Now that my morning writing activities have ended (I may add more words later; winter weather has arrived early and the sloppy, icy mess has me working from home today), I thought I’d look at where things stand on my efforts this month and with Nano:

November Totals:

Words Written – 25,461

Average per day – 1,697

WIP – 64,005 words


For the most part, the “contest” month has gone well. It helped that I had a really good idea of the structure of the novel, and while I didn’t outline per say, I did use a sort of outline. The basic structure of the novel is cribbed from a movie. Obviously the characters are different, the plot is modified, and the setting is nothing like the original, but having that rough overall arc in place gave me solid ground for the writing. So most mornings it went fast and efficiently. I got my words in in less than an hour of work.

As I said when I began the month, my goal has not been to “win” Nano. The goal has been to keep up a solid pace and motivate myself to write more so I can try and finish this work before the end of the month. I’d say I’ve accomplished that and more, and I’ve found every day reason to put a few more words on page than I thought I would to keep up the pace.

However, things are probably going to slow down a little in the second half of the month. I’ve reached the one point I knew was coming where my decisions with setting and characters means I don’t have a template to work with. Nothing in the original film fits this part. I barely ekked out the words this morning I needed, and already think I need to make changes to that section. I need to really think over this part.

However, what I’m going to do next is something I don’t usually do. I’m going to jump ahead to the last part of the novel. I’m going to write the scenes of the final conflict and resolution, and the finale, as well as one more scene after it’s all over that gives hints of what happened to everyone. That should allow me to keep pace a little longer before I return to this part that’s giving me fits and rework it, or work with what I have and try to bridge that gap.

Still, it’s been a tremendously good first half of the Nano season. I feel confident I’ll finish the first draft by the end of Nano. I’ll return to short stories after that and see if I can get a couple of more of those finished in December to add to the growing pile of stories that are already on submission.

Use Nano the way that works for use. Use it to motivate you to build a daily writing habit, or to increase your word count. Use it simply to inspire you to start writing. The best tools are the ones that help you find new ways to reach your goals without leaving you feeling as though you’re a failure.

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