NaNoWriMo 2020 – First 2 Days!

Posted on November 3, 2020by benjaminfrog

Hey everyone! How’s your NaNo project doing so far?

I know it’s only Day 3 now, but that’s plenty of time to get a sense of how well you have or have not prepared. I’m finding myself struggling a bit with this project compared to last year’s, despite taking a similar approach.

For religious reasons I’ve made sure to designate myself a day of rest each week (usually Sunday but it changes depending on the week), which means that instead of doing the standard 1,667 words a day I’m having to do an average of 1,924 words a day to make up the difference. But that math is hard to remember, so I just round it out to 2,000 words a day.

In fact, in this particular November there are actually 5 Sundays instead of 4, which means 25 work days if I end up only taking Sundays off, and after I did the math I realized I could do exactly 2,000 words a day for the 25 work days in November and end up with exactly the required 50,000 words by November 30!

Of course, it’s not likely to be that simple. Vampires Vs. Dragons ended up being roughly 56,000 words in total by the time I finished the rough draft. In other words, by the time I reached 50,000 words, I hadn’t finished the story yet! It was a good thing I managed to get ahead of schedule with that project, because I also had self-editing to do on top of that before the month finished. Even on the final day and up to the last hour I was adding bits of stuff. I remember it took me until the final day of NaNo to come to a decision about what the final scene should be.

I had come at it with the expectation that I would get to the end of the story, have some time and words left, and have to invent some filler scenes, which I was prepared to do, but as is often the case with my stories they end up being longer than expected as new material comes to mind. I have to be prepared for that with this project as well, and get ahead of schedule as soon as I can so I’ve got some margin.

As you all know, this year NaNoWriMo actually began on a Sunday, which could have been a challenge for me to ‘hit the ground running’ as I like to. But I count my days off from waking up to falling asleep, and I’m a late sleeper, so I actually managed to get some writing done on the first day (my Saturday night) and update my progress before going to bed.

I managed 2,240 words on the first day, and not even a full day of work! That was an encouraging start. I cheated a little bit in that I only did a small part of my opening scene and then really wanted to write out a scene that I’d had solid in my head for almost a year, so that was a little easier to get written down. I did want to take the approach of writing everything in chronological order, but then felt I’d rather make sure certain things got written down before I forgot them.

It was a minor detail, but I remembered something I had meant to include in Vampires Vs. Dragons that I forgot about once I actually got to that point in the story. Nothing heartbreaking to lose, but the experience has left me more cautious with future NaNo projects.

As I write this I’m about halfway through my second day of work, and first full day, and I’m at 2,959 words after writing a bit more of the opening and a piece of dialogue I love so much that I’ve been quoting it to myself over and over trying to make sure I remember it. It’s good to finally have it written down!

I’ve got another 1,041 words to do before meeting my personal quota for today, so I better get back to it. And maybe actually at some point complete the opening – that might be good!

~ Ben

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