NaNo Dix

Yes, it has been ten years since I did my first NaNoWriMo. My son was a toddler (nowadays he is disconcertingly tall). That first effort was intended to break me out of a rut of endlessly writing and rewriting the same high fantasy trilogy I had been working on since my college days; that November’s efforts were eventually self-published as Tisiphone’s Quest.

I haven’t looked at those trunked books in years. I do have a further stack of half-finished novels and a couple of finished ones that have yet to find any homes. Most of them are standalone stories, and none of them have much in common with one another, so I’ve certainly gotten out of any ruts in terms of material. I’m a little surprised to find that I’m still cheerful about the whole thing. Sales or not, results or not, it’s fun just to do it, to throw yourself headlong into a story for a month and see what happens.

Day 2; so far, so good.


Work in Progress: November

Made it through another NaNoWriMo! The resulting 50,000 words are particularly rambling and self-indulgent, but I got to spend a month in the heads of some of my favorite characters, did some world-building, and may have turned up a few ideas worth keeping for the long term.


Writing is a weird process. One of the nice things is that the more you do it, the more you can learn to trust your own brain. I am almost certainly going to throw out nearly everything that I wrote last month, but it’s a necessary step, sort of like building a compost heap.

Continue reading “Work in Progress: November”


NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 3

Generally speaking, if you can make it through Thanksgiving without getting too far behind, you’re good. I have needed every bit of that early buffer, as you can see, but am still on track.


This continues to be a very exploratory draft, but there are some ideas in here that I think will be fun to explore.



NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 2


Here we are, a little more than halfway in both time and wordcount. I was doing well with getting ahead for a bit, but then had a couple of very long days that left me too fried to write much — a good reason to build up a buffer if you can.

Obviously, not much else is going on right now; there isn’t time!


NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 1

Yes, I know. I wasn’t going to do NaNo this year. Why I even have this conversation with myself, I don’t know.


Things are going fairly well so far in terms of wordcount, as you can see (I wrote 3k+ words on Tuesday while we waited for the election results). On the down side, 16k words in, I still have literally no idea what’s going on in this book.

My first NaNo was a relatively well-planned effort. I had a list of things I wanted to hit in the course of the story, and a high-level outline. (That turned into Tisiphone’s Quest, in case you were wondering.) Over the years, my level of planning has tapered off until this year, when I am purely pantsing it–I sat down on Nov 1 with an idea for one (1) scene, started writing, and am seeing where it goes from there. I still don’t even know who the antagonist is (maybe there isn’t one…?).

NaNo is not for everyone, of course, but I have found over years of doing this that there are benefits to it that lie beyond the enormous stack of half-written projects. The annual experience of sitting down and banging out words without giving myself time to worry or self-critique has bolstered my trust in myself as a writer. I might be tired or stressed out or have no real idea where my story is going, but if I sit down and start working, something will happen.