How many of you are doing NaNo? How many are feeling good about how you’re doing? What is your secret to success?
I’m having a great time this year, but then again, I get a rush out of NaNo and have each time I’ve participated. This is my third year, and I will blow the roof off this sucker once more.
I have lots motivating me. First of all, my very first NaNo project will be available in print December 1. Exactly two years after I completed my first NaNo. Woot! Yes, Frozen, a book given 4 stars by Romantic Times Book Reviews, is my first print book. I’m so excited my family can hardly stand me and my RWA chapter is ready to dunk me in the next frozen pond they can find just to get me to chill a little. Unfortunately there's just such a pond not far from my house...
Last year I worked on a couple of projects, finishing one and starting another. Both of those are contracted by Lyrical Press as well. Chinook Wine and Sink Her (named a Reviewer Top Pick at Night Owl Romance Reviews recently) was started during NaNo and finished this last summer when I drove to Circle, Alaska to put the final details in. The electronic version went on sale in September, with the print version available this coming March. The other book I worked on, Cowboys Dream Too, can be picked up in ebook next April.
So yes, NaNo has been good to me.
What’s on the docket for this year? An off-planet, futuristic with a taste of the old west custom of mail order brides. Actually, I’m starting Book 2. More to come on the actual plots of books 1 and 2 later. We’ve reached the midway point of the month and I’m 30,000 words into my project. And I owe it all to my friends.
This year I didn’t start out quite as jazzed. I had no plot, no idea, was in fact planning to work on another idea I came up with last year. But nothing was gelling, at least not the way I was expecting it to.
This is where my friends come in. Many of them are writers too. One in particular, had a goal to finish a book by the Emerald City conference so we starting doing NaNo-like word challenges. We’d pick one day a week and we’d write. Phones were ignored, and people were told to go away. We were writing. We’ve done this by IM, in person at one another’s homes, and even out at a deli with free refills at the fountain. What works for us, is for 30 minutes we write. No talking, chatting, wandering around trying to work through problems. Write. Fingers to the keyboard and moving for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, we’d break for 15-20, compare word counts, bio break, get snacks, then at the sound of Go! We were off again. For 30 minutes.
I now know my average is somewhere around 750 words in thirty mins. I’ve gone over 1000 (while writing a fight scene) or slogged along around 300 words (Okay, so sometimes you have to take a phone call – like when DH is bringing home dinner). But every 30 minute session carries us both closer to our goal. Currently the goal is 2000 words or more a day. I tend to do 3000 over the course of an afternoon. I’ve gone over the 5000 word mark, but that’s not so common.
Last night I crossed over the 30,000 word mark. I’m ahead of the pace by 5000 words. A little behind where I was at this time last year, but you know what? I’m going to make it. I have no doubt about it. And when I’m done, I’ll have another book just about completed. Okay, so I can’t seem to write under 100k by much. I’m working on that.
I want to hear your NaNo stories. Are any of your published or about to be published books a direct result of the NaNo challenge? What are you working on this year and where are you? How’s it going? Flowing? Fighting you? We’re happy to welcome anyone who wants to join our timed sessions. All it takes is YIM and a desire to push yourself and set a new benchmark for a personal best.
Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight