Note: I wrote this all on December 1st, but didn’t get around to posting it until now.
So. 25,500 words, with another 3,149 in notes, for 28,649 words written in November—whether one counts the notes depends on how much you want to stretch things. (Judging by many NaNoWriMo participants I’ve met in person, stretching is actively encouraged. If I’d written another completely unrelated story, they’d have advised me to have one character say, “I just thought of a story…” and put the entire thing in there for the word count.)
Week 4 should have been the “crunch” period, by all rights, but I woefully slacked off then. I got a couple thousand words written on Sunday, I think, but didn’t really even crack open the word processor—so to speak—for the Thanksgiving holiday. And, with the last two days of the month being my first two days of work, I didn’t pick up the slack. Granted, given that I don’t have much to do yet, one might argue I had ample time to at least break 30,000, but working on your own stuff on company time isn’t the best first impression to make on a new employer.
But enough self-flagellation. I’m happy.
On Sunday I had a breakthrough in plotting that I wish had come a couple weeks earlier, but it’s helping make other pieces fall into place. The real test is yet to come, of course: getting through the perilous second act. No, not perilous for the characters (although it is), perilous for me. That’s the point when I usually fall down. I have a much better road map, of sorts, than I ever have before on a major story: an outline in the amazing little program Hog Bay Notebook. Why is this amazing? Well, as a traditional standalone outliner, I use it for the “index card” approach—writing down a sentence or two about scenes and then rearranging them with drag and drop, seeing where the holes are in my work. But, every outline entry gets a “note” associated with it, edited with a WordPad-like word processor. So, I’m doing rough drafts of individual scenes right in Notebook.
Regular readers will, of course, know that my other major worry will just be time organization. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet—as is obvious to those who pay attention, I fell down in general in November, and it looks like Claw & Quill will have just a December issue with hopes that I get my arse together come January. (I’m realizing that webzines have those artifically-imposed deadlines just to keep their editors in gear, so I’m probably going to have to back off from my “no deadlines” idea to come up with something that’s, well, got deadlines.)
But, I do have an idea: commuting. Yes, actual on-the-train commuting. There’s a park and ride lot that’s probably five minutes’ drive from the house, even during rush hour, and I may qualify for a free light rail pass. It’ll probably take about 45 minutes commuting time, if I read the schedule right, and yes, that’s longer than the 30-40 minutes of drive time—but not much longer, and in theory, it’ll be time I can spend working on writing. I’ll see if all this theory works out.