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NaNoWriMo: Bending the Rules

So, I might be cheating just a little bit.

The official rules for NaNoWriMo state:

Just be sure to only count words written during the month.

Now, I have about 15k of a previous draft of GISELLE sitting on my hard drive. It covers quite a bit of the same material in this draft, with differences. And I really like the way I wrote most of it.

For the most part I’m just using it as a brain-crutch. “What happens next? Right, then she asks about that…” That makes the new writing go a lot quicker. And every so often I borrow a phrase that I really liked.

Then there was last night. With roughly 1,500-2000 words I wanted to use verbatim. And I was tired. So I copied over snippets and augmented them, deleted some stuff, etc. But for the most part, it’s the same words.

Cheating? Yes. Definitely cheating. But, for every thousand I copy, I’m going to increase my total goal. I was already shooting for 55k this year, just to be safe. So for now I’m alright, so long as I don’t lift much more. If I do, I will up my goal.

Why am I allowing myself this? Because my ultimate goal is a final draft, not just to reach 50k. I know I can write 50k in 30 days, I’ve done it before. I’ve done 80k in 30 days. And while it is always a challenge, it’s not the be-all and end-all. I’m more interested in coming out of this with a draft I can use.

If that means I blast through a couple of chapters by referencing what I wrote before and my final output is closer to, say, 60-65k, so be it. In fact, that would be a good thing. It would mean I have a true draft, as my target word length is in that range.

So, I’m veering off the NaNo Path but I’m not beating myself up over it. And you shouldn’t, either. There is always the Way of the Rebel.

Now, I’m going back to work.

Screenshot 2015-11-03 10.38.51

NaNoWriMo, Day 3

So, how’s that fancy graph thing working out? Not. So. Hot.

Screenshot 2015-11-03 10.01.10

As you can see, I’m well below the plan. But, Days 1 and 2 both managed to beat the daily minimums, so there’s that.

Day 1 was a blast. We held a midnight KOP at a diner and I wrote over a thousand in less than an hour of warring. But, sleep was a distinct issue. My bedtime these days is 10:30 to read, 11:15 to be conked out. So getting home and to bed by 2:30am did a number on me. And then I was up to be at the coffee shop at 10am for all the morning birds. I’m some kind of masochist. I did finish the day with 3,268 words, though. Then I spent the evening playing catch up. Work has ordered me to take a class which is a good 15+ hours a week of class time and homework. I had missed Saturday’s class (Halloween wedding!) and had to watch the video from that class then try to do the homework.

Day 2 was much trickier. I was still trying desperately to finish my homework before class that night. I got maybe an hour and a half to write, but I managed to bump my count over 4,500.

Today I’ll be happy if I can meet The Pacemaker’s goal for Day 1, which was 5,594. That’ll still put me above the minimum of 5000 for today. The goal after hitting that will be 6,666, tomorrow’s minimum. That would be 1,100 for the day. Next goal is 1667 for the day, or  7,261. Stretch goal is 8,298, which is where the Pacemaker says I should’ve been on Day 2.

See? I have manageable, chunky goals. And that’s how you motivate yourself. Small achievements. Before you know it I’ll be tackling 10k.

I do have homework but I’ll worry about it tonight. Today is for work and squeezing in writing. And I do mean squeezing.

How are things going story-wise? Well, I’m in the 4th chapter. Which, if you do the math, gives me just a little over 1k per chapter. If I keep that up, I’m going to run out of story at 45k because I’ve only planned 45 chapters. At which point I’ll have to start inventing like mad, because this novel is supposed to be over 60k. I’m really hoping things start bulking up soon.