NaNoWriMo Day 3

NaNoWriMo par: 1,667 words/day
NaNoWriMo total: 5,000 words
Personal par: 2,000 words/day
Personal total: 6,783 words

I figured that today would be the first tough day of NaNoWriMo for me.  That’s because I knew well how to introduce the story and that the Prologue (which was written Sunday and Monday) would be almost like a self-contained short story.  Today I started Chapter 1 and I was less certain of how it would go.  That’s because I introduce 4 main characters in the chapter, provide some of their background details and also the purpose as to why they are gathering together.  In a short story, this could be done in a few paragraphs, but in a novel, it seems to me, more depth and back-story is required.  The tricky part for me is ensuring that the back-story is interesting, adds to the characters, and is relevant to the story as well.

I tackled it by assuming that my chapters would be long chapters, broken up by shorter sub-chapters.  In Chapter 1, therefore, there are 5 sub-chapters.  Four people are getting together for a meeting.  The first four sub-chapters introduce each of the four characters, as they wait for or arrive at the meeting site.  It gives some back-story and also illustrates (I hope) how the characters are interrelated.  The 5th sub-chapter will describe the meeting itself.  This has helped me frame some of the other chapters, too, which will introduce more characters, but also allows me to treat a chapter as a kind of short story (or novelette, or novella, as the case may be), with a specific theme, a beginning, middle, end, and carrying the overarching story forward one step at a time–while hopefully keeping the reader interested in both the story and the characters.

I was up at 5 am, after going to bed earlier than expected last night–after I decided that the Yankees probably would not win the series last night.  (They didn’t).  I got started around 5:10 am.  It was slow going at first, I think by 6 am, I had about 800 words, so that I wrote about 1,200 words in the last 70 minutes or so.  I wrote sub-chapters 1 and 2, and a few paragraphs of sub-chapter 3.  Just after 7 am, I finally checked my word count and found it to be 1,998 words.  So I added a few more sentences to give me a good start for tomorrow and finished the day off at 2,503 words, beating my personal goal for the third day in a row.  At 6,783 words, I am now 1,783 words above NaNoWriMo par for day 3, which means I could miss a full day of writing and still be on par.  I don’t plan on missing any days, however.  In fact, if I could manage it, I’d love to write more than 2,200 words tomorrow.  That would put me at the 9,000 word mark after just 4 days.

Incidentally, today I used my new Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Canceling headphones while writing.  I bought them yesterday to use while I am writing.  Although the office I have at the new house is by far the biggest (and nicest) I’ve had yet, there is no door.  I researched headsets and these seemed to be the best.  They were amazing.  I couldn’t even hear the keys on the keyboard clicking.  All I could hear were my thoughts, clear and unfiltered.  I think part of the reason this morning’s session was easier than I thought it would be was because of this clarity of thought the headphones helped bring about.

As a funny side-note, as I was wrapping up at just after 7, I realized that Kelly was not yet up.  She’d wanted to head into work early today.  I figured I was going to head upstairs and find her and the baby still asleep.  I was about to do just that when they both came down, fully showered, dressed and ready to start the day.  The noise-canceling headset blocked out the noise from upstairs, including the shower.

I plan to finish up Chapter 1 tomorrow if I can.  I think there is at least 2,200 words left in that chapter and so I think it is a pretty reasonable goal.  I’m already starting to think about what Chapter 2 will be about, and I probably need to makes some more notes on that.  I also need to work on my story time line.  The story spans over a long period of time, in part because of relativistic space travel and the effects of time dilation.  I have a spreadsheet to help me keep track of some of this, but I realize now that it requires some updating.  There’s no World Series game tonight so I may be able to squeeze some of it in then.

Incidentally, my Kindle wirelessly received my pre-ordered copy of Jack McDevitt’s Time Traveler’s Never Die, and I am excited to get started on that.  I am close to finishing Stephen King’s Night Shift, so I will hopefully start on Jack’s new book soon.  I’m really looking forward to it.