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Fifty Thousand Words and What Exactly is a NaNo String?

November 19, 2011

It feels as if I just woke up from a long and exciting dream. I look around bleary-eyed and confused. Wait, what just happened? Where was I?

Oh, yes. I was writing. And writing. Until I forgot who I was and why I’m here. This is what I love about NaNoWriMo.

But yesterday I finished my fifty thousand words, and am trying to take a breather. Not that fifty thousand words does a novel make, and there’s plenty of revision coming up before it’s fit for anyone to see. (And, who are we kidding, no one sees my work anyway!) But I did get the words, and actually wrote most of them according to plan.

Yes, I had a plan. I’ve won this challenge this twice before, and while I had lot of fun writing my story and exploring my characters, I pretty much ended up crash landing the stories on or around November 30. I think my prospects of ending gracefully this year are much better, thanks to my outline on Scrivener. Here it is, in all its blue, lilac and cork board glory:

See the pretty colored index cards? I have them sorted by point of view, and I’ve done my best to include the conflict and the twist on each, along with the setting. All of these are happily subject to change should something better come along, but if not, at least I have something I can write that takes me on the path to my ending.

Lastly, I bet everyone’s wondering, “Just what is a NaNo string?” It’s something cooked up by my brilliant regional ML’s and here is what it looks like, when it’s done.

For each day one completes their 1667 words one ties a knot in the string, until the string has thirty knots in it and the fifty thousand words are completed. I will be proudly displaying it at the write-in today!

Why, you ask, am I going to a write-in, when I’ve completed my fifty thousand words? I reply; for the companionship, to cheer on my fellow writers, and…to write a few thousand words more.

Because I don’t want to stop. Ever.


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