Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, November 9, 2015

NaNo Update #1

Okay, I made a couple of promises last week.   The first was that I wouldn't abandon normal blogging this month entirely, and after Friday's ass-chapping post and even Wendesday's cover reveal I'm feeling pretty good about that one.  The other one, though, was that I would keep you more up to date on how NaNo's going this year. 

In the early years of this blog, when I didn't have a whole Hell of a lot else to talk about, I talked about NaNo a lot in November.  Now I've got so many irons in the fire, I noticed last year I barely talked about it at all.  So, going forward let's try for a happy medium.

I'm happy(ish) with my wordcount right now of 16,025.  My target wordcount for today is 15,000 and I haven't started writing yet, so actually I'm closer to two days ahead of schedule than one. 

So how's it been going?  Well, not glorious.  My first few years I really sat down at midnight on Halloween and tried to crank out a few thousand words and get off to a good start.  This year, I didn't do that, and I was scarcely ahead of the bell curve at all this week.  I'm satisfied that I haven't really blown any days off, or come in under schedule at all, but I usually don't like to be playing it this close to the bone at all, and I'm not happy that after 9 days I'm still playing it this close to the bone.

All week I kept saying to myself, "All I need is one beautiful day."  And I do.  But I still do.  I was hoping to make that Saturday and Sunday this past week, or at least a combination of the two, but only being two days ahead of schedule was not my goal.  I wanted to sit down and crack out ten thousand words one day.

Realistically, though, that's not going to happen.  The most I've ever written on one day, and this was when I was fired up and sat down for nearly a solid uninterrupted eight hours was five thousand words.  So I know the day I write ten thousand words, well, it might be coming, but it's more of a pipe dream than anything else.  It's something I keep telling myself will come.

All that being said, I think I've finally passed through the gunk phase.  I may talk about this more, but I think last night I finally figured out what was clipping my word count.  I was struggling to try to put together the beginning of a story I've started and restarted several times.  Last night I realized maybe I was going about it the wrong way.  Maybe what I really had to do was recreate the ending, and then spool it back from there.  Without all the same mental issues of hitting a barrier so many times with the ending (which is the issue I kept running into with the beginning) I feel a little more space to breathe. 

So for those of you who question the value of NaNo...this right here is why I do it.  Forcing yourself to jump the hurdle every day forces you to think about new ways to do that, which forces you to think about new ways to solve your story problems, and new ways to approach your story.

So now what I'm thinking is, maybe instead of going for one beautiful day, I'm going to have one slightly overachieving week.  If I go for a solid two, maybe three thousand words every day this week, I should be a lot closer to where I like to work for NaNo, being a good five-to-ten thousand words ahead and clocking out ASAP on the 25th.

And...with that, what I was expecting to be a very brief update turned into a regular-length post.  Maybe I really do have enough thoughts about NaNo to keep it interesting this year.  Oh, and of course, if you are participating this year, make sure to friend me!  We'll see you on Wednesday for...I'm not really sure what.  But we'll find out then.

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