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Okay, so I've been doing a lousy job keeping updates coming. This novel came to be too quickly and I didn't have much background to give for it. However, this has been a monumental NaNo for me. Every other time, I leapt in with focus and confidence, blew through the majority of the word count in the first couple weeks if not the first week, and then danced my way to the finish line before Thanksgiving.

This year wasn't like that.

November posed some unusual challenges for me this year. First off, I was still struggling with an off balance summer that had put me behind on practically everything, then set me up for the desperate need to write so I started a novel in September which had to be finished in time to prep something for NaNo. So, I had already decided to go for a NaNo proper and 50k rather than a completed, full-length novel.

I'd also determined that I'd have to keep working on the Seeing Is Believing edit throughout November because I needed to finish it and the Con Shirt edit on top of everything else.

Then Holly Lisle, who I do programming work for, needed a major back end release for her shop to coincide with her new offerings (fun stuff that you should go check out:

Oh, and I managed to catch my second flu of the year (after the shot :p), because I was so drained from all the running around that exhaustion made me vulnerable. However, I do have to add that this is pretty standard. I seem to get a flu or serious exhaustion-based illness pretty much every year with NaNo. The difference this year was that I'd already had a very serious flu back in October :p.

The upshot of it was that there were five days on which I did nothing, a handful more on which I did less than 1k, and I ended up in a bit of a scramble at the end rather than coasting my way to easy victory.

What have I learned beyond the obvious of not over scheduling myself (something I'm sure to ignore ;))? Though many tout writing every day as the only way, the right way, the way to tell a writer from a wannabe, I'm not an every day writer. It is more draining for me to push a little out consistently than it is to do leaps and bounds. If I can devote a whole focused day and blow out 5k-10k, I end up with more energy than if I do 1k-2k every day for five days. March Madness (40k in seven days) is easier on me than NaNo and I have the rest of the month to prep for it and get other things done.

Which is not to say that I can't write every day, or even consistently. It's more that I can't handle being obligated to, and more to the point, obligated to write more than what I can in my morning hour. That one hour can be anything from 200 to 2000 words, though more often in the 1000-1200 range. Doing that as the first thing after breakfast doesn't seem to have any negative impact at all. It's slower than I'm used to producing, but it blends nicely with my other critting, editing, programming, etc. responsibilities.

So does this mean I'll never do NaNo again? Are you kidding? I'm practically an addict ;). But I think I'll plan to bull rush the beginning from now on so that when I start coasting, I'll have my words well in hand :).

Oh, and yes, the release went off beautifully. And no, Seeing is not done. Sigh. But Sorcery is :D.

And my NaNo novel stats:
New Words: 1322 words (Today to tidy off the ending)
51 scenes
51 complete - 100% of the novel
53169 Final Total - with an average of 1043 words per scene.

Oh, and do note that all my stress (which I think I put in a post) about it being too short was irrelevant. It did not end up at the 54k initially predicted, but came pretty darn close :).

...On further review, it looks like I didn't post about it coming in short. Be grateful :). The last thing you needed was to hear me whining about how this novel would be coming in at 36k, leaving me scrambling for something to fill the 14k hole for NaNo.
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Okay, so I completely flubbed the outline marathon on Forward Motion by starting a day early and getting the most scenes on that day, but I now have a workable outline for Sorcery and the Perfect Dress even if it doesn't have that many scenes. The title is less important now because it's not about prom and it's not really about the dress, though the concept is in there. I'm liking the story a lot. Whether it'll work is a whole 'nother question but it'll get written at least :).

As the outline stands now, there are 36 scenes and an estimated length of 54,000 based on an average of 1500 words per scene.

So, I have this grand plan for NaNo...

But first, a funny story.

My husband and I usually take a walk at night to get a smidge of exercise and some quiet time to talk about our days without the boys bouncing around distracting us.

There we are, walking along, and I'm telling him about my grand plan for NaNo. I've had a horrible year and at the same time done a lot of writing, my therapy, so I said I don't really need another book this year.

He jerks to a halt and stares, wild-eyed, at me. I'm like, What? He just waves me to continue and I explain how I plan to do a normal NaNo rather than go for a full book. He sighs with relief. He'd been having visions of me panicking on the 11th, charging out to write 10k+ a day all the way through Thanksgiving (when my parents are coming for a visit) and being stressed and awful the rest of the month.

He failed to realize I'm smarter than that now. There's no point in even pretending I won't do NaNo...otherwise his scenario is all too likely.

But my grand plan is this. First of all, Sorcery is currently predicted to be only 54k. In previous years when something has come in that low, I've started a second book, but I'm not doing that this year. This year, I will get my 1667 a day with the exception of write-ins and then move on to my editing tasks that have been sorely neglected this year. If all goes well, I'll complete NaNo with at least one of my editing projects also in the bag. Even if all I get is progress on the editing, it'll be an improvement on my present state, right?

And the writing note of interest:

Holly Lisle, a favorite author of mine and one who does a lot to help other writers, is offering a teleseminar and a writing newsletter with writing prompts and the like. I'm part of her affiliate program and so she told us about this a little early. Anyway, if you're interested in checking out either the teleseminar or the newsletter, you can use the below links. In the interests of full disclosure :), they are tied into my affiliate program, but they'll get you where you need to be to learn about these new offerings.

The Teleseminar:

The Newsletter:


NaNo 2007

Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:26 pm
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New story -- brand new. And now planned for NaNo because I really am insane. You'd think Con Shirt would have protected me from this, but there you go. I guess this year has been so crazy that I need a LOT of writing to compensate.

The first title was Sorcery and the Perfect Prom Dress. That can't be the title anymore because oddly there's no football with cheerleaders in spring. So not prom. Oh and it was supposed to be funny. Not working out that way so far. Gone from humorous to sweet romance. At least it's still a romance. Oh, and now it's a paranormal, actually it was from the beginning but it took me some 26 scenes to figure out that, hey, demon? That's paranormal.

Sigh. I'm just hoping the story comes together in a tight package in time for NaNo. It's that or I pull out one of my other outlines. I've given up on trying not to do NaNo. Every time that's been the plan, the weekend before I grab an existing outline and run for it.

So this is the plan right now. We'll see what comes of it after this story achieves full outline...and even what type of story it ends up.

And stats:
26 scenes
39,000 Estimated length


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Margaret McGaffey Fisk

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