NaNoWriMo Update – Still Going Strong!

S. J. Pajonas November 24, 2017
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We’re into the last week of November and that means I have a week left of writing for NaNoWriMo. Things are going well and I’m happy with my progress so far.

Before I started NaNoWriMo this year, I thought maybe I’d try something different with my process. Sigh. I always do this. I keep thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. That I’ll write better or faster if I just try the Snowflake Method or if I try never hitting backspace or if I just write dialogue.

This year I was going to try the last option. I was going to barrel through and finish the whole book just writing the dialogue and very few scene descriptions, which I would add in later.

Guess how long that idea lasted? I didn’t even make it one day. Lol.

But I am doing something a little different this time! I have been completely pantsing this book which is how I wrote all of my books before SUMMER HAIKUS. After the first two days, I haven’t stopped once to outline. Sparse outlining HAD been my thing for the last two years. I would outline a few scenes, write them, outline, write, outline, write, and on and on until I hit the end.

And I kinda wondered if this was holding me back. I used to force myself to stop and assess instead of capitalizing on my forward momentum and just keep going. At this point, I understand story structure really well and can hold a basic outline in my head without having to write it down. I don’t necessarily need an outline until the end when I’m ready to sit down and revise.

So with that in mind, I haven’t stopped once to outline and I’ve just kept writing. I’ve been aware of where I am in the story the whole time, and I daydream ahead by a scene or two so that each day I can sit down and write. Right now, I’m in the Second Act Slog. My characters are on their journey, running into obstacles left and right, and I’m approaching the mid-point (around 40-45k mark) when Yumi will have to decide on a possible life or death path (figuratively speaking).

Without an outline, I’m still writing! And I’m having fun which is a huge difference from how I felt writing THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE RETURNS A FAVOR. I forced myself to outline that book. I don’t think I’ll do that again!

Anyway, the good news is that I’m right on track. Today I plan to cross the 40k mark and I’d like to cross 50k before November 30. I’ve gotta get in as much as possible before December 1 because I’ll be finishing up last revisions and copy editing of THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE RETURNS A FAVOR in December.

I’m off to get my words in for the day with Dragon! Have a great weekend everyone!

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  • That’s great to hear this new method is working for you so far! And I like seeing your update posts each day on fb and see how the book is coming along!

    • So far so good!! I’ve also enjoyed updating on my FB page too every day. It feels good to stay accountable there and it’s even managed to generate some comments too.

  • Thank you!! I feel good about writing this book. I’ve cut myself off from thinking too hard about what it *should* be about and just going with the flow. It’s been fun and challenging at the same time.

  • Laurie Larsen

    Pantsers forever!! Pantsers rock! Pantsers unite! 🙂

  • sjhigbee

    Thank you for sharing your ongoing progress, SJ. I’m fascinated to see how changing your method is improving your productivity. You mention Dragon – are you dictating your first draft?

    • I have a few posts on the blog where I talk about Dragon. I admin the main Dragon Riders – Authors Dictating group on Facebook and I’m a big Dragon enthusiast. I have a lot of hand pain if I type too much so I divide up the work and dictate about 60% and type about 40%. It does a lot to alleviate hand pain. I have a separate PC just for dictating (I’m a Mac girl) and I’m able to dictate and knit at the same time which is awesome. I’m happy with how it’s helped me get in my words every day. I’m still kind of slow with dictating but all I care about is not being in pain so I’m cool with my progress with it.

      • sjhigbee

        I also have recently installed Dragon when I had a flare-up with my hand. I’ve now changed my mouse and it seems to have calmed down. Though I find Dragon invaluable when it comes to line edits and I use it to dictate my m/s back to me while I follow along on the screen. It certainly finds a number of mistakes I would otherwise miss! So glad your hand it better:).

      • I only really use it for first drafts. Once the text makes it over to my Mac and into Scrivener, it doesn’t come out again until it’s time for formatting in Vellum. Dragon has been a lifesaver for getting my first drafts written!

  • I love that you are enjoying writing it! And it’s so interesting to get a sneak peak in to your writing experiments.

    • Thanks, Trish! It has been a lot of fun writing this book so far. I’m definitely going to go back, do some recon work on it, and then make some decisions on how to go forward for December and January. 🙂