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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » NaNo Check-up and Check-in (Page 1)

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Author Topic: NaNo Check-up and Check-in
Robyn_Hood
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All right, I've been snooping over at NaNo and noticed that some of you are doing great, and others are finding it more of a challenge.

So, as of midnight tonight, writing at the bare-minimum of 1667 words per day, your word count should be at 16,670.

That is the one third mark. 10 days down, 20 days left.

Don't get too discouraged if you aren't quite at 33 1/3% done -- THERE IS STILL TIME! You can get back on track. It might mean an extra 200 words per day, maybe you need to put in a couple of power sessions over the weekend, or perhaps you need to find Frodo and help him get the ring back to Mt. Doom...

Whatever it is, remember, NaNo wouldn't be NaNo if it wasn't a challenge...that's why you signed up in the first place, right? You wanted something to stretch you as a writer. You might feel like you're going to snap, but I believe in you, you CAN do it, so quit reading through posts here. Employ the BIC method (Butt In Chair), turn off the distractions, and write.

And once you've done that for a while, come back here and post a word count update -- otherwise I'll start harassing you...


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JmariC
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I know I'm behind. Almost 4k words behind, but I've took tomorrow off from work. Tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, saturday, saturday night and sunday.

I plan to be ahead.

The bad part is that for all my talk about absurdisms and crazy Ya-Ya pants mixed story bag, I've been writing a real story.

It's disturbing.
I've got an MC, main plot, Antogonist, side quest that leads to more disasters that may lead back to the actual plot.

The craziest thing so far, is the my Antagonist has no form and is named The Evil.


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AaronAndy
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Well, it went like this. I borrowed an old laptop from work to use on NaNo. That was on November 2. On November 5, it broke. The hard drive totally gave out. Luckily, I managed to get my story onto a pen drive first, but it left me:

1.) Way behind on my story, since I spent all of last weekend (when I should have been writing extra) trying (in vain) to fix it.

2.) Without a laptop to use, making it much more difficult for me to keep up.

3.) In the rather uncomfortable position of having to go into my boss and explain to him that I broke his laptop. I still haven't done this, but I'll have to at some point.

All that having been said, I neglected a lot of other things that I should have been doing today and managed to get back up to around 16,045 words, which is still behind but not as far as I was yesterday. I'm still determined to finish this thing, even though tonight I managed to break the aforementioned pen drive, which isn't going to help me either.

(Anybody got a used laptop hard drive they want to get rid of? :])


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MaryRobinette
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Robyn_Hood, you are the best cheerleader.

I'm at 17,181 as of last night. I've killed off 1 and a half characters, kidnapped another, and sent one on a wild goose chase. It's fun!


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Robyn_Hood
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AaronAndy, sounds like you're having more than your fair share of trials on this -- sorry I can't help. But hey, at least you're more or less keeping up with your word count! That's impressive. I hope you find a way to keep at it and in 20 days, you'll have a novel!

Mary, Glad to hear your word count is going well. Just curious how you managed to kill off half a character... Siamese twins and only one died? Multiple personailty disorder and one of them "died"? Got halfway through the act of killing said character and then decided to call it a night?

On the other hand, guessing at how to kill only half a person is almost as much fun as knowing how you did it...

Killed the body, but not the soul? Killed the soul but not the body? Substitute soul with mind in last two examples? Maybe you only killed a giant (a single person who is the equivalent of 1 1/2 people)? Hmmmm...


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Minister
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Way to go, Mary!

I'm at 16,744. Two characters dead, but both of them were minor -- not even named before I knocked 'em off. The family has been split up, and I still haven't decided if the husband is going to make it back to his wife before he dies. And the whole thing is the worst garbage I have written since that last overnight research paper in seminary.


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Robyn_Hood
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If there wasn't garbage, we wouldn't have anything to throw out, and all the garbage men in the world would be out of jobs!

Besides, writing garbage now, means you will be less likely to write garbage in the future. It is all about practice and learning an growing. Every garden needs some fertilizer to help things grow, writing isn't much different.

*******************

And now for a little challenge. Friends, Hatrackers and NaNoites, lend me your ears.

Tuesday is November 15, the official halfway point for NaNoWriMo. BUT! we've got this great little weekend right before that.

So here is the challenge: Can YOU make it to the halfway mark by midnight on Sunday? Are you up for it? Think you can make 25,000 words by Sunday night? Get a couple of days ahead?

Think about it. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?

So there! The gauntlet has officially been thrown down. Gonna pick it up?

[This message has been edited by Robyn_Hood (edited November 11, 2005).]


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MaryRobinette
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OOo! I love challenges. The race is on!

quote:
Killed the soul but not the body?

That's pretty much it. One of my characters swallowed the soul of another and then slipped into his skin. So the half-dead guy has a seriously unpleasant person cruising around pretending to be him.

[This message has been edited by MaryRobinette (edited November 11, 2005).]


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JmariC
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I feel like I'm stuck in a "behind on the word count loop".

One day I was a couple hundred words short. The next, it was a thousand short of goal. Then we had last friday I had caught up nicely. Sunday, I was about 1k behind. Somewhere around the middle of the week, that became 2k behind.
Yesterday and today I've managed to stay at 4k behind. I'm writing and the number is going up, but it seems like no matter what, the math shows me at a progressive loss.

I think I'm just not writing as fast now.

I've been told by one person that it's "Stupid week two mojo".

I'm hoping when I get my MC on the road, things will pick up again. *crosses fingers*


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Robyn_Hood
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JMariC, I just checked your posted progress at NaNo, and you know what, you aren't as far behind as you may think. Currently, you are only 3525 words behind, not 4000. AND!!!! you still have several hours left tonight. Can you get another 525 words in tonight? That's little more than two manuscript pages (double-spaced, 12pt Courier font, with 1" margins).

Tomorrow, write 2667 words instead of 1667, and by then you'll only be 2000 words behind. Sunday, do the same and you'll almost be caught up. Then add an extra 200 words per day and by next Friday you'll be all caught up.

If you get stuck, kill somebody off! (Or only half a someone ).

If you find an extra 1000 words to be too daunting right now, write an average of 1955 words per day starting tomorrow and by the 30th you will 50,000. That's only a 288 word increase. If you are already maintaining the gap, what's an extra couple hundred words each day to help you catch up?

While it is nice to think we can all write at a consistent pace, it just doesn't always happen that way. Some parts of your story you "know" better than others, so you can write them faster and with more detail. Other areas are a bit hazy -- they eat up more time and can be easier to just gloss over. If you know a developed section is coming up soon, don't worry so much, you'll be able to make up some of the time.

If you are getting desperate, check to see if you have written "alright" or "alot" anywhere, then use your word processor's "Find/Replace" function to substitute in "all right" and "a lot". (You can do the same thing for contractions: "don't" to "do not"; "it's" to "it is"; etc.).


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Robyn_Hood
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Just taking a quick look back at your first post to this thread I got another idea for you.

quote:
The craziest thing so far, is the my Antagonist has no form and is named The Evil.

All right, if you are stuck, take some time and write an entire chapter devoted to your antagonist. Flesh him out, give him a form, introduce him in all his dastardly glory. In the end, you don't have to keep the chapter, but it will serve at least two purposes:

1) It will keep your word count up

and

2) It will help define the antagonist in your mind. Once you have a clearer picture of him, you will be more free to use him to create conflict and it is conflict which drives your plot so keeping your word count going should be easier.


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JmariC
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Um, when I said my antagonist has no form, I mean, like, a gas or air. Not solid. I've already got a chapter on him, I left him converting a doppelganger to evil ways.

I ended up having a friend IM me a word war. I pulled another 468 words, which gave me the push to get of the 15k, and now I'm only 3k behind.

At this rate, seven 10 min word wars would get me on par.

Word wars are good.


I do like your idea better than my friend's idea of how to get through a slow spot.
He said to insert a sex scene.
I immediately pictured the current scene, my MC and this grandma in a kitchen with one of her grandchildren doing dishes.
I had to tell my friend no. There's some things I can't do with and still be able to sleep at night.


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Robyn_Hood
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Glad to hear you got a few more words in already.

Good luck for the weekend.


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Leigh
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I signed up for NaNo on the 11th!! I know its late but a girl who is also participating told me to enter so i did!! Its the 12th right now and today alone I have done 5312 words. I didnt do anything yesterday because i was at work, tired and family friends were around so i have made up for it today. My username is Boof86 and well my aim is to get at least 35000 words, I think i can do that
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cvgurau
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As of right now, I have 12,094 words. . . so, yeah, I'm a little behind.

But I have a long weekend ahead of me .

[This message has been edited by cvgurau (edited November 12, 2005).]


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Jaina
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In fact, my goal this weekend *is* to reach 25k by Sunday night, which shouldn't be too bad since I'm currently at 22368. However, this happy little word count has come at the expense of my schoolwork, and I swore that I can only write my story once I've finished my homework for the weekend. So we'll see how much that motivates me.

Oh, I don't know if I said this before, but my username on the NaNo boards is Brittany. Just in case you wanted to check up on me--I need all the accountability I can get.

(EDIT: because you never see those pesky little typos until seconds after it's too late.)

[This message has been edited by Jaina (edited November 12, 2005).]


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Minister
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Hey, I see Punahougirl got the interview on the front page of the NaNo site! Nice!
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JmariC
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Well, I'm currently in the 24k range.
I don't know if I'll be able to get the rest in with in the next 45 mins, but I'm sure trying!

This story is really turning out to be a serious novel. Badly written, but with a plot and real characters and everything.

Plot points are falling together like automated puzzle pieces and it's all terribly logical.

My latest character, the traitor who doesn't know it, is apparently my MC's dad. I started this whole thing about him remembering the child (the MC) being taken away by 'the city'. When I went back to the begining of the story to see if I had mentioned anything of my MC's past, so I could add that if needed, I discovered to my surprised I had already set up my MC as having lived in an orphage.

Crazy.

Edited to add:

I made it!
25017 words

[This message has been edited by JmariC (edited November 13, 2005).]


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MaryRobinette
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You rock JMariC!

I only reached 20,212 but I got slammed with a chest cold on Friday. I also forgot that we had plans yesterday which meant I wrote no words at all.


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cvgurau
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Yeah, I was hit with a cold this weekend, too, but I still managed to knock out five thousand-plus words.

Given that the half-way mark TECHNICALLY isn't 'till Tueday, I'm going to see if I can't get 25K by midnight tonight.

Wish me luck.

Lots and lots and lots of luck.


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Robyn_Hood
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Congrats, JMariC!!! That is awesome

It's great when you discover things about your characters, especially when it contributes to your plot Way to go on the word count, too! So now, you aren't behind - at all! - and you are ahead of the game. Great work, now go write some more

No rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it.

Everyone else, hope you all had good weekends, even those with the colds (ick, that makes it hard to sit at the computer all day and focus. If you can write anything in that state, you're a trooper).

Keep pushing on. The halfway point isn't until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday. Good luck!


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MaryRobinette
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Oh sure, cvgurau, make me feel even worse. 5000 words! Oy. I wrote only 3031. Gotta get cracking.
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cvgurau
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Sorry, MR, that wasn't my intention.

But if it makes you feel better, it wasn't a real cold, anyway. All I had was a stuffy nose and propensity for sneezing. That's like, cold light, isn't it?


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yanos
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Well I'm at only 18K. I missed a few days with having to go to Bangkok for an interview. I got the job, so I'll be starting a new job in Jan. The bad news there is that all the arrangements have really screwed around with my writing. Not that my story is any good, but at least it's still progressing.
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MCameron
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Yay, I wrote some more today. I'm still horribly, horribly behind, but at least it's progress. And things are starting to get interesting in the story and it's becoming easier to write as the various characters start meeting and interacting.

--Mel


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Minister
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I'm punching in at about the 19,700 word mark. A few thousand behind. I really wish now that I'd taken a little more time in planning this thing out. The problem in generating words is largely in figuring out my plot as I go. Once I decide what is going to happen, the words (lousy though most of them are) flow right along. Much like the flash challenges -- as soon as I know where I am and where I'm going, it just pops out almost as fast as I can type.
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MaryRobinette
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One trick that I've found for when I'm stalled but still need to pound out wordcount is to stop and describe the scenery. I will probably cut some of it later, or move it around so it's not such a large chunk, but what it does for me is give me a little bit of time in my character's head just looking around. While I'm there my brain will usually find something which either reminds me of an existing conflict or sparks a new one and then I can continue.

The other shorthand trick, when I'm stalled, is to look at the character who is onstage and think, "What does she want?" It is easier to answer than "What is she going to do next?"

Last night I realized that I needed a chapter between 9 and 10. I knew it needed to be from Cassandra's POV but that was all I knew. I stared at the screen for about fifteen minutes trying to see plot before I remembered my trick. Big picture, Cassie wants her mom to pay attention to her. Little picture, she wants to go on the internet so she can complain to a friend. AH--so all I have to do to have a scene is to stop her from going online. Who stops her? Her mom! Ha, ha! The words leapt out of my fingers.


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Robyn_Hood
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Before I head home for the day, just a quick note:

Hope everyone gets to 25,000 words by tonight...Don't forget, I'm watching!


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cvgurau
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6,410 words by midnight?

Oh, yeah. Let me just find my magic wand.

Well, not entirely impossible, I suppose. At least, it's worth a shot.


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Leigh
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I'm currently sitting on 18,485 words. In my opinion i don't think that's such a bad effort for only 4 days writing
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Minister
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Good grief. I don't even want to admit that I didn't quite make the 25K mark last night, now, Leigh. I made it to 23,768, though, and hope to be all caught up within the next day or two.

Edited to add that those are great suggestions, Mary. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Minister (edited November 16, 2005).]


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Robyn_Hood
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All right, 50% of the NaNo is finished. Including todaym you have 15 days of writing left.

So, how much more do you have to write and how many words per day does it mean?

Words to write:

    45,000 left; 3000/day
    40,000 left; 2667/day
    35,000 left; 2334/day
    30,000 left; 2000/day
    25,000 left; 1667/day
    20,000 left; 1334/day
    15,000 left; 1000/day
    10,000 left; 667/day
    5,000 left; 334/day

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MaryRobinette
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Minister, I'm right there with you. I stopped last night at 24,522 words. I was so close, two pages away from my 25,000 word goal, but it was 2 am. I just couldn't put words together anymore.

But, I'll be able to make up those missing 500 words easily. Today I've written 7 words. I'm so proud.

Robyn_Hood, as always, you are a great cheerleader.


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Monolith
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All right you clods, keep writing. <whip cracks in the air> HAHAHAHA

Just thought I'd lighten up everyone's mood during this stressful period.

Way to go you guys. Just a bit more of this insanity and then you're free to goof off for a bit. Then back to writing.

Now back to NaNo. <cracks the whip again>

-Monolith-


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Leigh
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I've been hit with a weird sickness. I've got chronic (sp?) headaches making it hard to look at a computer screen. I haven't written a word since I last updated the total I have done.
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Minister
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Eek. I've realized that I've fallen far enough behind that I have to write something like 2100 words a day from here on out to make it. And strangely enough, this season does not promise loads of extra time. Hope the rest of you are progressing a little more smoothly than I.
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yanos
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Well I'm thinking of starting a dropin for dropouts thread. I'm a dropout. This month I had an interview and I have a new job from Jan so in my spare time I'm appartment hunting. Not that I have much spare time.
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autumnmuse
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Ooh, Yanos, I'm a dropout too. So I like your idea. I did get inspired with a new idea tonight and wrote about 2k, but I'm ashamed to say that's all I've written in the past week. I have had choir rehearsals and have been hand making gifts, taking care of my daughter and helping with Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations at my church. Though even with all that, I could still have found time to write, but I simply . . . haven't. I've been in a funk. I'm hoping I snap out of it by January, but I'm giving myself permission to not get too guilty if I don't write a ton between now and Christmas.
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JmariC
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I'm still plugging away. My story has evolved into a plot that may be worth salvaging, though I'll need to do some serious world building and character developement before it can be actually written for real-real.
Pretty much the entire thing will be scrapped at the end of the month, but the story may just be worth the effort of rewriting from scratch.

I'm trying real hard to stay at or just above the daily word goal. I'm stopping tonight only 872 words away from reaching tomorrow's goal.

le sigh


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Minister
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Write on, Jmari!

I'm trying to avoid dropping out; it'd be a real shame to write 30K words and then not finish. But time's in short supply, and not getting any more plentiful as the season progresses.


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Leigh
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I'm dropping out as I have to go to hospital on the 26th. So I miss out of everything...

This was my first NaNo. When's the next one?


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MaryRobinette
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We're tossing around the idea of doing a NaNo Flash Challenge at Liberty Hall. A novel in an hour and a half.

No. But really, the idea is that you'd write a complete scene from your novel using the trigger. You only get an hour and a half, but you can enter more than one entry. Each would have to use the trigger in a different way.

Not sure if we will, but it's something we're thinking about.

I stalled at 25,543 words. I realized that my husband and I are moving in less than a month and that I needed to give myself permission to not hit the wordcount. So I'm going to try to get my remaining 25,000 words in January in a fifteen day spurt. Any other dropouts want to play then?

By the way, having made that decision, it has now become very difficult to not write on the novel.


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Leigh
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January... why in January? I'm moving and I'm going to lose the net for like 3 weeks during January!! I might even lose my computer as well for that time... I need to buy a laptop!!!
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Minister
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Jaina! Nice work! Folk, it looks like she's already crossed the 50K line. Congratulations!

*slinks off feeling inferior with his measly 30K words*


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Jaina
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*blushes* Gee, thanks. Sadly, the novel has come at the expense of my schoolwork and the word count might be finished, but the novel isn't. Still, it does feel good to have crossed the finish line!
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yanos
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Actually dropping out of Nano has really funked me out badly. I can't settle to write anything right now. When doing Nano I realised my biggest problem is that I hate filling in stories. Everything I write tends to advance the plot. I use sparse description and sketched characterization. I leave it to the reader to imagine the rest. Hey ho! Back to the writing board.

Well done to Jaina. Your story still needs an ending though


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Leigh
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hey yanos dont worry about it. At least you now know more about writing and pushing yourself to create ideas out of nothing .

Congrats Jaina! You can make it 60k now if you truly want to!


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Minister
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41,108 down, 8892 to go. Almost back on the original track to success; I need to average 1778.4 words/day to make it.

So, Jaina's already won; who else is still in this?


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Beth
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screw nano. that is my informed opinion.

I have won 4 times. This year I went to Thailand instead. Good trade, I think.


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JmariC
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I reached 43,560 yesterday.

This NaNovel may not have an ending, but it's getting 50k. By Sunday if I can, but no promises there.


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