NaNo Update: Down to the Wire

As I write this, I have 36 hours left to reach 50,000 words and “win” the annual National Novel Writing competition, the goal of which is to reach that word count with an original first draft of a novel in just 30 days.

I kept pace with the daily word count until last weekend, when I reached the end of my story. What followed was an intense period of brainstorming as I frantically searched my brain to invent new plot lines to extend the story. I was at 35,000 words on November 21 with only the denouement to write. I wasn’t going to make it to 50,000 words unless I came up with a new story line. I was ready to throw in the towel. It didn’t help when I went back to rewrite a scene that didn’t work (a real no-no in Nano land) and I ended up having to change several other scenes and I ended up losing 300 words. Okay it did create a much better story.

I took a day off to regroup, and then I decided I had come this far. I just couldn’t give up. My brain miraculously came up with a way to extend the story and create new tension. I had back to back 1,800-word days on Monday and Tuesday, but I had fallen way behind thanks to my unproductive weekend. I was determined to catch up. I even wrote 1,000 words on Thanksgiving and I am up to almost 4,000 words today, but the clock is ticking.

I will update my status on Sunday, but I have to get back to my story.

If you are doing NaNo, how is it going? Keep writing!


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9 responses to “NaNo Update: Down to the Wire

  1. I am so proud of you — write write write WRITE!

  2. It’s my first year, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it!

    I think re-writing is okay. Ending with a draft that is unworkable just because you ‘tried to get the words down’ is a waste of time, and month, in my opinion. I think you did the right thing!

  3. patrick

    Keep going Chris. I think sometimes pressure forces you into wild ideas that you would otherwise reject, and then you find a gem. Patrick

  4. You can do it!!!! 🙂

    I’m only at 15k, sadly. I was super busy earlier in the month, and only in the last week have I really managed to get going. It’s been fun, though, and I think I’ve got a really great basis for a story going, so I’m pleased!

  5. Impressive! This is what I loved and had fun with about NaNo (my first year)… that it really encouraged me to stretch and think and (well) write things I might not have written. Like another commenter said, the pressure helps. I’m rooting for you. (p.s. I counted the deleted words, btw; I mean I did write them, and when I deleted, I put them in a “deleted words” section of the ms at the end). Can’t wait to hear the outcome!

    • Julia,
      Thanks for your support. I actually won this year again. I wrote 7,600 words on Friday and finished early Saturday morning. I’m exhausted, but happy. Extreme pressure can produce great results.

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