I tried NaNoWriMo in 2010 and didn’t get past the second day, I did 3,133 word. Things came up that soon derailed my efforts.
My novel idea is one I have had since college, just a few years ago (ahem!), and ideas and things keep coming to mind. I would see articles online, and email them to myself to add to my Novel label in Gmail.
I did figure out how to make the story “work” in 2010 with a central theme it all hangs on. This year, I am picking up the torch and trying to finish this thing. It’s a fantasy/science fiction story.
I am ahead and can’t believe I’ve passed 22,000 words of new stuff, and I didn’t write for a couple days. I have another commitment on Wednesdays – the weekly G+/Roll20 game I play in, so I have at least one day off from writing each week. I write a chapter at a time. I just figure out what the goal/idea is for the chapter and start writing, but picking up where the last chapter left off. I am amazed at the way the ideas are coming together. Most of it is like a detailed outline with more action and little dialogue. I am disciplining myself and not correcting every little error as I type. I only correct words that I need to be right to make sense when I come back to it. I make a tentative chapter title to describe the goal/theme to write for the next chapter. I just start writing and it comes out. It may not be any good, but it mostly makes sense. It is definitely better than the junk I tried to write in the dark ages back in high school.
I plan to write until I finish the last chapter. I figure there are 4 or 5 chapters for the end/resolution/conclusion, but I have a lot of middle to do. I didn’t do a formal outline, I just know where I want to go with it and how it ends. December and January are my busiest time of year at work, so I will let it sit and work on the second draft sometime after January. Famous last words.
What’s funny is that I haven’t picked the name of the hero, so I just write Hero. I figure I can do a search and replace when I settle on a name.
I think that it has helped that I have more than one blog and for this one I have an article almost every day, often writing multiple articles in a single sitting and then scheduling their publication into the future. I did the April 2014 A to Z challenge for two blogs, one for genealogy and this one. I figured out my topic for each day and had most of them done before the end of the first week. Normally, I have a terrible time coming up with topics. But as I get into this blogging thing and striving for an article a day, it seems that all writing is easier.
I use the programmable text editor NoteTab. I set up an outline document with my notes and miscellaneous ideas and one topic per day. If I write more than one chapter, and keep going, I make a new topic for the same day, but do A,B, etc. I then copy and paste each day’s writing into a single document and use the built-in word count feature.
[EDIT 11/10/2014] I wrote this post a few days ago and scheduled it to post today. I am now over 30,000 words. It is pretty clear that I will exceed 50,000 words in writing this book, at least for a first draft. Amazing!