NaNoWriMo, Yo!

I’ve been computing more numbers than when I last refinanced my mortgage.

I’m trying to figure out whether to attempt NaNoWriMo next month. In case you don’t already know, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing contest that takes place in the month of November. Writers try to write 50,000 words (most novels are between 80,000-100,000 words, so it’s not quite a novel) during the thirty days of November. There’s a lot of camaraderie among participants, so it’s all good fun. But 50,000 words is a heck of a lot of words. So I’ve been thinking about how, practically, I’d be able to do it.

First, there’s the November calendar. Though November has 30 days, I’m eliminating the five days around Thanksgiving when we’ll be with family. So that leaves me 25 days to write 50,000 words.

Second, while most pages consist of roughly 300 words, my first draft typically has closer to 275. My early drafts tend to have ridiculous amounts of (useless) dialogue between characters that I cut out in later drafts. So for the sake of my NaNoWriMo calculation, each of my pages has 275 words.

Which means that to win NaNoWriMo (write 50K words in only 25 days in November), I will need to write seven pages a day.

On an exceedingly good writing day, I can never seem to write more than four pages. Even if I were to press the “7” key and hold it down continuously, I doubt I could make it past four pages.

So how on earth can I do seven pages? Why would I even try?

Because, I have a book in my head. It needs to get out. And there’s that pesky month of November staring me straight in the face.


7 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, Yo!

  1. I was hoping I could finish the first draft of my current WIP before starting on something entirely new for NaNo. But to do that, I’d probably have to write at NaNo pace (1667 words/day) for the rest of October, which is (realistically) not going to happen. But I think I still want to try NaNo for a new story, especially if I can do Jeffrey Stepakoff’s beat sheet method of planning beforehand.

    I admire you for planning to set aside days for family! I’d go off to write and let them fend for themselves for a couple of hours each day. 🙂

  2. I loved that beat sheet method, B.! I never realized how much a novelist could learn about writing fiction from a screenwriter until I heard Jeffrey’s talk.

    Best of luck to you with NaNoWriMo, whatever you decide.

  3. Pingback: Facing your character(s)… « Toward the within…

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