Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nano Day 7: The Rocky Road

So, here we are, at day 7. What to say.... I've had a rough couple of NaNo days. From Saturday until last night I was consistently behind 400+ words. That doesn't sound like much but it is about two pages of typed text, so you try it. Without a plan or anyone telling you what to write.

The problem with getting behind in NaNo is that it is cumulative. Today you're 400 hundred behind. Tomorrow you have to do the daily count + the 400 missing words. If you miss the daily count of 1667 by say, 100 words, now you're behind 500 words. You see how this can get out of control very fast. It only takes a couple of days at that rate to be 1000 words behind and that, my friends, is roughly five typed pages. That's a lot and very hard to overcome unless you are prolific.

So, last night, I caught up and passed the daily count by a couple of hundred words. Yay! But joy such as this is short lived. When I woke up this morning I realized this. During NaNo you may go to bed caught up. You will wake up behind, 1667 words behind. And you must catch up by midnight.

Depressing? Well, for a moment. But you know that you'll do it. If you want to win, you'll do it. You'll sit in the chair, turn up the music, get in an online write-in, and you'll do it. That's what I did. I did an online write-in with a couple of my NaNo buddies. I put some music on my media player, and we all did some writing together. In one hour I had my words. You kind of want to do a happy dance. But I was sitting Indian style, wrapped in a cozy, warm blanket. I just did a happy bounce and a shout or two. Today, I'm feeling a bit better about the whole thing.

NaNo tends to suck you dry a good bit of the time. Unless your story is blazing and the muse is screaming at you, you can run out of steam pretty fast. You find yourself at stop lights thinking about a plot twist or what makes the character tick while the character behind you is blowing his horn and flipping you off. You go to bed wondering what you'll come up with the next day since you just used your last idea but you fall asleep from exhaustion before you come up with anything. Or you lie awake from the caffeine buzz from all the coffee you've been drinking to stay awake so you can just catch up.

You brush your teeth and think about the look in your characters eye as he/she demands you do what they tell you but you have other ideas. You're not sure about the ax he has in his hands. You argue with people who are not there and the people who are there look at you strangely and start searching for the number to your shrink. You have one, don't you?

In thirty days, you'll begin to sport bloodshot eyes, a scraggly beard (males... well maybe), hairy legs (women....well maybe), uncombed hair, and you're wearing your pajamas every second you're home. The dishes are stacked on every surface and there's a mouse dead behind the fridge. You think the trap got him but maybe it was food poisoning. If you're over 30, you may gain twenty pounds. If you under 30, you may develop zits from the excessive chocolate.

This is the road to glory. Thirty days of alien lands, rugged terrain, dangerous conflicts, and sneaking, conniving, lying, backstabbing characters all bent on destruction. Thirty days of shining cities, searing heat, freezing cold, and a holocaust. Thirty days of silent, stagnant, boring characters refusing to do a darn thing but stare at you in the bathroom mirror as you brush your teeth.

This is the Rocky Road to NaNoWriMo Victory!



  1. Great post. You nailed NaNo on the head with the traveling shovel of death.

  2. You go girl!!! You've got the process down to a "T".