NaNoWriMo Day 4

Word Count at Midnight: 4574

As I feared, day three saw only a handful of words. Fridays are busy at work and my game night. Instead of writing I watched Ice Pirate and The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. We were short over half our D&D part so had a movie night. I need to do morning sessions on Fridays or accept it is a day off.

Day 4 of the Everyday Novelist is about building the team of characters, main character, you need as writer.

NaNoWriMo Day 3

Word Count at Midnight: 4475

I got just over the average daily required word count writing 1841 words compared to a required 1667. I start today with 2.68 days worth of writing done. As discussed yesterday, I do not see this as a chance to slack off.

I do, however, think I will win NaNoWriMo early. At this pace I should hit 50,000 words on the 27th.

My model novel is in the 60,000 word range. However, after the next couple of scenes I will certainly start diverging from it so I am not sure if I will hit a similar word count.

Writing Day 3 of the Everyday Novelist actually touches on this shift as today the topic is outlines and how to use them without smashing creative freedom.

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Word Count at Midnight: 2634

One day in I got a little over one-and-a-half times the needed average daily word count. For taking a day off of work which might not seem like a lot However, as I’m using NaNoWriMo to re-establish my daily writing habit I want to have fairly even days while recognizing days without the day job are chances to get a boost.

I would like to get my average word count to sit around 2,000 words a day. For me that is less than two hours if I’m really feeling it. As someone with a mentally taxing day job I think two hours on a typical workday is probably a good limit to not overtax myself. I think I will probably average about 1500 on those days with two hours. Adding in three hours on Saturdays and Sundays plus an average of one weekday off per month and thinking those are good days of 3000 words I will hit about 1950 words per day in an average month.

So, 2634 is a good day off to start establishing this pattern. It is the kind of pace which can produce a short story in a long weekend assuming we use the Hugo definition of a short story as less than 7,500 words. It will also produce a novelette by the Hugo definition (7,501-17,500) in a week.

This is not an unreasonable pace. We have had our sights set by limitations in publishing in the past thirty years at least some of which were artifical. For production pipeline reasons many publishers limited authors to one or maybe two books a year. Out of fear of dilution authors who wrote in multiple genres were pushed to use pen names. Several of my favorite authors have three or more pen names allowing the publishing of six or more books a year.

With modern indie publishing we have an opening for publishing closer to the height of the pulp era from the 1920s to 1950s. An icon of that era, Lester Dent, could turn out two Doc Savage novels a month. They were pretty short, probably Hugo novellas (17,500-40,000 words) as often as Hugo novels. Assuming they were right on the border (maybe tonight I'll do some word counts) that would be 80,000 words a month or 2600 words per day. He was also writing other stories at the same time.

With my goal of a career change on May 10, 2026 and a goal of writing 1,000,000 I am willing to submit for publication (shorts) or self-publish (novels) as my apprenticeship over the next few years 2,000 words per day is the bottom end of the acceptable range. It would get the apprenticeship done before May 10, 2019.

So, if you are looking to NaNoWriMo to establish the writing habit I think you should shoot for the 1667 minimum daily every day with no more than 2500 on long days. Consistancy is your goal.

Finally, as we do each day, here is J. Daniel Sawyer walking you through day 2.. It fits very well into the establishing a habit conversation.

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Word Count at Post: 1403

And so it beings. Actually, it began about 12 hours ago with a kickoff write-in at Taco Mac near Perimeter Mall north of Atlanta.

I’m “borrowing” a rough outline and structure from a novel I consider very archetypical. I am, however, already adding new twists while panicking that anyone reading will only see the theft.

I do see one personal hallmark, an influence from Discordianism, already in the world building. Nothing blatant but still there.

Today, J. Daniel Sawyer talks about the blank page. Perhaps you are past that already but The Every Day Novelist episode 2 is worth a listening. If nothing else the reminder that while we need a problem on page one we don’t need the primary problem at that point. I wonder, based on the examples, we are better off without it there.

Good hunting fellow NaNo writers. See you tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo T Minus 1

Two last bits of NaNoWriMo prep.

Here is the [t-minus one episode of The Everyday Novelist][20] which was originally called “NaNoWriMo Every Month’.

As a blank page breaker I combined a bunch of first lines. Most are from what Robert Adams termed heroic adventure fantasy to describe his writings. Most of the first lines below are from novels that fit that description but there are a few others in there:

  1. Uttering a deep, deep groan of pleasure, Sunshine gathered her thick legs under her, sat up and then stood up, streaming water back into the wide, shallow brook.

  2. Karee Skaht, her bath done, squatted on a flat, sun-warmed rock at the riverside, letting the every constant wind dry her bare, sun-browned body.

  3. Bettylou Hanson set down the heavy, smelly slop bucket and paused for a moment on the upper porch of the Building of the Son to gaze through the deepening dusk across the neat acres of gardens immediately surrounding the Abode of the Chosen.

  4. A bit before sunrise, young Thoheeks Bili of Morguhn was wakened by one of his menservants.

  5. Erica Arenstein lay on her belly on the rocky earth, drops of sweat cutting rivulets through the dust that layered her face and dripping from her nose tip and chin.

  6. Although the camps scattered about the headquarters hill resounded with the raucous gaiety of the besieging army’s celebration of the year-end Sun Festival, the woman and eight men gathered about the board in the commander’s pavilion were subdued, drinking little and eating less.

  7. To the North thin smoke made a column against the darkening sky.

  8. The transition was so swift, and brief, that it seemed less than a tick of time lay between the moment I placed myself in Professor Hildebrandt’s strange machine, and the instant when I found standing upright in this clear sunlight that flooded a broad plain.

  9. Silence fell over the crowd in The Dancing Serpent as the six grey-clad soldiers marched into the room.

  10. To Constantinople came riders of horses of noble blood.

  11. His name was Brian, the eight man of that name to reign as Ard-Righ or High King of Eireann or Ireland, but Brian VIII was only seen on document or used orally by a filid as he sang the long, rhymed, often rambling genealogical records that had never been written in all the many centuries the had been compiled.

  12. With his crippled galleon under tow toward a destination know to none aboard save the herald, Sir Ali ibn Hussein Walid Dahub Pasha stood his quarterdeck at the side of the enemy’s emissary.

  13. Vahrohneeskos Drehkos Daiviz had gotten the last contingent of his peasant-pikemen across the stream and jogging toward Morguhnpolis before the Vawnee scouts galloped in to report the Confederation cavalry’s van to be no more than some two miles distant.

  14. Aside from rare border raids, there had been no real warfare within the boundaries of Bili Morguhn’s homeland for nigh a hundred years, though its armies and fleets were seldom idle.

  15. Briskly, the column of horsemen trotted onto the long, ancient bridge, steel-shod hooves ringing on the worn stones.

  16. In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor, beneath the hurtling moons of Mars, speeding their meteoric way close above the bosom of the dying planet, I crept stealthy along the trail of a shadowy form that hugged the darker place with a persistency that proclaimed the sinister nature of its errand.

  17. Lan Martak screamed in silent agony.

  18. Her footsteps crossed the cracked stone dais, leaving no impression in the fluorescent blue moss that covered the time-weathered stone like a cushion.

  19. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

  20. The farmers were big men.

  21. It was unfortunate that Doc Savage had never heard of John Sunlight.

  22. It was too bad the dog could not talk.

  23. In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was taking its siesta.

  24. How does it end?

  25. The valley that had no name ran between barren hills, a lot mottled floor of grey and green covered with soldier moss, lichens, and carpha grasses.

  26. My name is Tarl Cabot.

  27. My dad had problems, and that’s the only reason my sister and I are still alive.

  28. Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

  29. The rain pelted my hair, plastering loose strands of it to my forehead as I panted, eyes darting from tree to tree, terrified of each shifting branch, splash of water, and whistle of wind slipping through the nightscape around us.

  30. Vince looked at the board while his face screwed up into a frown.

  31. Sean looked both ways as he started across the street, not that there was much traffic during the day here at the university of Nevada.

The fun starts at midnight. Good hunting everyone.