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Non-NaNoWriMo – Halfway Point

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Website quote: "We've already written over a billion words collectively (last year, we ended the month at 1.6 billion), and I'm starting to wonder if two billion words might be in the cards for this year. Holy cow."

A quick recap:  National Novel Writing Month is an effort to get all those would-be authors out there to sit down in the month of November and brute force their way through a 50,000 word novel, prioritising getting the basic story done over crafting something perfect first time.  While not directly taking part, I have decided to try to either finish the novel I’ve been working on for years, or at least write an additional 50,000 words of it in November.  For a bit more detail, you can read my previous post here.

With there being thirty days in November, the 15th serves as the halfway point, by which those participating should ideally be hovering at least around 25,000 words.  As you can see from the dedicated page I put up, I hit that on the 14th, one day ahead of schedule.  The 25,000th word was “said”, which isn’t exactly the most interesting word it could have been, but it is what it is.

Hitting the 50,000 word target requires an average of 1,666 words per day.  It took me a long time to reach that, but at one point I started having a lot of really good days where I was thoroughly enjoying myself and the words were just pouring into the document.  I put it into chart form:

Chart: # of words and words per day

As you can hopefully see from the blue line, at first I wasn't coming close to consistently writing enough for the 1,666 average. That series of low days kept the overall average low (the red triangles) and needed a large spike to bring it up to the target levels, which I managed on the 8th. The couple of really good days mean that even on slower days (like the 11th and 12th) the average stays above the target, and I've had a couple more good days since then.

So the first 15 days have turned out well.  By the halfway point I’d written 28,597 words, comfortably above the 25,000 target, which in theory should make the second half that much easier.

On a personal level, it’s been a lot of fun.  I’ve had to sacrifice time that I’d otherwise spend playing games (though I have treated myself to occasional games of Left 4 Dead after a good day) or browsing the web, and I’m not watching quite as much TV either (all of which decreases the blog entries, as there’s less to write about).  At almost every other time though it’s been the other way around, I’ve neglected the novel in favour of doing something else, so I think one month where the writing takes priority is the least I can do.  Plus, as I said, it’s been lots of fun.

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