I’m not doing Nanowrimo this year. It pains me to say that, because it’s been a staple of November for over a quarter of my life. It was always something I looked forward to, something I eagerly anticipated before it happened, enjoyed while it was going on, and prided myself on completing. Not to mention the fact that my writing pushes resulted in some of my best work. Nocturne came out of Nanowrimo, for example.
This time around, I just can’t. When I wrapped up last year, I was in a very dark place. I couldn’t imagine taking the time to write another novel. Now that the time is upon us, I don’t have the time to take! My schedule is packed now. A full-time job, a full-time relationship, the imminent election and inevitable fallout, and the usual holiday rush have all conspired to make 50,000 words in a month impossible for me.
Even if I did want to try, though, so many of my books are incomplete that I feel starting something from scratch would do them a disservice. The fifth Orphans of the Stars novel still needs about 6 chapters. Otherworld #22 isn’t quite halfway done. I’ve left Endless Forms to languish for almost two years at this point, only a few chapters into its fourth book. I’d rather finish those first, and then work on Hidden Hills #3, Gateway #2, the Modern Minds shorts, or the Occupation Trilogy.
Yes, I still have a ton of ideas for stories, and a few of those are really great. It’s just the wrong time for them, unfortunately. It sucks, but…well, I won this thing ten years in a row. How many other authors can say that?
Today’s word count: 1,422
Total word count: 57,261
Daily average: 2,489
And that’s a wrap. The story is done, at least in draft form. A little over 57,000 words, which is about 3,000 higher than my initial estimate, but well within the range of Otherworld novels. It’s also less than half of my all-time top Nanowrimo output, but we don’t talk about 2017 around here.
Going in, I thought this would be the hardest one yet, but it really wasn’t. I assumed a full-time job would make it harder to write, or at least leave me with too little free time to get much done. As it turns out, work never became a problem. I’ve been writing in the evenings (except on weekends), and I kept up a pretty good average despite the time constraints.
This is my 10th straight Nanowrimo success, and I’ve spent a lot of time this month wondering if it would be my last. At this moment, I can’t say for sure. I want to go out on top, finish my “career” with a resounding success. My mental state is declining so fast that I don’t know if I’ll even want to write next November. And I’m just going to put this out there right now: I honestly don’t expect to be alive for Nanowrimo 2023.
But that’s for another day. This evening, I can celebrate a job well done, a bit of light in a life otherwise dark. Every book is an accomplishment. Every completed story is its own achievement. For most of this year, I wondered if I would ever feel that sense of victory again, the sense that I reached a goal most only strive for.
I made it. If this is the end of my Nanowrimo journey, it’s an end worth writing about.
Today’s word count: 1,792
Total word count: 55,839
Daily average: 2,427
We’re coming to the end now. All that’s left is the final scene, which could very well split in two as I write. I don’t really have much to say on the topic, but I will say this: I finally feel like I have a chance at finishing the story this month.
Today’s word count: 2,193
Total word count: 54,047
Daily average: 2,456
We’re in overtime now. Chapter 9 is not intended to be anything other than anticlimactic, so don’t worry about the complete lack of action. Don’t worry, if I ever write Otherworld #22, that’ll be full of it.
I had an odd dream yesterday that I forgot to mention. I may turn it into a full post. Until then, enjoy your evening, and keep Waukesha in your thoughts.
Today’s word count: 4,103
Total word count: 51,854
Daily average: 2,469
That’s 50K in the books, but we’re not done yet. Finish the drill. True, the final chapter is more of a recap and setup for the last three Adventures in the Otherworld stories, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give them my all. And it doesn’t mean it’s free. I still have about 6,000 words left to write. So you can call this a victory now if you like, but I’m going to wait until I know I’ve made it to the end.
Today’s word count: 2,335
Total word count: 47,751
Daily average: 2,387
Projected total: 71,626
Getting close to the end now. Chapter 8 starts with a little meandering, mostly because I don’t have a good action-type ending. No, this is more of a dramatic story. I could even make it melodramatic, come to think of it, but the whole point of fiction is to escape reality.
Today’s word count: 2,208
Total word count: 45,416
Daily average: 2,390
Projected total: 71,709
Well, that’s finally over. Two chapters remain, and one’s basically a recap/cliffhanger. Shouldn’t be too hard to finish in 11 days, right? Not that I’m going to rest on my laurels, if I even have laurels. What does that saying mean, anyway?
Also, I would like to join all Americans in thanking 12 very specific people in Wisconsin for daring to do the right thing. Fiat justitia et pereat mundus.
Today’s word count: 2,065
Total word count: 43,208
Daily average: 2,400
Projected total: 72,013
I hate this chapter. I should be done with it tomorrow, though, so that’s good. I’m not sure the “finish the novel before Thanksgiving” plan is going to work out. Two chapters, plus almost half a third, in only a week? Not these days. On the other hand, I’m slightly more confident about getting the whole thing wrapped up before the 30th. I just wish I could be that confident about…oh, anything else in my life these days.
Today’s word count: 1,893
Total word count: 41,143
Daily average: 2,420
Projected total: 72,605
Part of the way through Chapter 7, but it’s a Jenn chapter. Those always take me forever to write, and I never feel I’ve done her justice. She’s just so…different. She’s confident, athletic, devout, and a born leader. In other words, exactly like me in no way at all. Eight years writing this series hasn’t changed that one bit. If anything, I feel I’ve become even less like her.
Today’s word count: 2,123
Total word count: 39,250
Daily average: 2,453
Projected total: 73,593
I had a dream this morning. I was at my old high school, a place I haven’t so much as seen in over 20 years. I honestly don’t know if I was there as a student or some kind of teacher, but I was my current age, with my current looks and current gadgets. After the day had ended, I walked outside and called my mother; gas was almost $12/gallon in this dream, probably why I didn’t drive myself. While I was on the phone with her, someone joined me on the sidewalk, someone I haven’t talked to in far too long. She ran up to me, enveloped me in a suffocating hug, kissed me on the cheek. Then, she saw the name on my phone, smiled, and said out loud, “Hi, Mom!”
Some days, you just hate to wake up, you know?
On the writing side of things, Chapter 6 is done. That leaves three more, and I’m averaging a little less than 3 days per chapter, so…yeah, I might be able to take Thanksgiving off this year.