NaNoWriMo 09


With just a little more than 8,000 words to write to hit the 90K mark needed for a single-title contemporary, I’m finding words are just pouring out of my head an onto the page.

Where was all this enthusiasm last week, when I needed it to end the NaNo with a less-pathetic word count?

Oh well. Ifย  I can keep this momentum going, I’ll soon be typing the momentous words: “First draft complete!”

How exciting that will be! I’ve never finished a full-length MS before. All my others are category length. I can’t wait.

First up? Setting it aside for a few weeks, at least, before a read-through. In those weeks, I’ll be starting to shop for an agent for “Operation Snag Mike/Brad,” the GH entry.

Now that I’ve decided to get my rear in gear, things are starting to happen for me. How thrilling! ๐Ÿ˜€

I just checked my delivery confirmation via the U.S. Postal Service and nearly had a heart attack: No record of that number on file.

It turned out, I incorrectly entered the tracking number from my receipt. When I typed in the correct number, the computer told me my GH entry was received. Woo-hoo! That’s a load off my mind.

We had a great, inspirational NARWA meeting Saturday โ€” and for once I didn’t have to come home and go to work. I was off all weekend, so I got to come home from the meeting all inspired to write … and actually do it! I wish that’d happen more often.

With the GH entry off my plate, I devoted the weekend to catching up on the NaNo. I didn’t succeed, but I did write about 6,000 words on Saturday and Sunday, bringing my NaNo count up to 20,000+.

Pathetic compared to most people’s, I’m sure … but it’s still 20,000 more words than I had at the end of October. And I realized I don’t have quite as far to go to finish as I thought … Only about 16,500 to get my MS to 90,000 words.

So … I finally let Kari and Damien get busy. Figured they needed a couple of happy sex scenes before I break them apart and get them back together.

I was sick last night, so the word count didn’t grow much Monday. And today it was back to work. I’m going to try to do a little writing when I get home from work, but I’m still pretty wiped out from my bout with the 36-hour bug. About the time I finish this blog and my other one, I’ll probably be ready for bed.

Post office says it's been delivered!

This time, I mean my Golden Heart entry โ€” all 246 pages of it, plus the disk withย  my full MS on it. I dropped it off at the post office sometime between 11 a.m. and noon.

It felt like such a momentous occasion. I was so darn proud of myself I had to call the Boyfriend right away and tell him it was done.

It wasn’t until I drove back across town that I had a moment of panic. Did I really put the disk with my full MS on it in the box? I know I did … because if I didn’t, where is it? Not in the car … So I’m sure it’s right where it’s supposed to be โ€” on its merry way to RWA HQ.

I had some credit on my Picazzo’s loyalty card, so I treated myself to one of my favorite lunches โ€” a slice of pizza and caesar side salad. Delicious! And the momentous occasion of entering my first Golden Heart competition deserved to be celebrated.

So celebrate I did. Now, on to the next project: Trying to catch up on my NaNo word count. I should be able to make good headway this weekend, because I’m not working. Not only am I not working, but I also have a NARWA meeting โ€” and I always get fired up to write when I go to those.

My problem is that I usually have to head back home and go to work … and by the time I get home after a long day/night at work, I’m too tired and/or have lost that motivation. Not this time. A weekend stretches before me with just two commitments: the meeting Saturday morning and Boyfriend time Sunday evening.

20,000 words, here I come!

Today I thought I was ready to print my full MS for the GH entry. ย Unfortunately, it was the first time I’d noticed that all my pages were 1.5-spaced instead of double-spaced.

That’s ALL the pages โ€” in the full MS and what I thought was getting close to a perfect GH entry.

When I put my 45 pages into double-spaced format, they suddenly grew to 57 pages โ€” and that’s much too long. (With a six-page synopsis, I can only have 49 pages in my entry โ€” and I can’t cut down the synopsis any more.)

Of course, I now have to find a new hook to end my entry on. I think it’s on the new Page 47, but I’m not sure. I don’t like it nearly as much as the old hook, but I don’t want to end on Page 49, because that’s even less of a hook … and I can’t end it much before Page 47 without cutting out a crucial scene.

This is a problem I can overcome. And I’m glad I noticed now instead of AFTER I sent it off. That would be a crappy way to get disqualified!

On the NaNo front, I wrote about a thousand more words today. That gives me 64 more pages than I had last month. Not too shabby!

That’s what my blog is doing … I haven’t been giving it as much attention as I should, I guess.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been giving the NaNo the attention it needs, either. After a great write-in with friends Wednesday morning (at which the MS topped 10,400 words), I was woefully lazy on Thursday and Friday. This morning, I managed to write another couple hundred words …

The good news is I realized this morning (as I lamented my lack of progress over the last few days) that I have 55 more pages of Blind Date Bride than I did before I started the NaNo on Nov. 1.

So I might not be where I should be word-count wise, but I’m much better off than I’d be had I not signed up for NaNo.

As for the GH entry, I spent some time last night making the edits from my last read-through. It looks like I’m going to be shipping off 500+ pages, though (6 copies of the 45-page entry, 6 copies of a 6-page synopsis and a 216-page full MS).

Wow! That’s a lot of pages. Wonder how much that’ll cost me?

That’s the total number of words I’ve written since Nov. 1. I was very proud of that total โ€” more than 1,000 a day โ€” until I realized that I’m still WAY behind. My NaNo buddies already have upwards of 20,000. Hmm … Guess I’m still ahead of where I was last week at this time.

And I’m averaging more than 1,000 words a day. That in itself is pretty impressive considering I’ve been out of the writing habit. If nothing else, doing the NaNo should get me back in the habit.

I do have a question, though. Why can it take several hours to craft what amounts to a 5-minute thrill for my characters? I’ve been writing about the day Damien meets Kari’s family all week long! How does that happen?

DoingNaNo.png

I've signed up, for better or worse.

… But I did decide to go ahead and sign up for the NaNoWriMo. I figured that, if nothing else, it’d spur me to finish the last 40,000 words I need to write on “Blind Date Bride” so I can enter it in next year’s GH.

Now it’s Day 3, and I’ve still only written about 2,000 words. That already puts me hopelessly behind.

Even worse, now that I’ve let Kari and Damien out to play, I’m having trouble shutting them up long enough to go back and put the finishing touches on this year’s GH entry featuring Erin and the not-nearly-as-boring anymore Brad. (He’s come a long way in the last few months!)

I got some very good โ€” and much appreciated โ€” feedback on those pages from Anne Marie, one of the GH winners from 09. Needless to say, I’m taking her advice because she knows what she’s doing! ๐Ÿ˜€

To finish 50,000 words in 30 days, I need to write 1,667 a day. Since I only need about 40,000 words, I don’t have to write quite that much … it works out to 1,333 a day.

At 1,994 after Day 2, I’m not as far behind as I could be. I may even catch up later, when I get off work.

Hope springs eternal! ๐Ÿ˜€

P.S. If any of my blog readers (of which I’m sure there are a few) are doing the NaNo and want to add me as a buddy, my username is arlenemarie. Novel title: Blind Date Bride.