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I am doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (really, more like a novella) in the month of November. I did it 2 years ago and finished a novel that I like very much but I don’t believe I will ever take out of first draft stage. I skipped it last year, but I decided to try again this year. Strictly speaking, I am breaking the rules a little bit this year, because I am not using a brand-new idea. Instead, I am greatly expanding a story that I have been working on for over 10 years now, gradually bringing forth new ideas and adding new characters. I will be adding some of the material I have already written to my NaNo novel, but I am planning on increasing the word count to account for it (ie if I add 2,000 words of previously written material, I will finish November with 52,000 words instead of 50,000.)

I am not off to the best of starts, as I have been unable to begin work (life does get in the way sometimes of even the best laid plans) until today, November 3. I started today needing to write 5,000 words instead of 1,667 (the number one must write to everyday to write the same number of words each day of November). I didn’t manage 5,000. I have written 1,819 so far today (I think I’m done for the day). But if I can manage a few extra every day, I should catch up pretty quickly to where I should be.

I’m not going to inflict the entire thing on you as I write — this novel is very much in flux, and will probably be changing yet again before I’m done. Today, I will leave you with the first line.

I always knew my father was a dangerous man.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How’s it going? Tell me in the comments, or leave a link to your

blog or your NaNo work.

Leave a comment


  1. You go! Good luck with the rest. First line definitely has me interested. I’m not doing NaNoWrMo this year, but am writing a novel (has been in progress for more than a year now) while going to college full time and working part time. I’m writing a blog for a class and think I am going to write a post about NaNoWrMo-er’s tomorrow…Would you mind if I mentioned your take on this project? I’m interested to see how it turns out, and think your perspective (having done it before) would be useful. If not, it’s definitely okay. I enjoyed checking out your blog and good luck on the rest of the month.

    • Sounds like you have enough on your plate without doing NaNoWriMo. :) Go ahead and mention my perspective in your blog post — I don’t mind, especially if you include a link to my post and/or blog.

  2. kitdunsmore

     /  November 3, 2011

    I’m in NaNo hell. My word count is fine, but my plot is MIA. Hoping things shape up soon. And good luck working with an idea you’ve already played with some. I toyed with trying that this year, but I believe Chris Baty when he says taking a beloved idea into November can cause real problems with your productivity, so instead, I am groping in the dark. I know this is lots of fun; it’s just not much fun right this minute.

    And I love your first line.

    • I think having an idea I’ve thought about (or at least this idea) will actually help my productivity — I’ve played with it so much I’ve already worked through a bunch of plot ideas that haven’t worked out. I can see where that would be a problem, but I spent the summer writing up a huge outline — and I’m actually starting out before the beginning of the outline. The first NaNo I did, I had no real plot, and while it was interesting taking the plot where it wanted to go, it ended up being this huge sprawling thing — the story is complete, but I’d have to chop huge chunks for readability/publishability. And I don’t really like the end, but I’d have to change the beginning for it all to make sense.

      So I’m hoping to avoid all that if I’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about where I want this plot to go — and experimented with some ideas that may not have turned out the way I thought they would.

  3. Hans

     /  November 11, 2011

    Well put Well said. I do love the way you have presented this issue. Thanks.

  4. Terri

     /  November 14, 2011

    I’m doing NaNo this year for the fifth time, but it’s like a whole new thing I’ve never done before. I’ve always had to work really hard to get my 50K done. The earliest I’ve ever finished is a day early. My largest word count in a day before this year was 4000 and I only did that once. All of a sudden this year, the words are just flowing and I keep breaking my own daily record. Today I did 6687 and I was gone part of the day. I keep pinching myself to see if this is real or not. Anyway, I’m having a wonderful time and sending high-word-count vibes your way!

  1. Excerpt from my NaNoWriMo story « Lizbeth's Garden
  2. NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up « Lizbeth's Garden

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