NaNoWriMo 2012: Day 1 Progress Report

My first writing session for NaNoWriMo 2012 is complete. In just under 2 hours, I wrote the first one-and-a-half scenes of my novella, and managed to get in a total of 2,152 words, nearly 500 words over my target.

Remember that I’m doing something slightly different than the norm. I’m writing a 25,000 word novella, but attempting to produce 2 drafts in 30 days (so in essence, the total is still 50,000 words). By the time NaNoWriMo is over, I’d like to have a draft good enough to send out to beta-readers.

I was relatively pleased with what I wrote. There is a certain voice I’m going after which isn’t quite there yet. Also, I feel like I did maybe a little too much info-dumping, but it is difficult to say since this story takes the form of a letter from a father to his son. In any case, I’m not too worried about it in this draft. I have a couple of days–November 16-18–to look at the structure of the whole thing before starting on the second draft.

So here are my official Day 1 stats:

NaNoWriMo Day 1.png

And here I am, giving a thumbs-up after successful completion of my first day of work on the novella:


So, how did everyone else1 do on their first day?

  1. Participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Add me as a buddy.


  1. A scene and a half! Congratulations!

    I outlined (I don’t draft, I write “fat outlines”) my thug’s introduction. It worked out to 1,232 for today, which is less than the 2K I wanted. Considering that I spent most of the day dealing with a wet basement, I’m not going to complain.

    Tomorrow will be better.

  2. Congrats! This is harder than I expected – 1667 words per day is a LOT – but there’s a ton of support out there. This is my first time, and I love it that I’m not alone.

    I’m still worried. I mean, I have travel planned, and there’s Thanksgiving, and I have this life that has never before included anything more complicated than whining to my journal once a month or so. But I have good support at home and a great network on the interwebs. I just need to keep the goal in mind.

    1. Djinn, it is the writer’s equivalent of running a marathon. It’s not easy. I have some travel planned as well this month, and I’ve built that into my plan in two different ways: (1) I try to make a little more than my target each day. Yesterday I was 500 words over. At that pace, I gain a full day for every 3 days I write. Put another way, I can skip a day and still be on target. Builds in some security for the unexpected. (2) I have a specific plan for the days that I am traveling because my writing schedule tends to vary. For instance, next week I’m flying across the country and I have my NaNoWriMo writing planned for the flight, instead of at night, when I’ll be wiped out from travel.

      One other thing: I’ve found that I am more likely to skip or miss days the closer I am to my goal–which is usually the end of the month. So make sure you account for that behavior as well.

  3. Great start, Jamie! I put in 2261 words (261 over goal) and completed a full scene — or maybe it’s two connected scenes. I will undoubtedly revise the work later, but at least I got it out of my head and onto the paper.

    You may be shocked that I actually created a word-count timeline this time. I, too, have created a target word count for each day allowing for holiday plans and other life complications. I want to bulk up my word count early in the game to allow for “stuff” that always shows up in life.

    Today’s goal is 2500 words. My approach is still pretty intuitive, although I’m beginning to develop a list of scenes that have been rattling in my brain. My overarching goal is to complete the first draft of the novel I started in NaNoWriMo 2010. Perhaps the working title should be Novel Interrupted. ;}

    1. Nice work, Pam! I saw how much you wrote last night after I finished and was tempted to add another hundred words or so to my story. 😉 But we actually came in pretty close on day 1. I think you’ll find that having that word-count timeline will help. 🙂


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