It's been a quiet week on the blog mainly because I've been spending a lot of time writing for two hours a day, amassing around 2,000 words per day, in my marathon trial of NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know about it, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to have 50,000 words written before December, and by my calculations - and with a lot of self-encouragement - I am going to be done early just so that I can check to be sure that I really do have the correct number of words.
I'm choosing to write my sequel to Macyntire & Hough this month and get as much done as I can in order to fast-track my paperback edition into the next year (and perhaps a few preview copies for my family, if they actually finish the first one with their busy routines!). I thought I would talk a little bit about my process of writing as it has been a little eye-opening for me in terms of needing to get done a set amount of words per day. If anything, I hope that by the end of this month I can have the habit of writing a set amount daily into my normal routine. It's been very gratifying to sleep after typing and knowing that I didn't slack off on my characters. I mean, come on - they're fighting demons and all. They don't want the battles to rage on forever!
As far as needing to write 2,000 words a night (the estimated minimum to finish on time is 1,667) I ended up having my entire novel outlined on notecards as I did with the first book. This is useful and really just a guideline. A lot can change in a chapter when my brain takes a hold of the idea and starts writing down dialogue and character interactions, but this way I have something to write every single night. I also get bored with writing an entire chapter, and I usually don't finish a chapter in one sitting. The times that I do, it's usually because a flash of lightning hits me and the inspiration pulls me through. That said, with the majority of my writing sessions starting out without that flash of lightning, I have to work my way into something that takes my interest. How do I do this?
I have a few chapters started at a time so that I can jump around. It's very refreshing to do this for me, and I love being able to write different characters whenever I feel like it. I can pick up where I left off and practice writing a fight scene and then move back to a more romantic scene. It's really fun! It also keeps me on my toes when I need to crank out three hundred more words and can't keep going on my main scene of the writing session.
I've estimated that it takes me about an hour to write 1,000 words. Committing to this goal of 50,000 in a month is really exciting and daunting. It's also flexing muscles that I haven't used in a long time - not since high school when my head had a lot less adult stuff to worry about. Perhaps I'll do a video blog about my progress later after typing. As it stands, I've finished a little over 14,000 words in seven days. That's a record for me, and I hope to keep it going. There are too many stories I want to tell and I don't want to take years to do it. All it takes is a little discipline and the story will grow over time. Just don't look at the whole and you won't get (too) discouraged!
If you're also doing NaNo this month, best of luck! I hope you get to the end with a book on the page - or at least a portion of a book, for those who are crazy prolific!