Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Written Word Wednesday - 16,192

I figured that for the month of November I'd use my Written Word Wednesdays to keep you all abreast of my progress of my latest mini-obsession.

I'm keeping a running tally of my word count at the end of each day; figured I'd share it with y'all

I would just use this nifty word count widget to show you my progress

Or maybe even this one

but since the main NaNoWriMo site was not being cooperative the first couple of days due to the large number of people logging on, I couldn't update my numbers until yesterday, so the graphs the website generates aren't all that accurate.

Day 1: 8,016
Day 2: 10,086 (+ 2,070)
Day 3: 12,409 (+ 2,323)
Day 4: 15,038 (+ 2,629)

As of this moment (part way through day 5), my current word count is 16,192 words, thanks to a lunch-time write-in with my two co-workers who were largely responsible for talking me into this in the first place. This puts mes well ahead of the recommended pace to complete the novel on time; in fact, I have almost double the amount of words for today (8,335), and I still have a write-in at the main library to go to this evening.

On a related note, fellow NaNoWriMoer Bubblegum Tate is starting up a club for everyone out there who loathes and despises me for being so far ahead of the game and making their efforts look feeble in comparison; feel free to drop him a line if you want to join*

The recommend daily word count is 1,667; if you were to write that much every day for the whole month, you would wind up with 50,010 words, a whopping ten words over the goal. Right now I'm shooting for at least 2,000 words a day; that amount of over-achievement, coupled with my blockbuster first day of writing, should give me enough of a cushion to carry me through times of much distraction.

Speaking of distractions, there's one other stressor coming up this November which I forgot to mention earlier; since our lease is up at the end of the month I will be moving from Benjiman Street to Wicker Way, into the spare bedroom at Cap'n Shack-Fu's house. So, packing and moving and cleaning will all be going on while I'm attempting to write a novel . . . yes, I'm sick in the head.

Now, while others are impressed with my word output, for me it's not the biggest achievement so far; after all, those of you who know me well know that I am an incredibly wordy bastage. No, for me my biggest achievement was the moment where I realized that a segment of dialogue-driven exposition from Chapter 1 would work much better in Chapter2 -- and I did nothing about it other than make a mental note for revision purposes. But outside of that, I left it alone; didn't cut and past, didn't juggle text, didn't hem and haw over how to replace it in one place and blend it in in another. No, just kept going full-steam ahead. Since it's that sort of situation I've been most worried about, I consider my ability to fight off the editing temptation a moral victory of sorts; the fact that both Tate and co-worker Dr. Pester have fallen into the trap themselves probably adds fuel to their "Stop making us look bad, you wordy bastage!" club's hatred.

Going through this process, I can't help comparing it to when I wrote In a Cabin in the Woods. Probably the biggest difference I've found between the two experiences is that, with NaNoWriMo, when I step away from the laptop, I pretty much step away from the writing process as a whole. Oh, sure, from time to time I'll have a random thought about where I want my story to go next as I'm driving to work, or am on the elliptical machine at the gym, but I just don't have the non-stop, obsessive compulsion regarding this particular work that I did with In a Cabin. I'm sure part of it is because the deadline for Cabin was a much more practical one; had to have it all written out and finished and (mostly) coherent so that Flunky could get it for Christmas. Whereas with NaNoWriMo, the deadline is much more arbitrary, and as long as I hit the magic 50,000 word mark it's considered a "success," whether I've technically finished my story or not.

Don't get me wrong: I want to finish my story. Right now I'm thinking that even if I hit 50,000 words before the end of the month (which I seem pretty likely to do), I'll probably go ahead and keep plugging away at it without editing or revision through the rest of the month, or until I finish the story, whichever comes first. But just knowing that I don't have to have a completely finished product in place by a certain date has helped keep the obsession at bay.

Of course, the other big factor is that with In a Cabin I had five different stories clamoring for my attention, and I honestly wasn't sure what was going to happen in four of them until I actually got them written. So, I was driven partially out of a fear that I was going to run out of time to tell these mysterious stories, and partially out of a desire to see where the heck they were heading. Right now I just have the one story to focus on, and I kinda sorta have it plotted out for a little bit longer; I'd say I'll probably be at the 20-25,000 word mark range before I have to make a serious decision about what direction to take the story in.

*No, PigPen, the club isn't for those who loathe and despise me on general principle, so you'll have to stick with your own club for now.


Bubblegum Tate said...

Don't listen to him, PP. If you wanna be in it, you can be in it.