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NaNoWriMo Week 1

8 November, 2014

We are, believe it or not, now a week into November, which also means a week into this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s been a bit of a strange week for me, as I’ve rearranged my time around fitting in so many words. I’ve been, for the most part, very successful, so here’s what I’ve found so far:

Progress    Good, overall! I’m about 1700 words ahead of the target for this stage of the month, the equivalent of being a day ahead. Unlike previous years of NaNo-ing, this hasn’t incorporated any major spurts – instead, I’ve simply aimed for 1800-2000 words a day, instead of the required 1667. I’m obviously pleased with this, although I do foresee days later in the month when writing every day will be a challenge. I’m also pleased with how the start of my novel’s shaping up. I’m enjoying the characters I’ve brought together, the world-building keeps nicely complicating itself when I’m not looking, and I’ve just about reached the point where all the characters are introduced and the plot can start getting properly moving. I pointed out in an earlier post that the 50k words of NaNoWriMo is actually only about 41% of my projected total, though, so I’m in this for the long haul this year.

Time management    Perhaps not surprisingly, I quickly found that I have a lot more time in my day than I assumed before the month started. Partly that’s because my day-job is genuinely quieter this month, but I also seem to have rearranged my days to allow more time at my desk. I think finishing most of the video games I was playing in October definitely helped!

RSI    Less positively, it became clear to me within the first two days of November just how much difference spending less time writing was making to the RSI in my hand, wrist and arm. I’ve been doing what I can to mitigate this, but there simply seems to be no way around the fact that the longer I spend writing, the worse my RSI becomes. However, the further I get into NaNoWriMo, the more I expect this to ease, because of point number four (and because my RSI is worse the longer I spend at my desk, not the more words I type).

Writing speed    The first few chapters of a novel always take a bit of getting used to, which has meant it’s frequently taken me a good few hours to produce those 1800 words a day. However, I’m becoming more accustomed to my world and characters, which means I’m starting to pick up pace. I’ve also noticed one very pronounced aspect to my NaNoWriMo this year: in my morning writing session, I tend to hammer out 1200 words, and then come to a halt. The other 600, typically, gets written later in the day. Quite why 1200 words is my comfortable limit for a single session, I’m not sure, but I’ll see whether it changes as the month goes on.

So, there’s my first week of NaNo progress. Let me know in the comments if you’re taking part – and how well it’s going!

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