Monday, October 17, 2016

NaNoWriMo Prep #1 // Pterodactyl Screeches

As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, Pumpkin Spice has returned in full force, along with all the other seasonal flavors. The cooler air smells like nostalgia. Those saddled with raking leaves are cursing the season. We all know what this means. NaNoWriMo is just around the bend. 

Quick, everybody panic! 

Remain calm, is what I meant to say. Stupid autocorrect. 

Everything is going to be just fine. There is absolutely nothing to worry about this National Novel Writing Month. Please ignore the v-shaped arrangements of muse fairies migrating to warmer climates. Who needs those anyway? 

This will be my fourth NaNoWriMo, and I’m hoping it will be my best one yet. Obviously this might not happen, since I have to work Fridays to Sundays. But I managed to do pretty well last year, and I spent the first week of November packing and moving from Maine to Virginia. 

Here are my stats from the previous years:






So let’s talk goals.

This November, I hope to write anywhere from 444,444 to 800,000 words. I realize this is a rather wide range. If you’ve spent much time on the NaNoWriMo forums (especially the Overachiever Section), you’ll know that Wrimos like to set three separate goals: a minimum, an aim, and a dream goal. 

These are what mine look like: 

Minimum: 444,444, because I don’t want to write anything less than I did last year. If I can't one-up myself, then what's the point, I ask you. 

Aim: 500,005. If I manage my time well, take care of myself, and drink enough coffee, this should be doable. I’ve found each NaNoWriMo I’ve been able to write more than I did the previous November, even though I’ve had more going on each time around, so 500,005 ought to be a reasonable goal for me. I certainly have enough stories planned. 

Dream: 800,008. I really want to make my dream goal 1,000,001, but I know that I shouldn’t. Not this year. I already have wrist issues from writing and Karate, and I need to make sure I can still at least move my fingers so I can do my custodial job. (I don’t currently own any wrist braces, but methinks I should look into buying a couple.) Anyway, 800,008 is a pretty number, and it’s still quite the challenge. I don’t need to try to do the million this year. *gazes sadly at the two Wrimos who wrote three million each last year* *single tear slides down cheek as camera zooms in dramatically* 

In case you haven’t already noticed, I am a teeny, tiny bit competitive. Because I like to hang out on the OA forums, I see all the overachievers who are doing as much as me or more. Granted, there is no reason to feel bad about my wordcount, no matter what it is, just as there is no reason for you to feel bad about yours, but when I see someone going for the Mill, I’m like a dog spotting a running rabbit. I have to chase it. It’s in my nature. 

Last year my daily average was 14,814 words. To get to 500,005, I just need to up that to 16,667, which is within spitting distance. However, if I want to reach 800,008, I’ll need to pull 26,667 a day, which will be rather more challenging. Typically my wrists start seizing up after 20K, and I’ve never done more than 35.6K in a day. Speaking of never doing more than 35.6K in a day, one of my smaller goals for this month is to write 50K in a day. Maybe not 50K on day one, because I want to ease my wrists into this, but hopefully by the midway point at the latest. In 2014, my record for words written in a day was 30K, so I know that I’m at least capable of beating my previous year’s record. 

So many numbers! Typically I don’t math. But when it comes to NaNoWriMo, you can betcha I’m making charts and getting a little crazy with the division and the multiplication. I might even take it a step further and get into addition, but probably not. I’m not that insane. Maybe I’ll relegate that to Siri, now that I have her on my Mac. 

At this point, you might be wondering what I’m going to work on this year. Well, I can’t give you too many details, since I have a long list of book ideas, and I never know exactly which ones I’ll end up tackling. But my priorities are a villain prequel to DRACONIAN, a random just-for-fun sequel to TIME IN A BOTTLE (since TIB is a stand-alone with series potential), an apocalyptic story (also just for fun), the third book in a literary trilogy I started in NaNoWriMo 2014 (I wrote the second book in NaNoWriMo 2015), a ghost story, and a Scottish Romance. The Scottish Romance (that’s totally been the stand-in title for years), was outlined as a challenge when my sister and a couple friends of mine (and me, of course) joked about each writing Scottish Romances. And even though I’m not a fan of romance, at all, I enjoyed researching Scotland and thinking about ways to make this romance as unromantic as possible. So far the outline includes a couple murders, a mad person, some broken bones, William Wallace, and betrayal. It’s been nagging at the back of my head for ages, because I really am curious to see how it will turn out. I guess I might as well write the silly thing and get it over with. (Let it be noted that I am a panster, so the fact that I was able to outline this at all is a miracle in and of itself.) 

Over all, I’ve been sitting on these ideas for longer than most of the others on my list, so I’m more confident jumping into them, but I do have fifteen decently-fleshed out ideas to fall back on if I need more material. 

I know that the wonders of editing have made me sound relatively composed and relaxed in this post, but let me tell you, I am way more excited than you’d think. I’m not even halfway through my cup of coffee, and my hands are already shaking so badly I’m having trouble typing things correctly. Also, I keep accidentally ending up on the NaNo Forums. I AM SO EXCITED. I don’t care how much work I have to do between now and then (okay, I care a little). I want it to be November now. *slams coffee cup on table* 

*bashes head against keyboard* 


I am calm. 

Oh, and a few random, small observations before I leave you: I have two laptops. They have names. I have Adele 3.0, my MacBook Air, which I use most of the time. And I have Adele 2.0, which is a Dell. *laughs for an awkwardly long amount of time* (In case you’re curious, Adele 1.0 was an HP. I’m not entirely corny. It's a complete coincidence that Adele 2.0 is a Dell. She was a gift from my uncle.) Adele 3.0 doesn’t have an internal DVD player, and I haven’t taken the plunge and purchased an external one yet, so I use Adele 2.0 when I need to watch DVDs instead of Netflix. This is somewhat problematic for me. Adele 2.0 is large—about 16-17 inches diagonally. When I decided to switch to an 11.6 inch Mac, I was concerned about the keyboard being cramped. Of course, when I got the Mac, I adjusted to it with no trouble. It fits my hands like a glove. (Please don’t hit me.) Now when I have to use Adele 2.0, the keyboard is so freaking huge, I don’t know what to do with my fingers because they are not hitting all the keys. Also, it strikes me as weird that I had no trouble switching to Mac, but every time I use my PC, I literally don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I can’t even scroll on the first try. WHAT IS HAPPENING. 

Anyway, all that to say, the J key and the Z key (and sometimes the K key) tend to fall off my Mac keyboard, because I type violently. They’re really easy to snap back on, but I am slightly worried that by the end of the month all the keys will have fallen off and gotten lost and I will have to resort to typing on a keyboard made for giants for the rest of my life. 

In other news, I need more coffee. 

What about you, my little coffee beans? Are you planning to participate this NaNoWriMo? What are your writing goals? What are some NaNoWriMo achievements you’re proud of? What projects are you hoping to work on this November? Do you have any concerns for this month?


  1. Wow! I'm impressed with your NanNo goals. I've never tried it. I work too much for that. Good luck!

    1. Thank you! You already do a lot of work. I can see where NaNoWriMo would be a little too much on your plate. :)

      Thank you for commenting! :)

  2. It's entirely thrilling to find someone who writes faster and longer and more competitively than I do. :') I will literally NEVER come anywhere close to what you do! I'm more like an explosion. Get in. Write 20K+ for 5 days. THEN LEAVE MAJESTICALLY IN TEARS. *nods* I just can't keep myself focused for longer than a few days of writing?! But I did write 130K in 5 days a month ago, although on the 5th day I actually made myself physically ill from staring at the screen too long and I thought I was going to puke. hahaa. OH THE WRITERS LIFE. (Also 35K in one day is amazing.) I'm just in awe of you, Liz!! YOU ARE SO AMAZING.

    Also is there something about Mac keys that make them disagreeable? My O, U and B keys all like to give me trouble. -_-

    Oh, and will you be blogging or reading during all of this? Or do you literally just type for ever waking hour during November? *whispers* You should give us like a "day in the life of NaNoing" post sometime. ;D :D

    1. Haha, I'm so glad you don't hate me for overachieving. *laughs and cries simultaneously* I always worry people will get angry at me for writing so much. :P BUT I HAVE TO BE THE ALPHA. I mean, what? But hey, I think it's awesome that you're able to write so much in such a short period of time. And I totally know what you mean about feeling sick after staring at the screen for so long. I need to figure out ways to combat that. Aww, thank you! You are too! :)

      I'm thinking that must be the case. They seem to be designed to snap on, but then not designed to stay snapped on for long. :P I'm glad it's just them coming off, though, not them breaking off permanently. That would stink.

      I'm working on editing the majority of my blog posts ahead of time, and I probably won't read all that much. I'm not sure how many books I'll tackle, maybe just one or two, or not even that many. I'm planning to spend the majority of my time typing. :P But I will be doing some Netflix to recharge my brain, so... XD Ooh, that's a good idea. I will have to do that! It's like you're my external brain. *awards you cake*

      Thank you for commenting! :)

  3. WOW! I don't write, so even the thought of writing an entire novel in a month is intimidating, but that many words per day?? I can't even imagine! And you've done SO MUCH in past years already! Good luck!

    1. :P And it's funny, because my first NaNoWriMo I was expecting to struggle to make it to 50K, but once I passed it, I was like, what is happening? Why am I writing so much? So I just decided to go with it. :P

      Thank you, and thank you for commenting! :)

  4. My goodness Liz, those goals are insane!!! HOW DO YOU EVEN DO THAT??? My record-breaking writing day was 7,000 words, and I was so proud of myself. I'm just not a fast writer :/ I am super excited for this Nano, though, even though I'll have the typical 1,667 word goal because I usually can't do more than that. BUT BEST OF LUCK!

    1. Well, I am slightly insane, so... ;) MAGICAL POWERS, I TELL YOU. I ate a muse fairy when I was a toddler. Hey, 7,000 words in a day is still impressive! And there's no shame in writing more slowly. Your first drafts are probably a lot less messy than mine. :P Ooh, you're doing NaNoWriMo? *happy dance* What is your username? I would love to add you as a buddy. AND BEST OF LUCK TO YOU TOO. :)

      Thank you for commenting! :)

    2. *makes it life goal to find a muse fairy*

      My user's Victoria Jackson (so original, I know). Totally add me!

    3. You can borrow my muse fairy traps. Just use chocolate-covered coffee beans as bait, and you should be golden. ;)

      XD So original. (I'm Lorna Doone 11, in case you're wondering who the creep is who just added you. I am the creep. I should have gone with my name, probably, but I can't change it now. :P)

  5. Wow those are some big goals! I can't imagine writing that much in one day. My goal is the plain 50K. XD If I need to do more I usually let it bleed over into December. Best wishes with your goals!

    1. :P The plain 50K is an impressive goal too! I think it's great that you're able to keep writing into December if you have more to write. NaNoWriMo gives me motivation to draft, but when I don't have the fun deadline and the fun competition, drafting is no fun and I avoid it. :P Best of luck to you too! :)

      Thank you for commenting! :)