Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoing all over the map

I somehow lost count of my word count! When I signed up for NaNoWriMo, I had it in mind to write a contemporary novel, a story that had been sloshing around in my head for a bit and seemed about the right consistency and temperature to start really cooking. So I went for it.
First-round edits for Angels, Sinners and Madmen, my Key West historical novel, were due by the end of the month too. Better to finish those off, I thought, so I could concentrate on my NaNoWriMo story. With the edits, that novel finished with another 1600 words. Add that to the count!

Back to the contemporary I went, writing away to almost 5,000k. But another story pulled me away. You know how that goes sometimes. One becomes more insistent than another, and it starts building a momentum in your brain that whirls and clicks and grows, and if you ignore it, your skull might explode from the pressure. So I went back to that one. It had been 27k, intentionally truncated to fit in the Earth Songs line for The Wild Rose Press. The editor returned it, saying she liked it very much, but it wasn’t quite a romance. She suggested I layer in the POV of the hero between that of the heroine. Once I started, the momentum unfurled onto the page and I couldn’t stop. Even on our trip back home for Thanksgiving, I wrote pages and pages in the car. I added another 35k to that story, so it’s now at a respectable 61k and I’m still going.

Meanwhile, Christmas commercials on TV, of all things, have begun to really spark my Christmas spirit. So I started yet another story with a Christmas theme.

I finally tallied it all up this morning and found that my word count wasn’t so pathetic as I thought. In fact, it’s a respectable 43k. Only another 7,000 words to go. In two and a half days! As Chris Baty said in his last pep talk email, “easy peasy.” Here I thought I’d fallen into the third group of NaNoWriMo hopefuls, “The Go On Without Me’s.” Baty’s description fit: “life went completely crazycakes” (oh yeah). His final words of encouragement buoyed me: “You're off the map, but that's the point of this escapade… Return to the page—there's still a beautiful adventure waiting for you.”

Thanks, Chris. I agree! I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished this month—I’ll finish off a great historical novel, and have started two other stories I’m excited about, plus the first-round edits of another novel. Not a bad month at all.

Here's another Christmas video, to keep the spirit going.


Alice Audrey said...

And here I was so proud of myself for doing 50,000 of the NaNo I'm going to submit in Jan.

Cate Masters said...

Yay Alice! Good for you.