Last year, inspired by Cafe Aphra‘s Alternate NaNoWriMo, I set up a NaNoWriMo profile, set a goal of finishing my novel that was already in progress (The Trickster Entanglement), and set a word count goal of at least 1,000 words a day. This was a deviation from the official NaNoWriMo rules at the time:
- Write one 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
- Start from scratch.
- Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction.
- Be the sole author of your novel.
- Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
Once I had my profile set, I discovered the NaNo Rebels forum on the NaNoWriMo site, which was an officially sanctioned way of doing more-or-less what I planned to do.
This year, NaNoWriMo has officially loosened the rules a bit, striking the “Start from scratch” rule and replacing it with, “Don’t count anything you wrote before November 1 in your word count.”
Even though all of my previous participations in NaNoWriMo have been at deviance with the rules, I’m actually a little disappointed in that rule change. Because I’ve always thought that the original goal of trying to write a novel in a month was a great exercise. The only reason I hadn’t done it before was because before the first NaNoWriMo ever, I’d already been in situations at work where I wrote more than 50,000 word in less than a month. I didn’t feel I needed to learn that lesson, but rather needed to get better at finishing things I’d already started.
That’s why when I participated before last year, I would set myself a goal I usually called GeneStoFinMo (Gene’s Story Finishing Month), where I’d try to finish a bunch of stalled short stories. I had varying degrees of success.
Last year was completely different. I attribute part of it to having only one story I was focused on. Another part of the difference was I did post word counts on the site regularly. And I had at least a couple of writing buddies I was competing against. Or we were egging each other on. Or something.
In any case, wrote 58,000 words, very nearly finishing the novel last November. I used both Camps NaNoWriMo this year to tackle revising and finishing that novel and a related project. I contemplated the goal of using this November to complete implementing the rest of the editorial comments I’d received on a previous project, but I’d been revising and editing and so forth all year. I felt like I needed to do something different.
So this year my goal is to write at least the first half of the next novel in my fantasy series. I say half, because my guess is the final product will be about 90,000 words. I am setting the word count goal of 1667 words a day. So, yes, I want to hit at least 50,000 by the end of the month. I have written several scenes that might be in the book. But I’m not sure. So the plan is to start from a totally blank file at midnight on October 31, and see where the words take me.
If, by chance, you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year and would like to be writing buddies, my NaNoWriMo name is Fontfolly. Please add me, say hello, and I’ll add you back.
Let’s get writing!