I’m Still Standing

Success for National Novel Writing Month (NANO)

November hurled plenty my way to try and stop me from hitting the goal of writing 50,000screenshot-1 words during the month. From the bad – my daughter spending four days in the hospital, to the good – thirty-two people showing up for Thanksgiving at our house.

My daughter is much better, and the folks who showed up for turkey dinner are much bigger.

A few stats in case you can’t read the chart pictured: I hit 50,188 words at around 10 p.m. on November 30. Two hours to spare! This was my first successful Nano in two tries. Least productive days: November 8 (first day of hospital visit): 0. November 24 (Thanksgiving): 0. Most productive day: November 28: 5,578 words. Daily average: 1,673 words.

Now, 50,000 words does not equal a novel. If history is my judge, I’ll need about 150,000 words to finish. I’m writing a suspense story, so my goal for the finished product is to land somewhere between 80k and 85k. Editing and revisions will wipe out almost as many words as I keep.

Just for good measure, I also entered the 2016 St. Louis Writer’s Guild Short Story contest. Tennessee Williams has won it in the past, and I’m pretty sure he’s not entering this year, so I’ll rub a rabbit’s foot or kiss a blarney stone. Also, the words in the short story did NOT count for Nano.

So as soon as I recover from exhaustion, I’ll get back to reviewing books and writing flash fiction and any other fun we can dream up for the blog. Of course, I still have another 100,000 words to write for the story so that’ll come next too. Thanks for sticking around and inviting me back to life post-November.

4 thoughts on “I’m Still Standing

  1. Congratulations! You’re braver than I am, and I’m usually a goal oriented soul! And I’ve managed over the limit of wpd on my own – but NOT for 30 straight days. I started to shadow y’all (i.e. attempt it, but not CLAIM it…) and I thought, who am I kidding??? Even the idea gives me the hives. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still a little stunned I made it. My process doesn’t lend itself to Nano. I write first draft by hand and then enter it on my keyboard one chapter at a time. So generally, I write maybe 1,000 words in a day and then enter it the next day. So I’m feeling pretty good right now. (Until I finish the first draft and realize how bad it is.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats, John! I won NaNo a few years ago, and found it to be a very motivating experience. I hope you have fun finishing and editing your masterpiece. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! It sure isn’t a masterpiece yet. But you know what they say about a first draft — it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be written. I’ve got a good start on that!

      Hope your move is going great and you’re settling into a new office, Colin. I’m gonna wander over to your blog and some others now that November is over. I haven’t been here or anywhere else for over a month!


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