The end of NaNoWriMo: Looking ahead

I finished National Novel Writing Month with 40,174 words. That’s approximately ten thousand less than I needed to win, but approximately ten thousand more than I managed to eke out last year. If this kind of progress continues, I should be able to win it next year!

I’ve learned a little bit more about what it takes to get me to write. Optimism helps a lot, as does that word-count-craziness I talked about in the last post. My roomie Anne and my sister Dani told me often that I could do it, and that really made me feel supported, even when I was beginning to despair a bit.

In my free time, I either did homework or read, especially during the last week of November. At first I tried getting back into video games, but that quickly failed. Probably a good thing, too, since I didn’t need any other distractions.

Goals: They actually worked out this time. I liked having controlled access to webcomics during the month, though the practice drove me up the wall in regards to a certain recent “Tao of Geek” storyline… would you want to stop reading before finding out what a CD code-named “clever donkey porn” contained?

In any case, controlled access worked well enough that I’m going to continue using the method during the rest of the year. As I start writing again, I’ll spend every 10,000 words catching up on everything I’ve missed, occasionally delving into the archives I still haven’t read or finished yet.

As far as the actual writing, I’m still up in the air as to what approach works best – writing in timed sprints or writing by some other form of measurement (pages, thousands of words, scenes, etc.). The timed sprints work well in just getting everything out, so I’m more inclined to think they were more useful for high word counts in short amounts of time, though the word count per 15 minutes varied depending on how tired I was. On the other hand, writing a page at a time kept me writing fairly nice prose, with approximately 500-600 words in a varying amount of time.

Goals and strategies for next month:

  • continue to use webcomic access as goals
  • set ending goal of a donation or product to buy
  • write in 4+ sprints a day (about 2,000+ words)
  • pull 1+ write-a-thon or write-in
  • use dares. lots of dares. ;D

Whiteboard photos, comics, and sketches coming up soon!

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