NaNoWriMo: week 1 update

So, it’s the end of my first week as a NaNoWriMo-er.

Rather than try to remember what happened every day, I’ve written a short entry at the end of each day. Ah, if only I’d planned my NaNoWriMo strategy as carefully!

Day 1: I’m pretty sure that in my last post about NaNoWriMo I stated that I’d left myself just over a week to prepare. Cutting it a bit fine, you may have thought. Well, we went on holiday for half-term, and for various reasons such as the kids getting up early, and all of us collapsing in exhaustion at the end of each day, I did no NaNo prep at all. I wrote one very short story, and started editing something else. Day 1 was a Sunday, the first full day back from holiday and the day before school started, and as I’ve budgeted my word count not to write at weekends, I counted anything I wrote as a bonus.

1173 words today, 2% complete, 48,827 to go.

Day 2: The first ‘proper’ day. Yesterday was an opening I’d had in my mind for a little while. Today I go backwards into events which are pretty hazy in my mind. I enjoyed writing this section, and my main character is starting to fill out; but I kept stopping and starting as I researched various bits and pieces. I’m making a list of topics which I know I’ll need later in the novel, but some of these I have to do right now! It was a relief to go back to my first set of characters, like putting on a pair of slippers after a day in heels. But you know what? They’re already starting to misbehave! And some of my writing buddies are posting phenomenal word counts already. Bet they prepared…

2598 words today, 3771 total, 8% complete, 46,229 to go.

Day 3: This has confirmed that I am NOT a pantser (although spellcheck has been trying to convince me that I’m not a panther, go figure). I spent a little time planning yesterday evening and it made today so much easier. I’m still looking up lots of little points as I go, but the sense of rising panic has gone and I feel much more in control. The planning has also suggested a possible extra plot twist! *rubs hands*

2504 words today, 6324 total, 13% complete, 43,676 to go.

Day 4: A slower day today; yesterday’s evening of planning didn’t happen, and there was even more fact-checking in today’s sessions. But I reached target, and I’m quite pleased with what I wrote. Hoping to get to more of the meat of the story tomorrow AND hit 10,000 words!

2510 words today, 8834 total, 18% complete, 41,166 to go. 

Day 5: A slow start but once I’d warmed up I wrote 2 whole new scenes. Not so much Googling needed now and that improved my speed. Still not sure how some people are getting their word count in their lunch hour (if you’re reading this, you know who you are!). I’ve left my main character with a cliffhanger which I think I’ll be forced to take a decision on tomorrow; but I’m sleeping on it for now. AND I made it past 10K! Shiny badge, shiny badge!

2638 words today, 11,472 total, 23% complete, 38,528 to go!

Day 6: Well, today was a surprise. So far scene length has hovered somewhere between 900 and 1500 words. Today, a 2800-word monster. I have cleared up a big plot question, though (no, not yesterday’s cliffhanger, that would be too much to ask). I had budgeted my word count so that I could take weekends off and do other things…but I kind of want to keep going and see what happens next!

2849 words today, 14,321 total, 29% complete, 35,679 to go.

Day 7: Any ideas I had about getting up early and getting a few words in were scuppered by being woken at 5am by the *&%(% rain and not being able to get back to sleep … until I did and slept through. Meal planning, shopping, and general house-and-child type stuff etc have grabbed most of the day. However, I’ve just sat down and banged out 400ish words while supervising the kids’ tea (and confirming that yes, I had heard of Andy Warhol and I did know how John Lennon died. I blame school). Very relieved that I planned my word count to make weekend writing optional, today proved it was the right move!

411 words today, 14,732 total, 29% complete, 35,268 to go.

Here endeth Week 1. So far I’ve:

  • enjoyed it
  • found it took longer than I thought it would
  • learned that I’m really not a pantser
  • resolved that if I ever do this again I will plan and research properly beforehand!

Tune in next week…and if you’re doing NaNoWriMo too, how are you getting on?


This week’s NaNoRhiNo is rather a fine specimen which I used to have on my desk at work. I’m afraid he’s nameless beyond being known as ‘the work rhino’.

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