A NaNoWriMo postmortem, 2010 in numbers

by Jon

It’s finally December, and with National Novel Writing Month over, I thought it would be fun to put up some statistics about how the month went for me. Let’s look at those word counts!

Scenes per Day

Graph of the scenes written per day for NaNoWriMo 2010

Goal: 3.7 scenes per day
Average:
4.3 scenes per day
Least: 1 scene on 11/22 (0 on 11/19, when I took a break)
Most: 9 scenes on 11/20 and 11/26

Buffer Average: 8.8 scenes ahead
Least Buffer: 1.2 scenes ahead on 11/04
Most Buffer: 14.8 scenes ahead on 11/26

Words per Scene

Graph of the words written per scene for NaNoWriMo 2010

Goal: 500 words per scene
Average:
907 words per scene
Least: 600 words
Most: 1,580 words

In addition to the text in the scenes themselves, there were 231 words of titling in the story.

Words per Day

Graph of the words written per day for NaNoWriMo 2010

Goal: 1,667 words per day
Average:
3,881 words per day
Least: 1,305 words on 11/22 (0 on 11/19, when I took a break)
Most: 8,357 words on 11/20

Past Years

Just for comparison’s sake, I’ve whipped up these charts to show how well I did my first two years doing NaNoWriMo.

Granger (NaNoWriMo 2009)

I had a lot of distractions in 2009, but ended up hitting 50,003 words, just over the finish line.

Graph of th words written per day for NaNoWriMo 2009

Goal: 1,667 words
Average:
1,724 words
Least: 245 words on 11/06 (0 on a couple of days)
Most: 6,003 words on 11/01

10,000 Butterflies (NaNoWriMo 2008)

My first year for NaNoWriMo, and I got 52,644 words out of head and into that text file.

Graph of the words written per day for NaNoWriMo 2008

Goal: 1,667 words
Average:
1,755 words
Least: 177 words on 11/19 (0 on a couple of days)
Most: 5,536 words on 11/29

Three Years of NaNoWriMo

And because I couldn’t resist, here’s all three years side by side.

Graph of words written per day for NaNoWriMo 2008 to 2010

NaNoWriMos Won: 3/3
Quickest Win:
12 days in 2010
Longest Win:
29 days in 2008, 2009

Eventually I’ll get around to posting a more qualitative postmortem for this year’s novel writing adventure.

/jon

Note: The program I used this year, FocusWriter, while awesome in many respects, had one little flaw; namely that it counted hyphenated words (guard-mouse) as two words. The algorithm that NaNoWriMo uses (wc -w on unix systems) does not. I didn’t realize this until the middle of the month, so all of my numbers are slightly inflated. For example:

Word count (wc -w): 100,227
Word count (FocusWriter): 100,916

So overall that’s 689 hyphenated “extra” words, which I think is statistically insignificant enough to ignore. Since I don’t have the “real” numbers for each day, there’s nothing really I can do about it now. Anyway, onwards!