NaNoWriMo Day 7 (Week 1 complete!)

NaNoWriMo par: 1,667 words/day
NaNoWriMo total: 11,667 words
Personal par: 2,000 words/day
Personal total: 15,324 words

Up at 7 am this morning and I wrote until about 9:30.  I was trying to see if I could hit 16,000 words by the end of week 1, but I didn’t quite make it.  I managed 2,089 words today, but it was the most difficult day yet.  Part of the reason, I think, is that which I know what the story is I am trying to tell, I am guessing at the scenes.  Having never written a novel before, I am doing what I think one does to write a novel–lots of character development and backstory, but the main story isn’t progressing.  I simply wasn’t well-prepared these last three days.  Unlike Day 1-3, I didn’t know what I wanted to write before I started.  I think that has to change.

So, this weekend, I am going to put in a little extra time outside the normal writing windows, trying to establish what scenes tell the story. Storyboarding, if you will.  Once I’ve got an idea of the scenes that tell the overall story, I can write them in any order I want.  Today I wrote 2 completely disjointed scenes.  I didn’t think the writing was bad.  In fact, I thought I had some witty dialog going in one.  But they were simply disjointed and I was unprepared when I started.  I think I know where to start now, moving forward anyway.  Put I’d like to get it on paper, along with my character timeline.  It’s just how I think and work, and I feel like that will help.  Stay tuned.

Today marked the end of Week 1.  I wrote for a total of 15,324 words.  That’s 2,189 words/day, well above my personal goal of 2,000 words/day, and far above the NaNoWriMo par of 1,667 words/day.  Based on NaNoWriMo par, I am over 2 days ahead of schedule, which adds some comfort to the writing.  If it doesn’t come one day, or if circumstances prevent me from writing, I can miss a day or two without getting behind.

I estimate that I’ve spent about 14.5 hours writing this week.  That puts my pace at just over 1,000 words/hour.  That means 50 hours to "win" NaNoWriMo, and somewhere between 80-90 hours to complete the first draft of the novel.  Week 2 begins tomorrow morning, and I already feel like I have a better idea of what scenes to write and what threads to follow.  We’ll see how it goes.