NaNoWriMo 2010 Results

‘Way back in the beginning of November I posted that I’d be participating once again in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) once again. The object of the exercise, to refresh your memory, is to pound out a 50,000 word novel in the space of a month. Just because.

The fact that I’m just now revealing how I did should be your first clue. Yes, I’m a terrible procrastinator, which is one reason that, once again, I failed to make the leap to Novelist. I did set a personal record – 25,869 words – but the astute mathematical mind will note that this is nowhere near the necessary 50,000 words.

Ah, well. Next year.

NaNoWriMo 2010

It’s November again, time for the annual self-flagellation known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo (sometimes referred to as simply “NaNo”) is an annual challenge to budding writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. This year marks the fourth year I’ve participated. I’ve never won (“winning” is just completing the 50,000 word goal. There are no prizes except bragging rights), and last year  barely made it to 10,000.

This year I’m determined to cross the finish line; just as determined as I’ve been each year. On the first day I managed to knock out 1,668 words (average need to complete a novel in a month: 1,667). I think I have a few tricks to get to the goal. We’ll see.

For more info, visit the NaNoWriMo site.

NaNoWriMo Update #3

It’s official! For the third straight year, I am a NaNoWriMo Failure!

When last we met, I was “up to” 9300 words and change. This past week, I have added somewhere in the neighborhood of zero words. Despite the exciting prospect of adding several thousand words of sexual fantasies to my project, I chose to find other things to spend time on, like my job, my karate classes, watching football, etc.

Basically, this NaNoWriMo ended like the others I started, in a morass of frustration, excuses, distractions, and, ultimately, disinterest on my part.

November, in my rationalization, is not a good month for this. The latter part of the month may be productive for those without concern for family togetherness and power shopping, but during and after Thanksgiving, I’m in holiday mode, and spending several hours a day concerned with word count does not contribute to my Christmas spirit, Past, Present or Future.

So once again, I abandon my characters and replace the NaNoWriMo logo on my Facebook page with a generic photo of myself, and begin avoiding my friends who have more fortitude than I do, so I don’t have to answer the inevitable “How’s the writing going?”

Maybe I’ll try it again in February, just to see if I can do it. There’ll be no football, no holidays, no distractions.

We’ll see.

NaNoWriMo Update #2

Well, the short story (Ha!) is that I had an unpleasant week, particularly in regards to my writing. Or attempted writing, I should say.

To begin with, a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with macular degeneration in my left eye.  For about a year-and-a-half I received an injection of Avastin directly into my eye every other month, until my ophthalmologist was satisfied that the disease was under control; although I would never again have normal vision in that eye, at least things were not going to get worse. That was in July of ‘08.

I’ve been returning quarterly for checkups. Last week, iDoc (as I lovingly refer to him, since I have trouble pronouncing “ophthalmologist” in one take) saw a spot that concerned him,  ran some tests and found some hemorrhaging.

So this week began with another injection in my left eye. Lovely.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my karate nights; generally after class I’m not energetic enough to come up with plot points and snappy dialog.

I was able to get some writing done during work hours, but not enough to make up for the time I slacked off during my home hours.

Basically, while I should be at 23,338 to be on track for 50,000 words, my completed word count is 9,341.

What’s the solution for catching up? I have two strategies:

The first is a website I recently discovered called “Write or Die”. It’s been mentioned several time in the official NaNoWriMo forums. I gave it a quick try, and wrote 800 words in about 45 minutes, which is a good pace for me. There’s something about a virtual gun being held to you head which makes it easy to ignore your infernal internal editor and spew out prose at a furious pace.

The second is a shift in genre. Until I can get myself back on track, I’m turning from Science Fiction/Adventure to Porn. That’s right. You heard right. Have you ever read porn? Of course not. Neither have I. But I imagine there’s nothing really literary about it, just pages and pages of excruciating descriptions of activities that we all know and enjoy, but never discuss.

We’ll see if a few steamy (or seamy) sex scenes increases my word count to the point that my main character can return to his Sci-Fi Adventure refreshed and ready.

Check back next week.

NaNoWriMo Update #1

The first week is complete. How am I doing?

I ‘ve put 5461 words to paper. Er, virtual paper.  I should be at 11,669. So I could be doing better. Lots better.

I’ve read from others that have completed the 50,000 words in past years that the second week is easier than the first. We’ll see if that’s true for me.

Time for my characters to sing a lot of songs, have long, drawn-out dreams, and have copious amounts of sex, all written in excruciating detail.

That should get the ol’ word count up!

Wish me luck.


In a few hours, it will be November again, which means in a few hours it will be time for me to take another shot at writing a novel.

Yes, once again it’s National Novel Writing Month, in which several thousand people will spend 30 days attempting to create, if not The Great American Novel, at least a finished product.

While the event, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is usually referred to as “NaNoWriMo”, that’s about the only aspect that’s abbreviated. We’re not talking short stories or novellas here; the challenge is to complete a 50,000 word work of fiction in only 30 days (by way of example, the word counts of both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Of Mice and Men are roughly 50k).

Why? Why not!

I’ve attempted the feat three times now, and the best I did was about 17,000 words.

This year I intend to finish the task. Despite the full-time job, despite the teenager, despite Thanksgiving and Black Friday and football and decorating for Christmas, I will break the 50,000 word threshold.

Check back for weekly updates on why I’m getting behind.

(For more information about NaNoWriMo, visit