Getting a head start on NaNoWriMo

By G. Robert Frazier

I’m starting National Novel Writing Month a day early.

Unlike the official NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in 30 days at 1,666 words per day, I’m targeting 100,000 words at 5,000 per day over 21 days. My weekends are set aside for other projects.

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Image courtesty of surasakiStock at FreeDigitalImages.net

I know, it seems like a lot, especially given the fact that I have been spending most of my writing time working on screenplays. Novels are a whole different animal, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can make the mental switch from writing tightly crafted scenes to more expansive scenes. Though, I can get long-winded at times, so there is that.

Another advantage, or perhaps cheat, is that I won’t exactly be starting cold on my novel.

This is a novel I started a couple years ago but put aside to work on other projects. I’m more than 30,000 words into the novel already and I have already outlined it from beginning to end, so there won’t be a lot of brainstorming involved.  I feel like NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity to dust it off and push to the finish.

If I manage just half of my goal, I will still hit NoNo’s 50,000 word goal and reach 80,000 for my WIP overall. So, I’m setting the bar high. The biggest challenge will be embracing the novel as is and not falling into the potential trap of rewriting what I’ve already written, which could wreak havoc on the word count.

I’ve tried NaNoWriMo a time or two previously, but never saw it all the way to the end. I intend to change that this time around.

I’ll be updating my word count at the end of each day here on this blog. I even posted a NaNoWriMo icon and word counter on my home page to mark my progress.

As the month progresses, I hope to chronicle challenges and successes I encounter along the way. But my priority will be on the novel itself, not on blog posts—so it may be next month before I post a recap. It’ll give you something to look forward to.

In the meantime, I challenge and welcome you fellow writers and readers to get in on the action.

NaNoWriMo Tips and Tricks

WIP Wednesday: NaNoWriMo perfect time to finish crime-thriller novel

by G. Robert Frazier

I’m following in the footsteps of another blogger who posts updates on their works in progress every Wednesday. I think it’s a great way to let you know what I’m working on, how I’m going about it, and maybe hold myself accountable to getting something done each week so I’ll have something fresh to write about. So, without further needless introductory verbiage, here goes:

I’ve been working on a crime-thriller novel – River’s End — for a couple years now. The novel writing has been through many surges and stalls, but my goal is to have the first draft done by the end of November. I’m probably 30 percent toward that goal, but I’ve outlined and/or written numerous partial scenes to come that should flow pretty quickly once I set my mind to it.

National Novel Writing Month also happens to be in November, so I’m going to use it as the catalyst to completing my novel. NaNoWriMo, as it’s affectionately called, encourages writers to hammer out a novel (or at least a solid start to a novel of 50,000 words) in a month’s time. As I’m already out of the gate, I’m setting my sights on finishing the final 60,000 words of River’s End.

I’ve already introduced all of the main characters – my protagonist, the antagonist, supporting characters, and the like. I’ve got a grisly murder, a teenager who has plunged off a cliff into a river after being attacked by police dogs, a huge stash of hidden drugs, and missing confidential informant for my protagonist to contend with. My Beta readers – which consist of my various writing groups and my brothers – all seem to like the intrigue and building suspense, so that’s encouraging.

I’ve allowed a few other projects to interrupt the actual writing of this novel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At least I’ve been writing. Specifically, I’ve spent a vast amount of time of late on a screenplay I’m writing along with one of my brothers. We’ve finished the first draft and are now in the process of revising/rewriting to strengthen the story and erase any plot holes. We’re happy with how it’s going and eager to get to the finish line. Of course, we say that, but we know that we must also be patient. Great writing can’t be rushed and we’re taking our time to get it right.

I’m also always working on a short story or two. I’ve got a drawer full of them that I go back to from time to time to finesse and rework. My goal is to get at least one short story per month into shape so that it can be entered in a contest or submitted to various markets for publication. Last month I sent one off to the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Contest, so we’ll see how that goes.

Until next week, happy writing!