Because I am an insane person, I’m participating twice in NaNoWriMo this year. I will also try to blog about it as I go, as a warm-up and warm-down exercise, and as yet another way to publicly hold myself accountable.

If you’re unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, the goal is this: write a novel in one month. 50,000 words in 30 days; 1,667 words per day. Yes, people participate voluntarily. Yes, I might be a ball of frayed ends powered by caffeine and neuroses by the end. But it will be fun!

First is a personal project, a fantasy novel, for which I’ve spent the past six weeks outlining and planning. I’ve also spent a few years, off and on, working on a world building project where this year’s NaNo entry will take place. Maps, world history, some overarching themes to color the world’s conflicts. The project itself is tentatively called The Higher Silences, and I’m tracking it on the NaNoWriMo website here. Add me!

Second is a collaborative project, also a fantasy novel, which I’m working on with my stepdad. It takes place in its own world, with characters we’ve spent the better part of the past ten days workshopping and refining, and a rough plan on an outline. This is untitled, and right now is not on the NaNoWriMo website. But I’ll still be blogging about it.

The Work

The Higher Silences

Total Words: 2,886

Words Today: 1,688

Thoughts: The outline has helped me tremendously. I feel very confident that I’ll be able to reach my daily word goal for the majority of the month without running into major walls. I know the setting, the characters, and the conflict well enough to wing it if and when I need to.

Untitled Collaboration

Total Words: 1502

(My) Words Today: 861

Thoughts: We have only devised a rough possible outline for story, but we have spent a great deal of time working on the characters themselves. For this effort, we’ve decided to split up the writing work so we each have our own sets of characters to write. At the end of each week we’ll work on compiling our separate work into a Master document.

As for my work tonight, it was a little harder to get into the right state of mind for this project, but once I got there the words did flow relatively freely. I stopped myself at this mark purposefully in the hopes that this would prevent burnout. NaNoWriMo is a marathon, not a race.