“You’re here now, that’s all that matters.” She looks down at the spoon in the batter.
“Oh, perfect!” I say, pretending I just noticed it. I carefully pick up the spoon and lick off some of the brownies. She relaxes a little bit and laughs, then gets another spoon out of the drawer. I pick up the bowl and start for the living room. Mom follows. “Spruce Ridge just started, right? Let’s see what Olivia and John are up to today.”
“No,” Mom says, sitting on the couch. “Olivia’s with Nick again. He’s back in town.” I gasp, and I can tell she’s relieved to get her mind on something else. She gets a spoonful of brownie batter, and I turn on the television. “You missed a lot, but I’ll fill you in.”
I feel like I missed everything.
What most people call November I call NaNovember. I like it. It’s my reminder that for one special month, I give myself permission to spend all my free time (and much of my work time, shh!) frantically writing a novel that I may or may not want to publish some day. I spent a few years working on my Cassandra story, and while that’s still a work in progress, I think I will shift gears this year.
In 2007 I wrote the novel Quest for Serentasia. It still needs work to become publishable, but I had some vague ideas for a sequel back then and I have yet to write more than about 3500 words — that was last year, when I had Lyme disease and had zero energy for at least the first half of the month. By the time I was feeling better, I had no enthusiasm because I felt I didn’t have time to get to 50k.
My current plan of action: Reread what I wrote last year. Edit that if I see fit, but do not add any new words. Start planning the rest of the novel. November 1st, whatever is already written is off-limits. Take the new word count and add 50k to get my 2012 total word count goal. I did this in 2010, adding 50k to the preexisting word count and continuing a failed NaNo attempt from the year before. So that’s what I’m going to do again.
Following Jessica‘s lead, I’m posting my chart comparing this year’s word count each day to last year.
Why it’s so different?
- Last year’s novel followed the quest archetype, which meant I had a bit of a built-in outline, but this year I started with a very basic concept with few plot points.
- Last year I worked part time, about 6 hours a week being average. This year I am working full-time (yay!) and therefore had a lot less free time in my day (boo!).
- Last year I got engaged November 17 and just wanted to finish as soon as possible. This year I’m living with my fiance and have to juggle my free time with when he’s home (I find it a lot easier to write when I’m alone).
- Last year I met with Aimee (Poughkeepsie area ML) Tuesdays in addition to write-ins every Sunday. We had a lot of great back-and-forth convos about our novels. This year I went to the Poughkeepsie kick-off party, one write-in down in Westchester, and a couple IM convos with Aimee (and one with my cousin’s daughter) and that’s it.
Last year I had a spiral notebook where I kept track of the ideas bursting from my head before it was time to set them down in the novel. I have continued using the notebook during editing.
This year I have a spiral notebook where last night I wrote down a bunch of my mom’s recipes. Because I need to put them in my recipe binder. And they have nothing to do with my novel whatsoever.
Lots of things going on in my life lately. I didn’t complete NaNoEdMo, but I’m okay with taking my sweet time on this. I am still tracking my editing hours and have passed the 10 hour point. Now it’s just about time to get ready for this year’s NaNoWriMo. My fiancee said he’ll probably join me, and a coworker is on the fence and trying to get some of her friends to join before she really commits to it. I plan on lending her my copy of No Plot? No Problem to entice her.
I don’t know what I’ll write this year. I have vague ideas for a sequel to QfS, but I’d rather hold off on that until the first one is done with editing so I don’t have to rewrite the sequel ten times as things change in QfS. I also have the “novel” ideas from January of this year, but I think the 1k that I wrote works best as is, so I plan on putting that in my short story binder along with the others. So where does that leave me? I have no ideas yet, but I’m sure (translation: I hope) some brilliance will strike my fancy just before November, as it did last year.
My preparations have begun today, though! I have started rereading No Plot? No Problem, because of course I can’t pass it along until I refresh my memory. I have also started praying that I don’t get sick all that month — I’m sick now, going on a week, and I think that’s enough for one year. I’m thinking about which blank notebook to use for this year’s plans, ideas, research, sketches, highlighting, crossing out, epiphanies, peppermint hot chocolate stains….