NaNoWriMo update: The final stretch

Whew! We're down to the last few days of NaNoWriMo. I only added about 2400 words to my total word count today, so I still have 11,000 words to go if I want to "win" this year — which I do. Whether or not that will finish out my novel, we'll have to see, but I have hope!

I'm sorry for not maintaining my blog very well this month. My first year doing NaNoWriMo, I posted my word count on my blog every night, but in my defense I didn't have a horse to visit daily back then! Hopefully, though, in a couple of days I'll have finished my novel, and can put it aside for a little while before I revise it.

One of the interesting parts about this month is how many changes my original plot line and cast of characters have gone through. Three of my characters turned out to be plot ninjas, or perhaps just minor planets demonstrating they have gravity of their own and can therefore influence the trajectory of the story. It meant I was flying blind for most of the month, writing without my outline, but I've decided I actually like the new developments better than my original ideas — I just need to iron out a few of the details.

Those of you who are participating, are you gearing up for a last-minute write-a-thon to get your word count in? How have your novels gone this month — the way you expected, or did you run into problems or changes you didn't plan for?

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By Katharine Swan On Saturday, November 28, 2009 At 11:40 PM 0 comments

Snowed under (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo)

It has been a long time since I've posted regularly, and I feel I owe my readers an explanation (or at least, my list of excuses).

For one thing, I've been spending a lot of time with my horse in recent months, particularly since I moved him to a new barn in October, as you will know if you follow my Pony Tales Blog. But on top of that, and on top of my normal workload, this month I am participating in NaNoWriMo — and trying not to sacrifice either work time, or horse time in order to write a novel.

For those of you who aren't familiar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel, or at least 50,000 words of a novel, in the month of November. This is now (in theory) my fourth year of NaNoWriMo, as I "won" (reached 50,000 words) in 2006, and participated (but didn't win) in 2007 and 2008. In fact, I never really wrote anything more than an outline in 2007, and didn't get all that much farther in 2008, either.

You aren't supposed to start the novel until 12:01 am on November 1st, but I'm cheating a bit this year. With my lack of success the last two years, I've decided that it's more important to use NaNoWriMo to help me finish one of the novels I've already started. I also really want to get myself into the habit of writing fiction regularly, as I've been working on it in fits and starts, which doesn't really get me anywhere. Although working on an existing novel is technically against the rules, in my defense I only had about 3,000 words to it when I started NaNoWriMo, and I am dutifully subtracting that word count from the total word count whenever I update my profile.

Of course, this still means that I've got too much on my plate right now, and something has to give. In the first week it was manageable, because I have several regular clients who operate in monthly cycles, and therefore don't give me much work until five or six days into the month. But once the client workload picked up, the novel started suffering — which you can see if you check my progress report. I've had a few good days more recently, though, and I hope to get back on track soon.

If you want to know what my novel is about or read an excerpt, you can do that from my author page. I'll put both of those links in my sidebar, along with a word count widget, so my readers can check up on me and keep me accountable!

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By Katharine Swan On Saturday, November 14, 2009 At 4:39 PM 0 comments

Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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