Tuesday, November 28, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023 WINNER!

I said in my NaNoWriMo week 4 post yesterday that I would likely be getting to 50,000 in the next couple of days, but actually I got there last night.  I had my doubts, since I knew I would need to write 2,324 words at our write-in, and with the write-in only being two hours, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get there.  But I did!  I stopped at 2,326 words for the day - 50,002 words total for November.

Of course, many of those "words" are not actually words, but time spent revising.  I decided to equate an hour of revision time with 1,000 words.  I can actually write more words than that in an hour when I'm on a really good streak (as I did last night), but it seems like a nice, easy, round ballpark number, so I've always used it when I've spent NaNoWriMo revising.

And of course, the novel isn't anywhere near done yet.  I estimate I am probably about 40 or 50 percent through the story, so I still have a lot to do.  I'll get an accurate word count for the existing draft so far once NaNoWriMo is over.  I'm anticipating the novel will be somewhere around 90,000 words when finished, which is about right for a novel of that type.

Only three more days left!  No pressure on how much word count I have to produce each day, and just three write-ins to go to: one at Barnes & Noble tonight, one at Panera tomorrow, and a "final push" write-in on Thursday at our favorite gaming coffee shop and longtime supporter of the Denver NaNos, Enchanted Grounds.

Monday, November 27, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023: Week 4 Progress

Technically, tomorrow would be the end of week 4, so I'm writing this a couple days early.  But I expect to reach my goal tonight or tomorrow, so my next post will likely be a "winner" post.

I've done very well this year.  So far I haven't dropped below par once, which I don't think I've ever managed before; I've always gotten behind at some point during the month.  I also haven't gotten ahead much, but I'm okay with that.  Steady progress is good progress, and it gives me hope I won't burn myself out, either.  Quite to the contrary, I'm excited about my novel and the prospect of continuing to write after NaNoWriMo 2023 comes to a close.

Currently I have 2,324 words to write in order to make it to 50,000.  I have a write-in tonight, but it's only two hours, so I don't know if I'll be able to write over 2k words.  It depends on how motivated I am, how on time we are, and how much time I devote to writing rather than getting distracted.

Either way, either tonight or tomorrow night, I'll be "winning" NaNoWriMo 2023.

I have plans to continue writing after November ends.  I was looking at my calendar last night, and as I arranged my schedule for the first week of December, I made sure to put writing earlier in the day every day.  If I start with it, hopefully it will keep me motivated and ensure I stick to working on it every day.  I want to finish this novel, then start working on further revisions and other installments as I get it all ready for self-publication.

I've been thinking a lot about how this blog and my social media presence will change once I start gearing up to self-publish.  I intend to plan everything out, and my blog may undergo some changes as I prepare for release.  I'll update further once I finish the novel and have some time to start looking at the business side of things.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023: Week 3 Progress

Today marks the end of week 3 of NaNoWriMo.  I still need to work on my novel today, but I am expecting tomorrow to be chaotic, so I wasn't sure when I would have a chance to blog about it tomorrow.

So far I've managed to hang on throughout week 3, but sometimes only by the skin of my teeth.  I've made an effort to get to par every day, but I'm still just making revisions.  I'm still counting every hour of work as 1,000 words, but I haven't done any actual writing yet this month... yet.

That being said, I'm putting in time on this novel and making progress, so I am okay with my NaNo Rebel status.  Plus, I'm making a significant effort not to fall behind par, and even if I'm counting par a little differently than most people, it still represents a consistent amount of work each day.

You can see my past weeks' progress here: week 1 and week 2.

Now is when we get to the difficult part, however.  Last year I managed to work on my novel every single day, except Thanksgiving.  This year I've actually done better than last year, and not only worked on my novel every day but met par every day.  (Last year there were some days where I did only a little bit just to get a word count for the day.)  This year I want that badge for updating every day, though, so I need to make sure I work on it Thanksgiving too.

To make it happen, I have a couple hours blocked off early Thursday afternoon for working on my novel.  Last year I intended to work on it after our Thanksgiving celebrations, but by the time I realized how much we'd lost track of time, it was after midnight so I couldn't get my update done in time.  Hopefully blocking off some time for it earlier in the day will ensure I don't make the same mistake this year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023: Week 2 Progress

Yesterday was the end of week 2 of NaNoWriMo.  So far, I'm trucking right along, staying ahead of par (just barely some days) and working on my novel consistently every day.

It's funny how last year I made almost daily posts for much of the month during NaNoWriMo.  This year there's no way I would have had the time for that.  I guess I'm busier this year.  But I don't mind, because at least I'm spending the time on my novel.  Prioritizing the time you have available is important.

Anyway, last night I finished reading through and marking the manuscript.  I had focused on copyediting and marking revisions in the portion of the manuscript from last year, but when I got to the older portions of the draft that I hadn't rewritten yet, I started focusing instead on story development.  There's a lot that needs to be wholly rewritten in the parts of the novel I haven't gotten to yet.

The good news is that it's all starting to come together, and I'm happy with the story development so far.  Tonight I start marking the revisions.

It's becoming obvious to me that if reading through the novel and marking revisions took two weeks, I'm not going to be finished writing the novel this month.  Which is fine, but I need to ensure that I keep my daily writing habit and keep working on the novel beyond November.  I want to finish this thing and get it published next spring or summer.

Making the revisions I'd marked in the portion of the third draft I'd written so far should go faster, since I'm not reading anything and just making the revisions I'd already marked.  Plus it's only about half the overall manuscript.  The other "revisions" are mostly major changes, and I can keep the PDF or the file with me while I rewrite those sections.

I haven't worked on it yet today so my word count is still where it was from yesterday's session, but we'll be going to a write-in tonight, where I'll start working on making the revisions in the novel.  Once I'm done making revisions, I'll be able to go back to writing the third draft, which is incredibly exciting, especially as the pieces of the story are falling into place in my head!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023: Week 1 Progress

I'm still working on revisions on the section of Ruby Ransome that I wrote last year during November and December, but for now, progress on my NaNoWriMo 2023 challenge is going well.  I've been counting an hour of revising as 1,000 words, which is less than what I'd get in word counts if I were writing, but I suppose marking revisions on the page is a little easier than straight up creating, so the reduced word count equivalent makes sense.  But also, 1,000 words makes for a really easy number to apply to my hours worked, since every 15 minutes equals 250 words.

Anyway, with that word count equivalent applied to my revising, I've succeeded in staying at or ahead of par every day for the first week of NaNoWriMo.  I haven't succeeded in putting two hours of work into it every day, as I would ideally have liked, but staying ahead of par is still good.

Right now, I would need another hour of work to stay ahead of par for today, but I actually hope to get two hours done at the write-in.  That would replace the little buffer that I've lost over the last few days.

Today marks the start of the second week of NaNoWriMo 2023.  I'm a little discouraged that I'm not done with revisions yet, but at the same time, I'm pleased with what I wrote last year.  I'm marking only a few changes as I go along.  For the most part, I'm very satisfied with both the setup and the pacing.  Currently I'm less than 30 pages from the end of last year's writing, after which I'll skim the rest of the older material to remind myself of what I'm rewriting and where I was going with it.

Hopefully I'll be ready to start writing new material again by the end of the week!

Friday, November 3, 2023

Back with NaNoWriMo 2023

I stopped working on my novel effectively just before the holidays last year, and didn't pick it up again until at the kickoff party for NaNoWriMo 2023, just a few days ago.

As a result, I need to familiarize myself with where I was.  To do that, I'm doing a round of reading and revisions in the part that I wrote last year.  Once I'm done with that section, I'll skim over the rest of what I'd written quickly, so that I refresh my memory on what I wanted to rewrite and what plot elements I wanted to change.

I'm using my new Kindle Scribe to do the read through and revisions.  In past years, I have performed revisions by carrying around a two-inch-thick printed manuscript and marking up the pages.  It's a cumbersome and tedious method, so I bought the Kindle Scribe, which allows me to write directly on the pages of a PDF.  Scrivener enables me to compile the novel into PDF.  (Last year I compiled it into ePub and did a quick read-through on my regular Kindle of everything I'd written previously and wanted to rewrite.)

I'm really liking the ability to write directly on the page with the Scribe.  The only thing I'd say is that with future revisions, I'll see if I can change the font size and spacing and put more white space on a page, so I can mark it up a little more easily.  I'll write another post about the Scribe soon, and include some pictures so you can get a better idea of how it works.

We don't have an official write-in to go to tonight, but it sounds like our friends group that we meet with on Friday evenings, which started out as a write-in years ago, may be interested in writing tonight.  Then tomorrow we have two write-ins and Sunday we have one, so we should be able to get plenty of writing done over the next few days.  I'm hoping to be able to finish the revisions and read-through of the novel by the end of the weekend, so that I can start writing new material.  My goal is to finish the novel this year, if not this month, so I can self-publish next year.

Wish me luck!

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