Writing Challenge: Day 26

Today I wrote 4899 words, my total is 72,434 and I am 1142 over my goal.

I was stuck for a little bit today, not sure exactly where I should go next, so I took a moment to fold laundry. Not exciting, I know, but sometimes it is useful to step away from the work and get your mind straight before you continue.

Obviously it worked. I had my goal by 3pm this afternoon, but then I had a little time before bed and the words were flowing well so I continued. I have to do some shopping tomorrow, so it’s a good thing I have a little padding in case I don’t get a lot of time to write.

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Writing Challenge: Day 25

I wrote 1655 words today, bringing my total to 67,535. I am 1015 words behind schedule.

So today I had a sick kid at home and a kindergarten activity to attend. Basically, my writing time was very limited, but I’m hoping everything will be back to normal tomorrow and I can make up the deficit.

One thing that happened today—which I advise any writer to try to avoid—is that I clicked on an idea board for a story concept I began a while ago. I was already thinking about my current WIP, so I put it on the way back burner after starting the board. Looking at it was a really bad idea because now I’m having thoughts and the pictures I pinned are so gorgeous and evocative and I’m remembering now what I wanted to do with that book and . . .

But no! That’s why it’s such a bad idea. Those ideas can creep in and distract you from what you are supposed to be working on. Hopefully I can keep those glorious pictures out of my mind!

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Writing Challenge: Day 24

Today I wrote 2793 words, meeting my daily challenge and also exceeding my running total goal. I’m at 65,880 words total with just 72 words over the goal.

I now in this draft I am doping a lot of telling and not so much showing. As I’ve talked about before, when you’re doing a NaNo-style writing approach where the focus is getting the words on the page, you have to let that showing type of writing go unless it immediately comes to mind. If I find I’m struggling to find a way to describe how my character is sad or angry or how the wind is blowing, I just put in the cliche knowing I’m going to have more editing to do later. So my characters do a lot of nodding, shaking their heads, shrugging, being sad, etc. It’s . . . not ideal, but I know I can fix what’s on the page.

Alternately, I am looking forward to the next novel I will write which I think I will work in a slower pace and focus on quality instead of just trying to get the words on the page. This can be frustrating too, because you might be staring at that screen for a long time trying to find the right words. Or maybe typing something, erasing, typing something, erasing, and so on and so on. Until hopefully you come up with that perfect line that expresses your characters angry face instead of just saying thy’re angry. But there is a certain satisfaction in getting that phrase just right. And it fuels the creative juices and the next line and the next line are easier and easier.

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Writing Challenge: Day 23

Today I wrote 2054 words which is below my daily goal, but since I wrote over the day before I still reached my running total goal. So now I’m at 63,087 words and I am over the goal by 21 words.

One problem I’m running into right now is that my characters are plotting their big action scene and it’s going to take a lot of coordinating on their part to make this mission work. Problem is, I know what the mission is, and I know how it ends up, I just haven’t planned out what actually happens so that it sounds realistic yet. Basically, I haven’t done their planning for them . . .

So hopefully I’ll get that mapped out before I actually have to write it, or the word count may suffer for a few days. I’m okay with that though, because while I like the method of just writing even if you know it isn’t your best (you can’t fix what you don’t write), it’s also difficult to write a prison break-out scene when you’re flying by the seat of your pants.

Time to get my plotting cap on and think about all the things that can go wrong, or at least should go wrong. Don’t want to make this too easy for them.

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Writing Challenge: Day 22

The new season of The Walking Dead starts in 23 minutes so I’m going to make this quick. I wrote 4560 words today, bringing me to a total of 61,033 words which is 709 words over my target goal.

Seriously, I can’t even think about something to write concerning writing I’m so excited for TWD so I’ll post more tomorrow. Have a good night!

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