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NaNoWriMo 2013: Week 4

This week was the week I had to finally admit to myself that I wasn’t going to make it to 50k in November. No way. No how. And that’s OK, because

a) I have some solid reasons (mainly a nasty virus that’s been dogging me since late October), but more importantly

b) I haven’t stopped writing

Sure, I’ve had a few days when I wrote nothing at all, because between sleeplessness and the day-job I was barely coherent enough to string a sentence together, but I’ve had plenty of days when I wrote at least 1000 words, and some where I wrote 3k+. It just hasn’t been enough on average to push me to that magic 50k mark, and there were too few days left in this last week and too few hours available for writing for me to have any realistic chance of catching up. Usually I take the last week of November off for this very reason, but owing to all the conventions this year I wasn’t able to do that.

Instead I consoled myself with the fact that, with the aid of some weekend catchup, I was able to make it to 35k on Sunday (instead of the target 40k). That meant that in theory I could make it to at least 40k, perhaps even 45k by Saturday. Unfortunately, once I’d admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to hit 50k, the whole point of continuing began to evaporate. Why come up with more scenes for a draft that, right now, feels like it’s not going in the right direction? So I wrote another thousand or so words before grinding to a halt mid-week and never really getting going again.

I don’t have a workable draft as such—in order to keep going in the face of Not Enough Plot Syndrome, I’ve spent a fair amount of time writing out episodes from my protagonist’s backstory that may well not end up in the finished book—but I’ve explored my characters and world in more depth than is possible in a dry outline. This exercise has shown me the flaws in my planning process and given me insights that I can take forward into the next draft. As I always say to others who worry about throwing words away, no time spent writing is ever wasted.

Amended target word count: 40,000

Final word count: 37,129



Jacey Bedford

I’m impressed. I’ve done (and completed) NaNo twice now and it’s not easy to do 50k words in a month and hold down a day job, so 39k words is magnficent. I’d been hoping to pace myself alongside NaNo and add extensive wordcount to the new draft of the second book, but a major edit on the first book was more important with a December deadline looming.


Yeah, that’s the trouble with book deadlines – they’ve always got in the way of previous attempts, which is why I was looking forward to this year’s NaNoWriMo so much. I’m still not sure how I got even that much written, but now I’m going to take a well-earned rest and catch up on my reading!

Jacey Bedford

Reading is good. I can’t read (fiction) while I’m deeply into writing, but I actually managed to get time to finish your third due to a long car journey (as a passenger, I hasten to add). :-) Will be tweeting links to the review soon.