Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Check-in 1

Seven days of writing have passed. How’d I do?

Total word count: 7355

Total I should have if shooting for 1667 a day: 11669


I present to you four frank reasons I’m not stressing about being behind:


Kate DiCamillo!

My copy of The Chronicles of Harris Burdick came in, and I have a NEW literary crush to add to my list of crushes. Kate DiCamillo’s contribution to this collection is knock-you-in-the-teeth poignant and hilarious. Love, love, love the Kate! How can one be gloomy when Kate’s “The Third-Floor Bedroom” exists?


I found Elzabeth Fama’s blog last night (and commented on it ;)). She, a published author, speaks candidly of the pros and cons (and many more cons) of our yearly NaNo competition. I love her honesty. Her reminder that our goals this month are sort of ridiculous helps me laughingly accept that I may not make my goals—but the best goal is to write every day.

How haunting is Elizabeth's cover?


I’m writing. This, all by itself, is just lovely. This *poofs* stressful thoughts of more and now and hurry away.

My idea that I’m fleshing out this November I had in February, but I didn’t get to it. I had too many shows to watch. :) Then in April, I heard editor Julie Scheina--one of two editors who brought us Beautiful Creatures--speak at an SCBWI luncheon. She enthusiastically shared one of her new books coming:

Jane, by April Lindner, is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre.

My story idea is a modern retelling, too! So I should have been writing in April! Retells are wanted by editors, she said! But I didn’t go for it. I had too many naps to take. I dipped into it a teensey bit, enough to say I was working on it, but that’s about it.

Our NaNo has me deep in my story each night. I’m loving the characters. I’m loving the places they take me. I’m loving the cashmere sweaters or silver nail polish I find them wearing. I’m writing, and it’s fun.


I am, let's repeat, doing a retelling. This makes my life easier, yes? I'd argue yes, absolutely, it does. In addition to my six pages of notes, I have the hundreds of pages of story to follow. So when Elizabeth Fama points out that October should be novel-planning month and we should create pages of detailed outline with dialogue notes—I mean, I do, right? I have the whole book in front of me. I read it again in October and wrote out character notes and plot points to emphasize, but . . . Come on. I think having an already-written-masterpiece in my hands takes some of stress away. :)

So that's my reports, my friends! How are you doing? Week 2, here we come! :)


  1. I am 12,000 words in. I wanted to be at least 14,000 so I am short of my goals. But I have reasons too! Mara Dyer came and I'm trying not to open it and get lost (which has failed). I found a sick, sick, sick cat today that took up my day with worry and will take up tomorrow with catching and taking to the vet for a kind goodbye. She's been heavy on my heart (I'm crying again!) all day, which has stymied my creativity quite a bit. I think I'll go dive into Mara Dyer to forget a bit again...until tomorrow. Then I can focus again. Really.

    I am SO proud of you, Jes. Look at your word count!!! That writing area is surely helping. I love that you are doing a retelling!!

  2. Re:#3-- yes. The whole point of NaNo is to get people who don't normally write to shut up about the book they would be writing and to simply do it. The important thing is to write *something*, not to write 50k. 50k is just a way to make an airy goal of 'writing more' into something concrete and obtainable. And personally, I'd rather be a little bit behind on a random word count and in love with my idea than pounding out thousands of words on track just to say I did.

    All of that's to say, congrats on the word count and the story-love! Are we allowed to know what story you're retelling?

  3. Holy Spumoni, you've been busy! And I've been slacking....haven't visited in far too long, it took some time to catch up. : )
    So, I'm so happy for your progress, and a bit jealous, although not too much, because I have a new baby at my house who is oh so adorable. Must. Get. To. Writing.....every day! My goal for November is just to get into a writing routine. That's as fancy as my ambitions get for this month.
    As for M.T. Anderson, while I haven't read nearly all of his books, Me, All Alone, At the End of the World is one of my favorite picture books! :) Be well, and have fun!

  4. Jennie!! You are 12000 words in?? How is that possible when you decided to NaNo at the last minute? Truly, truly impressive, my friend. *bowing reverantly at your prowess*

    I'm so very sorry for the heartbreak of the sick kitty you found. The way you care for animals is a beautiful thing to witness; your heart is as strong and as pure as gold. I hope everything went well today and that the kitty is at peace.

    Sophia, I'm so glad to have your support on this one. My goal-getting friend, you know the superiority of FUN over WORD COUNT. :)But the word count goals absolutely push me out of my comfort zone, off the couch, and into my story. I'll keep the retelling bit under wraps because I'm WILDLY insecure that somebody is putting the exact same thing out right now, but much, much cleverer. :)

    Jennifer, welcome back! Congratulations again on the beautiful addition to your family. So happy you're back to writing again. Keep us posted on how you do this month.