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Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

ok but consider: arienai





I failed miserably at writing anything yesterday due to anxiety over Current Events but thankfully I'm still well over par at 13k due to a huge first two days. We'll see how things go now that I get into the part of the story that I don't really have planned yet.

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Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Don't worry! I'm in the same boat too. 517 words yesterday. There was an amazing post in the self-publishing thread that I thought was pretty relevant to NaNo:

angel opportunity posted:

I've been releasing 2-3 50,000-word novels per month

angel opportunity posted:

With all that said, I find that "non-readers" like me have a pretty big advantage when it comes to writing really fast. When I used to write stuff for the Thunderdome, I was hyper-aware of how I would judge it as a reader, because I was writing stuff purely for fun. I was writing what I would want to read myself. Now I am writing things that I don't like to read, and so I use the Pomodoro method. I set a timer for 20 minutes and write non-stop for twenty minutes, usually producing between 900-1,200 words. I take a 6-minute break and repeat. I try to do this for two hours to produce 5,000 words in a two-hour chunk. My first drafts are very clean, and my editing pass for a full novel takes maybe 6-7 hours. My editing pass will be fixing typos, mistakes, and occasionally making some sentences sound better. I never edit anything as I write, and I never go back and look at what I wrote until a book is finished.

"Readers" really struggle with this kind of thing and generally write much more slowly. They also tend to let what they personally like get in the way a lot

That's my problem in a nutshell. I think I'm going to give this method a shot. I have editing time blocked tomorrow to calm my reader brain so here's hoping I can just churn out words today.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I'm starting a few days late since a I was waffling about it , but then a friend told me today that he was doing it and that was the peer pressure I needed apparently.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/verdigristle/

I'm working on a story that I technically started a month or so ago (I'll only be counting new words written for it). It's scifi and it's got a mecha made of bones, ships made out of chitin and it's very gay and full of body horror.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Leng posted:

I think I'm going to give this method a shot. I have editing time blocked tomorrow to calm my reader brain so here's hoping I can just churn out words today.

I cannot for the life of me get this method to work. 3463 words today for at least 8 hours of writing. How do I write good faster?

ConanThe3rd
Mar 27, 2009



10k! 10k! 10k! 10k! (etc etc)

My method is simple; I know this is drival as a first draft and tehrefore I Just go nuts to buts. If something really doesn't sit well I just comment it out like I'm writing html or somsuch and just keep going.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I'm approaching it knowing that this draft isn't anything near being "finished." In my head this isn't even a first draft, it's more like a zero draft. I've written stuff that I know is contradictory to other events or probably won't fit later as I get the story more refined, but for now I just make a note of it, shrug, and keep moving. Otherwise I could spend an hour tweaking a handful of paragraphs without making any real progess on the rest of the story.

McTimmy
Feb 29, 2008


Pikestaff posted:

I failed miserably at writing anything yesterday due to anxiety over Current Events but thankfully I'm still well over par at 13k due to a huge first two days. We'll see how things go now that I get into the part of the story that I don't really have planned yet.

I, too, stared Armageddon Day in the face at 13K.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




DurianGray posted:

I'm approaching it knowing that this draft isn't anything near being "finished." In my head this isn't even a first draft, it's more like a zero draft. I've written stuff that I know is contradictory to other events or probably won't fit later as I get the story more refined, but for now I just make a note of it, shrug, and keep moving. Otherwise I could spend an hour tweaking a handful of paragraphs without making any real progess on the rest of the story.

This is how I'm approaching it too, I'm just getting the ideas down even if they directly contradict each other or aren't justified or explained, and right now I don't care so much if any of it leads anywhere or makes sense. This isn't about context and structure and polish, for me. It's more about figuring out what the book is than actually writing the book, if that makes sense.

I think if you're relatively new to writing novel-length stuff (as I am), it's easy to think that you're going to need to go into something like Nano with a clear idea and plan on how to execute it. And I'm sure there are some people out there who do just that with a good degree of success, but I'm not one of them. I think to a certain degree, you have to have already written a novel to know how to write a novel without it being an incomprehensible mess that will require a lot of editing, and that's without adding the artificial pressures of Nano on top.

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes


One of the most useful bits of advice I have picked up (can't remember where) is to have ThingsToChange.txt open alongside your main writing document.

ThingsToChange.txt is a bullet point list of things that need to be changed (duh) that you can braindump into as you go along. This serves two purposes: the first is that it creates a nice easy list to work through when/if you want to revise your first draft; the second is that by getting them down on (virtual) paper you get them out of your head, helping you move on and keep writing. If you know you're not really dismissing a problem or concern, just recording it safely for later, you can set it aside for now. You can do this for any thought that comes to you, not just errors you spot.

So my ThingsToChange.txt for my NaNo project this year looks like:
  • Chapter 3: I never gave the first town a name; call it “Renchal” and find some way to namedrop this [fixed from chapter 6 onwards]
  • Chapter 7: at a certain point I start calling the female guard (Katta) by the name of the wagon driver (Kelle). Fix this.

Past projects have included things like the following:
  • Chapter 1: still need opening lines
  • Chapter 4: YES, Bob’s cloak is ruined. Stop mentioning it later .e.g in Chapter 21
  • Chapter 12: “pay the bills” seems … anachronistic? Change.
  • Chapter 12: Dale snapping is too sudden
  • Chapter 18: jumps straight to “let’s just get Dale to help out” - this is jarring. At least have some mention of “then Dale won’t have to put her family at risk”
  • Chapter 25: Chris shouldn’t be “jealous”, as such, need to think of right word

Found a continuity error? Add it to the list, forget about it and move on. Can't think of a name for a town? Add it to the list, forget about it and move on. Not happy with a line of dialogue or scene description? Add it to the list, forget about it and move on.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Oh I love the idea of keeping a separate bullet list like that.

Right now I'll have a lot of placeholders in brackets for incidental things that I don't want to trip me up when I'm on a roll like:

It's been [period of time] since...
They went to talk to [guard from the first chapter]...
The map showed [city in the north that exports apples]...

But having a running list of where/what those are would be super helpful since otherwise I might forget to ever name the apple city until I start editing. Thanks for the tip!

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Staggy posted:

[good stuff about ThingsToChange.txt]

Just got through another 1158 words in the last 3 hours and I'm going to take a half hour break. What it did make me realize is the thing that is slowing me down the most is my prose, because I'm working out so many details about character and setting as I write. In the last session, I stopped writing to:
  • Fiddle with word choice
  • Google random world building details that I didn't realize I needed until I sat down to write the scene
  • Block out detailed plot stuff on the individual beat level. Like the chapter breakdown in my outline says "this character is tested for magical ability", so when I sit down to actually write the chapter, I have to figure out: a) what the test actually is, then b) all of the individual beats in the scene, and c) make sure I've strung all of them into a solid, self-contained plot or character arc within the chapter
And when I say I stopped writing, I mean that I sat there staring at the blinking cursor, debating three or more directions for the next word, or sentence, or paragraph. In hindsight, I think I needed to have done another pass on the outline at a more detailed level if I want to get my hourly word count up.

On the plus side, I've hit my chapter goal for this week and I still have this afternoon free. I'm tossing up whether I should make a start on the next chapter or do a more detailed chapter breakdown. I suspect the more detailed chapter breakdown will win out, because hey, what else is NaNo for if not experimenting with different approaches?

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

Just under 20K going into the first weekend. I'm torn between pushing finishing early, using the rest of the month to continue at my own pace, or to slowly wind down to finish at the end of the month.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


584 words in 2 hours today (a non-scheduled writing day) with a more detailed chapter breakdown. This is not helping me go any faster.

LiterallyATomato
Mar 17, 2009

CONFIRMED FOR JAY

Got to eleven thousand, about to give up. Plot is moving way too fast, isn't working...

McTimmy
Feb 29, 2008


LiterallyATomato posted:

Got to eleven thousand, about to give up. Plot is moving way too fast, isn't working...

Faster, more intense.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


LiterallyATomato posted:

Plot is moving way too fast, isn't working...

McTimmy posted:

Faster, more intense.

As someone who is having the opposite problem and a reader who loves breakneck paced action, I can only agree!

Did another 255 words before logging off last night. I've only got the next 4 hours though so here's hoping for 1k.

EDIT: Got through 490 words before I was interrupted by a meeting, then ground through another 799 to finish off a super long scene. Gonna leave it here and come back tonight, maybe. I've got two more scenes to do before I can close off this chapter.

Leng fucked around with this message at 01:39 on Nov 9, 2020

Enchanted Hat
Aug 18, 2013

Defeated in Diplomacy under suspicious circumstances


I'm on 15,669 words, and so far I'm very pleased with how the story is going. I'm feeling optimistic about this. Keep up the good fight, comrades!

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Writing is going pretty well but I'm afraid the plot as it is currently is probably more novella length than short novel. I might throw in some random flashback scenes just for fun and for the word count (and some character exploration).

(Worst case scenario I might just start writing a coffee shop au of my own story )

TheArchimage
Dec 17, 2008


Late to the thread this year, but I'm actually ahead! Broke 15k this evening, let's ride this momentum!

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

ok but consider: arienai





hit 20k today

this is my first try writing 50k words of mundane slice-of-life stuff set in the modern world instead of my usual nerd action sci-fi or fantasy poo poo and it's more difficult than I thought it would be. I'm afraid it's too much talking heads or pointless banter. But hey, NaNoWriMo is for sucking, and I intend to

Pikestaff fucked around with this message at 04:04 on Nov 9, 2020

chyaroh
Aug 8, 2007


14k as of November 8th. It's absolute drivel, and I have no idea or plan or anything (started writing whatever came to mind on 1st November). I've managed to get above par each day - just - with a goal to simply write. There is no intent to publish, or even finish, anything. Just write. Who cares if it makes sense? It probably won't even be internally consistent from day 1. Just write.

For example, I though I'd finish a party and get onto the dream sequence on day 2. Day 7 a character finally left the party. Day 8 and I decided to flood a town for a while.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Sanderson has a NaNo pep talk for us all:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMeNnX1FGgg

EDIT: Another 1002 tonight in about 2.5 hours. Word count per hour is gradually ticking up. I'm not sure whether this is because I'm over-thinking less, writing too much fluff or something else. Targeting another 3k tomorrow as a minimum, 4.5k as a stretch. With that, I'll close off Chapter 3 and have made a start on Chapter 4...fingers crossed.

EDIT EDIT: 2081 in 3.5 hours. Chapter 3 is closed off but I'm tapped out so Chapter 4 will need to wait for tomorrow.

Leng fucked around with this message at 13:53 on Nov 10, 2020

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Agh help I have been staring and staring at the page for Chapter 4 and no words are coming out. Where are you all at?

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

ok but consider: arienai





I just (barely) hit 25k tonight so I'm at the halfway mark. I was definitely struggling a few days ago as I hit a lull, but I think I have a better sense of where the story is going now and the words are flowing again.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I'm just under 19K right now so it looks like I'm on track after the late-ish start (I'm honestly astonished, I've never gotten past like, 2 days or so in my past NaNo attempts).

I haven't quite finished with the main plotline but I needed something different to work on for a bit. I've switched over to doing a flashback side-story for one of the characters to help myself flesh out his backstory and what his deal is (and it's at 6K and going just by itself). I might do a 'flashback' for the other main character too once that runs its course.

One thing I found really helpful that I did with the flashback was changing up the POV (I think I just read about it as a tip for something to do when you get stuck in "Steering the Craft" by Ursula K. Le Guin -- or it might have been some other writing advice tidbit?). My main story has all been first person so far, but since the flashback is for the other, non-POV character, I made it third person and it made the words come a lot easier all of a sudden.

Fortunately, right now I have plenty of ideas () but I also have to worry about managing the tendonitis in my wrists, especially since it looks like I'll need to do a good amount of writing for my dayjob pretty soon ()

DurianGray fucked around with this message at 03:35 on Nov 12, 2020

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


3k into Chapter 4 so I've now passed the 20k mark. Currently undecided as to whether to keep this to normal chapter length of around 6k words or to go shorter.

I won't lie though, the thought of passing 25k is a real motivator. I feel like that'd be a huge morale boost.

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Oh right, I forgot about the forums.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/nethilia/

I'm 30K in to this year's, where I'm writing indulgent nonsense. Year 16!

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


I am fortunate that I have an entire afternoon to myself today; and unfortunate in that I have already wasted at least 4 hours because of Blank Page Syndrome.

So I am going to try something that has been recommended to me but I've always felt too embarrassed and self-conscious about trying: I am going to switch off the display on my monitors and use a voice to text app to "write" for the next twenty minutes. Hopefully that is going to force me to produce more words faster because I won't be editing every word as I type because I literally won't be able to and if that works then I'll take that as a win.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

Leng posted:

I am fortunate that I have an entire afternoon to myself today; and unfortunate in that I have already wasted at least 4 hours because of Blank Page Syndrome.

So I am going to try something that has been recommended to me but I've always felt too embarrassed and self-conscious about trying: I am going to switch off the display on my monitors and use a voice to text app to "write" for the next twenty minutes. Hopefully that is going to force me to produce more words faster because I won't be editing every word as I type because I literally won't be able to and if that works then I'll take that as a win.

Have you considered writing on a device or app where you can only see the line you're working on? I have an Alphasmart Neo I switch to when I can't get rid of Editor Brain.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Devorum posted:

Have you considered writing on a device or app where you can only see the line you're working on? I have an Alphasmart Neo I switch to when I can't get rid of Editor Brain.

I did not know that this was a thing, until you posted this and then NaNoWriMo spammed me with marketing offers for the Freewrite Traveler: https://getfreewrite.com/collections/writing-tools/products/freewrite-traveler

Before blowing $430+shipping on an Indiegogo gadget, I think I'll take your suggestion of fixing things so I can only see the current line I'm writing when I start the next chapter by resizing some browser windows and increasing zoom.

I have noticed that Editor Brain seems to be at its worst whenever I'm starting out a chapter. Once I get going, it's ok, and when I pass the halfway mark in a chapter, I start flying but trying to crack that first sentence and then that first paragraph is just hell. Every critique I've ever read about how important that first line comes to mind and I spend hours typing a few words and then immediately deleting them.

I'm feeling a lot better now though, since I cracked 25k and am now closing in on 30k. Hopefully I will hit 30k tomorrow!

PS: the speech to text did not work for me, mainly because I have a weird accent, though I'm not going to dismiss it entirely because I feel like if I tried to narrate a whole chapter before I wrote it, and then forced myself to transcribe it to text, it might work better. I'll see how I go with that when I get solo writing time later this week.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

Leng posted:

I did not know that this was a thing, until you posted this and then NaNoWriMo spammed me with marketing offers for the Freewrite Traveler: https://getfreewrite.com/collections/writing-tools/products/freewrite-traveler

Before blowing $430+shipping on an Indiegogo gadget, I think I'll take your suggestion of fixing things so I can only see the current line I'm writing when I start the next chapter by resizing some browser windows and increasing zoom.

I have noticed that Editor Brain seems to be at its worst whenever I'm starting out a chapter. Once I get going, it's ok, and when I pass the halfway mark in a chapter, I start flying but trying to crack that first sentence and then that first paragraph is just hell. Every critique I've ever read about how important that first line comes to mind and I spend hours typing a few words and then immediately deleting them.

I'm feeling a lot better now though, since I cracked 25k and am now closing in on 30k. Hopefully I will hit 30k tomorrow!

PS: the speech to text did not work for me, mainly because I have a weird accent, though I'm not going to dismiss it entirely because I feel like if I tried to narrate a whole chapter before I wrote it, and then forced myself to transcribe it to text, it might work better. I'll see how I go with that when I get solo writing time later this week.

The Freewrite is a bit much, in my opinion. You can find an Alphasmart Neo2 on eBay for around $30+Shipping.

The only real downside is you have to use USB to transfer to a PC.

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

ok but consider: arienai





I hit 34,000 words today, so I'm still a few days ahead of schedule and I'm happy about that. I've been hit with what is hopefully just a nasty cold, so I'm taking it easy and only writing when I'm feeling up to it. Fortunately I've been writing some fun scenes so I've been getting a lot done in limited time. We'll see if that keeps up!

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

Broke 40K last night. Feeling real good about my chances of finishing as long as I don't self-destruct at the finish line.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


30k!!! Going to reward myself by taking a night off writing and diving into Rhythm of War.

Pikestaff
Feb 17, 2013

ok but consider: arienai





Hit 40k! I'm in the home stretch now. It's nice knowing I can do 1000 words every day from here on out and hit goal, but I think I want to try to keep up the pace and finish early.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Had to take a day or so off because of a migraine, but I've managed to get caught up again so I'm a teeny bit ahead of the 1667-words-per-day pace. Realizing I really love writing action and fight sequences, which is good because there are a few more of them I need to write.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

47K. I'll probably finish today or tomorrow.

Then I've got probably another 40K before the draft is actually done.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Nap Ghost

Hit 50k. My first win since 2016, feels good. Still got at least 30K words to go, but I've been on a roll so I definitely think I'll have a complete draft in a couple of weeks.

Devorum fucked around with this message at 18:12 on Nov 22, 2020

Enchanted Hat
Aug 18, 2013

Defeated in Diplomacy under suspicious circumstances


I just passed 40,000, and I'm feelin' good. Less than four digits of trash left to write—let's go!

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Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Enchanted Hat posted:

I just passed 40,000, and I'm feelin' good. Less than four digits of trash left to write—let's go!



Also you were completely right. 40k words and I've only done 7/12 planned chapters, so now I'm giving some serious thought to condensing the rest of those unwritten chapters!

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