National Novel Writing Month: done and dusted

NaNoWriMo 09 winnerIt hurt.  But I managed to get 50,000 words written through the month of November.  Some interesting facts about them:

  • It’s actually 50,021 words long (by the NaNoWriMo.org counter) or 50,219 (as counted by Google Docs);
  • The word cloud suggests I use the word ‘back’ a lot;
  • Printed, it forms a pile that’s 13.15mm high (plus or minus 0.01mm).

Beauford by Sean M Elliott

It’s interesting to look back at how my word count progressed.  Once you’re behind it’s really hard to catch up.  (There’s a few days where I was internet-free, hence the enormous jump around day 15/16).

NaNoWriMo Stats Sean

Overall, I’m happy with the finished product.  I’ve learned some useful skills, and discovered quite a lot of themes I’m passionate about working their way into the text: illusion, automatons, weird Lovecraftian horror.

So right now I’m going to stick it in a drawer for a few weeks, then look at it again after I’ve focussed on things like my family and work and life in general.

I would suggest to anyone who is serious about writing to do it next year to help kick-start if you’re having trouble putting your pen to paper.  For me, though, one NaNoWriMo will possibly be enough.

National Novel Writing Month: a hint for finishing

I’m around six thousand words behind the daily count and only have seven days to complete the total fifty thousand words. In my case, that’s another twenty thousand words in one week.

And being that I have work and family that consume most of my daily time, I really am having to find those gaps, like pouring sand into a jar full of stones.

Which brings me to the key realisation I’ve had this past month. If I want to be a writer and earn a living off writing, then I need to be physically fit. After all of the physical energy that work and a toddler demands, I don’t want to then sit at a desk and fall asleep.

If I want to pull out all the stops and actually complete the 50,000 this week, here’s my biggest hint to myself. Don’t drink. Not one drop of alcohol until 50,000 is done and dusted.

So if there are any other NaNoWriMos who are a bit behind, let’s lay off the drink together and finish this thing.

30,440 words and counting.

National Novel Writing Month: Some observations

Observation the first:  Writing 50,000 words in a month is hard.

(Corollary the first: Made harder if you have a full time job and family…)

Observation the second:  Breaking the task down into 1,000 word bites makes it much easier

(After just a week of this, I found I could tear through one thousand words fairly easily, withing thirty to forty minutes.  And I didn’t have to resort to characters reading slabs of the dictionary.)

Observation the third:  50,000 words eats ideas like a super massive black hole.

(My dad has recently been getting strange phone calls from me picking his brain for stories from the abattoir and what sort of gun you’d take to go spotlighting for rabbits.)

Observation the fourth: Instead of 50,000 words, write fifty thousand words.  It’s more words.

Right now I’m 26,000 or so and have about 9 days to go.  I feel some late nights coming on.

My NaNoWriMo page.