Thoughts on the NaNoWriMo Calendar

It’s funny. Normally, around this time I’d be really caught up in how my wordcount compares to the NaNoWriMo calendar. This year, I’m not. Part of it is my 6000 word buffer from the first two days. Part of is that my expectations are different this year. My ultimate goal isn’t a word count, isn’t a number. It’s to write “the end” on my draft, to have something complete that I can come back to in a couple of months and revise.

Normally, by the way, 30,000 words is a more or less comfortable goal for me in a single month. I’ve done NaNoWriMo (and AugNoWriMo, and my own writing marathon sessions) enough times to figure out a trend–either I crash and burn after just a few thousand words, I hit about 25-35K, or I make it all the way to 50 through some seriously concerted effort. There aren’t a lot of inbetweens. I’ve never written more than about 52K in a month–really.

This month, my goal is between 60K and 80K–to get to the end of a first draft on what I’m planning will be about a 85-100K word story. That’s a lot of writing. Luckily, I’m well on pace right now.

I think this is coming up for me now, because I’m about to hit the end of Act I, in a way that gave me goosebumps when I thought of it in the shower this morning. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of a traditional 3-Act structure in writing, because I see it as “Act One, things go bad, Act Two, things get worse, worse, worse, and then are resolved, Act Three, they all live happily ever after (or not)” Act Two is incredibly bloated compared to Acts One and Three.

But I do like to use it to pinpoint my line of demarcation, what another NaNoWriMo blogger called “the point of no return“. The point when things have gone from just getting bad to much much worse, and now the protagonists are all caught up in the action, with no turning back. The traps have been rigged, and Dexter and Marie have fallen into them. They don’t realize it yet, but they’re about to.

So, on to writing. This next scene, my point of no return, is going to be short: less than 500 words, I’d bet, maybe less than 200. And it’s calling me.

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One thought on “Thoughts on the NaNoWriMo Calendar

  1. Pingback: Understanding the Three Act Structure « Wingcolor

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