Between last week, when I finished the novelette Guest of Honor, and this week, I've written roughly 5,000 new words to my new alternative military history novel. When I first wrote the book, years ago, I stopped around chapter 9 and it had roughly 9,500 words. This morning I just completed chapter 12 and have 14,500 words, which also includes the admission of a prologue.
So, how am I doing in my NaNoWriMo in February goal? (this would be 50K words for the month)
And here's why.
When I first started charging back into writing the novel, I found myself struggling with the story. I seemed to be more focused on writing more words and more words and more words . . . okay, you get the picture. Anyway, I was more focused on words than I was constructing the story. When I was in college at Bemidji State University, I wrote my first novel. How did I do it? I set a goal of one page a day. Then, before too long, I increased it to two. Then three. I kept track of how many pages on a calendar and watched the number of pages written in a week increase over time. The most I've ever written in a single day was 26! Holy cow! At roughly 250 words a page, this was 6,500 words. But all along, I've been focused on the story and filling pages instead of constantly looking at the word count.
That being said, I've decided that NaNoWriMo may not be right for me. Not to say that I can't write roughly 2,000 words a day, because I've proven that I can. But right now, at least for this story, it's going a little slower--I know, all of you outliners are out there spouting off that this is another example of why I must outline. It is not. I have difficulty in putting together outlines (although I will force myself to when the time comes when a publishing company asks me for one in an upcoming novel or three). I'd rather write the damn book.
And write it I will. I'm still keeping track of the word count, just not as closely on a daily basis. I'm writing roughly a chapter a day, which equates to a little over 1,000 words. Dean Wesley Smith wrote a recent blog post regarding Goals and Dreams. In the post, he says that writers should set a goal of 1,000 words a day. As I get further along in this new novel, this number will increase, more than likely past the 1K mark.