NaNoWriMo half done, pushing past 50k

by Jon

Yesterday marked the midpoint to the madness of National Novel Writing Month, which means you need to be at 25,000 words to be at par with completing on November 30th. Now of course, even though I already passed the magical 50,000 word threshold last Friday, I’ve still got plenty of writing ahead to finish the first draft of “Hester and the Kookaburra King”.

So where am I at now? I have completed 68 of the 110 scenes that I planned out in October, so roughly 62% of the story. I’m still tweeting my progress at @jonthysell, but here’s a quick chart:

Graph of progress by scene for the first 15 days writing Hester and the Kookaburra King

As you can see, so far I’ve been able to maintain pace and keep a decent buffer of scenes ahead of me. I’m very satisfied with my plan to write my outline last month, as it front-loaded a lot of the headaches of trying to decide where the story should go next. I haven’t had to worry about writing myself into holes, and overall it’s given me more time to just spill words onto the page.

More so, because I didn’t outline every single detail, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to modify the outline as necessary, without having to worry about upsetting the overall balance of the book. By outlining just the core plot elements that I need to drive the plot, I’m free to provide as much “flavor” to a scene as I want. So far, some of my favorite scenes only barely meet the outline’s bar, allowing things to happen that I never would have imagined last month.

Also, I’m finding that this year my preferred writing domain has changed. My first two years I wrote the most during my bus commute, listening to music blaring in my headphones. When I did write at home it was on my couch and coffee table, or if I was “serious” on my desktop. I even resorted to using tools like my PunishPad in order to boost my word count.

This year, even though I still write a little on the bus, or on my lunch break, I get the majority of my writing done at home sitting up in bed. When I’m out I listen to music just to drown out any distractions, but at home I prefer silence, and sometimes I even wear earplugs. I aim to hit the 1667 quota by 8:30pm, and then I’m under the covers, and until midnight I’ve got my head down in FocusWriter, tapping away.

Anyway, here’s 423 words that could have gone toward my novel. Better get back to writing!

/jon