December 2001

Monday, December 03, 2001

How It All Started

On October 26, 2001 I read an article in the Los Angeles Times about National Novel Writing Month (November). I was intrigued with the idea of writing a novel and had even begun one earlier in the year that I later abandoned. I wanted very badly to try again, so I signed up along with 5,000 others to commit myself to 50,000 words in 30 days.

What Happened
What followed was a tumultuous month. The minor setbacks of illness (bronchitis) and a week-long visit by my mother were not enough to deter me from my goal.  Yes, as hard as it seemed for me to believe, I did complete my first novel, The Exchange.

How It Happened

Day 1 - stellar start. I’m working on a book that I started early this year and later abandoned after 14,000 words. I’ve not looked at it since and I am restarting from memory. WordCount - 3,032

Day 2 - booted up, sat down. Not feeling well, I made some tea. Came back to the computer and typed “Chapter Three.” Saved file. Went back to bed. WordCount - 3,034

Day 6 - hoping the antibiotics will kick in soon, I sit down and write a fair number of pages and actually feel pretty good about it. WordCount - 4,853

Day 7 - getting a little stir crazy, I decide to try this “writing in a cafe” thing that so many of the laptoppers talk about. I get a good amount done in 2 hours, but I find the sound of people eating distracting. WordCount - 7,699

Day 8 - Mom is coming today, gotta clean. WordCount - 7,699

Day 9 - Mom and I went fabric shopping then visited the National Headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship up in Mt. Washington. I feel invigorated and plan on writing lots tomorrow about what my characters know about upholstery and meditation gardens.  WordCount - 7,699

Day 10 - spent some time goofing around, playing with my website. Emailed my sister a long letter, then realized that I had written over a thousand words to her, that could have been good NaNo stuff. Did over 1,500, which is good for a day I didn’t actually budget into my schedule. WordCount - 9,371

Day 11 - went to Laguna to see my in-laws. Had a lovely time. Trying to figure out how to add the experience to my novel. Didn’t write, but will try tomorrow. WordCount - 9,371

Day 15 - my mother is on a plane home and I can now get back to this. I have set a new goal for myself, 5,000 words a day for 10 days (with a few days of for Thanksgiving and the other relatives. Went to Coffee Table in Silverlake and got 3,000 words under my belt. WordCount - 12,096

Day 16 - through sheer force of will, I wrote a little under 3,000 distracted words today and took five hours to do it. I’ve signed up another WriMo to be my local adversary to try to get 4,000 words a day. WordCount - 14,824

Day 17 - got a good bit done, 1,930 words. Realized that I had miscounted the days in the month (I was looking at October and thought that I only had until next Wednesday to finish this puppy). WordCount - 16,754

Day 19 - buoyed by a compliment by Erika in a radio interview, I wrote what I consider to be 2,238 rather good words. WordCount - 21,030

Day 20 - I have a reading of a play of mine this afternoon at a local theatre, which has me wrapped in angst. Also, I woke with a start this morning as I realized that I have some huge continuity errors and am paralyzed to continue until I decide whether to go back and fix them, or just continue (which will make more work for myself when/if I revise). WordCount - 24,101

Day 20.5 - I couldn’t sleep and got up at 1:30 with a mind to getting some more words in. After meeting Tom (my mano-a-nano adversary) in person, I had to do more than 975 words today. WordCount - 25,076

Day 24 - a prolonged power outage in my neighborhood was all I needed to get me to the coffee shop to write. I logged 5,000 words and made it home in time to go out to a movie. The plot moved along well to, and I think I might actually get getting somewhere. WordCount - 35,025

Day 25 - back to the cafe and another 5,000 words. My characters have backed off of each other as I try to tease a few more words out before the climax. This puppy’s gonna need a lot of revision to be read-worthy. WordCount - 40,388

Day 26 - the social side of me likes it when other wrimos join me at the cafe, but my wordcount suffers. Only 2,200 today, but it is still within my goals of reaching 50K. Problem now is not reaching the wordcount, but finding a way to wrap it up. WordCount - 42,589

Day 28 - I’ve been going like gangbusters on the 5K days, though part of me wants to go back and fix some things that glare at me now as huge mistakes. But I must push forward. Fabulous get together with NaNoAcrossAmerica Wrimo Victoria at the Coffee Table. WordCount - 48,512

Day 29 - Though distracted with finalizing the party, I manage to finish my final 1,200 words and at least cross the finish line. I still need an ending, but that can be arranged. WordCount - 50,046

Day 30 - between planning the party and lots and lots of emails, I managed to bring it all to a close with a grand total of 51,426. The ending is not what I’d call “good” but I have signed up for National Novel Editing Month.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:36 pm     NaNoWriMo













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.