Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo: The First Day

2033 words in one day, while still working a full time job. It's a definite record for me, as I don't think I've ever hit over 1500, even on a weekend. A good day is generally around the 500 word mark for me.

To hit the target I microwaved some pasta for lunch and wolfed it, then spent a good fifty minutes getting down around 700 words. Another three hours or so at home brought me up to the 2000 mark, and I even had time to read a few pages of PALE IMMORTAL before my eyes went blurry and I absolutely had to sleep.

The amazing thing about this is that those words are similar in quality to my usual first drafts. It's good to know that a certain amount of focus and fear can create this kind of output.

One tip I have so far is to make sure you have a number of pre-built names for characters, including spares. If you have a list of names that you know will suit your story, it's very easy to pick one and keep the words moving forward.

The NaNo philosophy doesn't recommend you doing any sort of revision, but that's too much of a habit for me and I've already gone back and fixed mistakes and tweaked for flow. It's a risky manuever, but I've put up a longer excerpt on my NaNo profile page. Here's the non-flash version, which isn't as pretty but loads a lot faster.

Can I do another 2000 today? We'll see.

13 comments:

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm watching. You go, Daniel.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Part of it is building the muscle. It used to take me months to bring a short story to completion. Now, a day or two. So it makes sense to me that with some extra motivation you can produce more doing this. And over time, the quality will continue to improve.

kathrynoh said...

Good luck!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Thank you muchly, Kathryn of the Oh.

Mindy, is that like all FBI-style watching? Cause if it is, I'm scared. Shitless. :)

Sandra, I know exactly what you mean. The last story I wrote and sent off to Murdaland, I sat on for about six months. I've written about half that in the last day and a half.

I think it's also a question of confidence, and lessons learned up to now. I've read more than a couple of handfuls of books on writing, and learned many niggly little bits from being edited by others, and all of that is now second nature, at least to some level.

So now I'm more freed up by not having to think as much about the mechanics of the writing, and I can put all my time into the meaty stuff of it all i.e what the fuck happens next?

Aldo said...

Oh yeah! I punched in at 12:01 AM and put 500+ words and just completed another 1500+. I don't know if I can keep up the pace.

Good luck and keep punching those keys....

Daniel Hatadi said...

Hey, Aldo, good job! Seems you had a similar first day to me.

I have no idea if I can keep up this pace either, might have to speak to my 'caffeine' supplier. ;)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

You'll be fine. It really only gets sketchy around the 20th when you realize you've fallen asleep at the keyboard and kept writing.

Steven said...

Wait. So there's a place where I can clock in? Is there a prize? Is there a possibility of cash here? I may be a day late, but I can do this with the proper incentive...

Daniel Hatadi said...

Sorry, Steven. You don't really win anything other than the words you end up with and the ability to say, "I won!"

But check nanowrimo.org for more.

angie said...

No cash prizes??? WTF?!!! I was lied to, dammit! I want my money back!

Oh. Wait...

Daniel's kicking NaNo boo-tay. (Even without the cash incentives).

Tami said...

Awesome Daniel! I hit 1,752 last night which was TOUGH. I ran into the problem of naming the characters like you mentioned but think I have it all worked out at this point!

I'm taking your word counter because mine isn't working!

Tami said...

Okay, so I just noticed that your counter is from Nanowrimo! I didn't know they were doing counters this year. Which one is the one you're using. I can only find the one that has the words you've wrote and how many words you are behind (which is driving me batty.) Can you point me in the right direction? Am i just blind?

Daniel Hatadi said...

Hey thanks, guys. Go for it girls! GO!