Thursday, October 31, 2013

NaNoWriMo~The Calm Before the Storm...

Today is October the 31st of the year 2013. Tomorrow, the national phenomenon called NaNoWriMo will begin once more. I have some long days ahead of me.

I'm excited about NaNo this year, truly I am, but having 'won the game' in my first attempt and holding to that three more times after, I'm beginning to wonder if...well, if it's too easy for me.

What you're now thinking: “50,000 words. In a month? And you think that's too easy. What brand of chocolate are you eating and where can I get some?” (Truthfully—and surprisingly—no chocolate is involved.)

Last year I held the number goal within a T-Rex's arm-length five days before the 30th. In 2011, my word count from the 29th read: 48,794. 2010's second-to-last day was 49,254. The only time I've cut it close was in my first year, writing longhand, when I had to make up about 6,000 words before midnight on November 30th.

I know it's crazy, and there have been tense moments in the past that I've worried about getting my 50k, but I have gotten it. Four times in a row.

NaNoWriMo is not hard enough for me. This is the conclusion I've finally come to.

And it's a frightening conclusion. Why? Because NaNo is a challenge. It's designed to push your writing output limits, and mine have not been significantly strained since 2009.

Here's my second conclusion. Since NaNo isn't sufficiently difficult, I need to make it harder on myself.

(In part, this has already been done for me. My trusty-rusty computer of choice has been even more unreliable than usual of late, and I'm not sure I can trust it, let alone be efficient working on it, this year. My second choice in computers is a fine model, but one with an unfamiliar word-processor with a poor automatic dictionary, and controls and tools I've no idea what to do with.)

Below is one of several options I have been considering, and the one I believe I have chosen to employ:

Raise the word count goal. Normally, the quota of words per day (wpd) is about 1,667 words. If my goal was raised to 60k, that would equal 2,000 wpd. If I aimed for 70k, I'd need to churn out roughly 2,334 wpd.

So, for this year's NaNo Project—The Turq Wars—I'm aiming for that high goal of 70k, but if this proves far more difficult than I've imagined, I have the cushion of the 60k to fall back on. Even then, it's an added 10,000 words written over the course of one month.

Here's to NaNoWriMo 2013, may your pen be mightier than the sword, and may your sword be useful in chasing off plot bunnies.

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