Wringing out words: NaNoWriMo week 4

This week in NaNoWriMo has been a week of two halves; for me, anyway.

Monday and Tuesday; great, speedy, pretty much got my words in before lunch. On Wednesday, however, the truth dawned that while I know whodunnit, and how, I still don’t know exactly why; or indeed, how they’re going to be caught. So before any words were written that day, I spent 45 minutes or so working backwards from the end. I think I’d got to the point where if I didn’t take the book in hand, I would be rambling around for another 10K. Even so, getting my word count was still a bit of a grind. I think that could be because this is planned as a shorter book than my previous NaNoWriMo project, and so the point of ‘come on, you’ve got to tie this all up now’ has arrived earlier in the process. Plus I have more competing demands than I did this time last year.

Enough speculation; back to this week. Thursday was a day full of bits and bobs – nice ones, but time consuming – so that I didn’t get to my desk until 2.30 (and I do like to get my words done in the morning). I made it – just. Friday, however, was a stinker. I had a job to do first thing, and at 11.30 I was still faffing around and avoiding starting the clock for my first pomodoro. In the end I made a deal with myself that so long as I hit my target for the week (43100ish), I would consider that OK. I did 2 pomodoros and a bit extra to finish the week with 43650. I’ve never been so tempted to add any other fiction I’ve written in November to my word count; but I resisted. For now.

The other thing that didn’t help was coming across a Facebook memory from last year – a photo of my NaNo winner certificate. ‘I was done by this time last year!’ I wailed (silently, on this occasion). Then again, last year I wrote every day (only a few sentences on some days, but I was still sitting down at the computer and adding to the count). What has really struck me this year is how different it feels. Anyway, I’ve just sent off something else I’ve been working on this week, and I feel a bit lighter as a result.

Stats time!

  • Word target: 43125 (cumulative)
  • Words written: 43650 (cumulative)
  • Writing days: 5
  • % complete: 87%
  • Murders: still 1 but tempted…
  • Variations from the basic plan: actually heading back towards it!
  • Jaffa cakes: the rest of the packet (oops)

Will the final 6350 words get written by the end of Wednesday? Will I run out of plot? Will I open another packet of Jaffa cakes? Tune in for the thrilling finale next week…


This week’s NaNoRhino is a steadfast soapstone individual who hails from Battery Park, New York. Well, that’s where we got him, anyway. He symbolises my bloodyminded plod towards 50K this week.

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