NaNoWriMo 2019 Update

Since I committed myself to the project here, I figured I’d check in again here.

NaNoWriMo, despite not being an actual novel, is going significantly better this year than last. I fell a little bit behind on my word goal yesterday after an exceedingly busy weekend that also included some other writing projects. There’s nothing I can announce yet, but I’ll have at least one thing and possibly two to share in the next 4 months or so if all goes well.

Other than that, though, I have been maintaining a pretty steady 1700-words-a-day pace. Having a big ol’ outline has helped immensely – in fact, I think if I hadn’t done an outline first, I’d really have started struggling early.

As it turns out, being able to jump around and write small sections as the mood or inspiration strikes me has been really helpful to meeting my daily word goals. I can write a couple hundred words about 5 or 6 things and voila! I’ve reached my word goal for the day. Whenever I get back to my setting book, I think I’ll take a similar approach to that. Especially with Scrivener available, it’s really easy to fall back on a structure like this and just keep going.

The downside, of course, is that things are a little bit messy at the moment. I’m going to be spending a lot of time deleting redundant sections of outline that never got used, rewriting transitions so the work has a smoother flow to it, and so on.

As a quick reminder, what I’m working on this year is basically Saving the Game: the Book, though that’s not going to be the title. I’m looking to write a single nonfiction work that encompasses why the medium of TTRPGs itself isn’t a problem and then gives advice for how to use them in a constructive way.

My goal for this month was to basically do a brain dump of everything I know off the top of my head and hopefully get my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo out of that. So far, I’m about 300 words shy of 28,000 words. Getting caught back up today would put me to about the 30,000 mark.

Developments

So far, I’ve run into two primary snags.

The first is that I may want to redo my outline a bit. I’ve come to the realization as I’ve been writing that instead of discussing different genres in multiple places, it may make more sense to carve those sections out of the multiple chapters they’re currently found in and make a single master chapter that covers the various pros, cons, and objections to the various genres of fiction like fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and so on all in one place.

Along those same designs, I’m going to want a section on the more psychological and academic side of role playing that I’ll need to compile from some of my more academic such as Sarah Lynne Bowman’s book or the textbook on TTRPGs that’s been sitting on my shelf for a year now.

The second is that I might be at a point where I have to start doing research sooner than I expected. On the one hand, this is not that big of a deal. Huge chunks of my reading list are things I have wanted to read for ages anyway, and I’ll really enjoy having the excuse to start chewing through that list. The problem there though is that research is itself time consuming, so the writing speed I can work at will probably drop off pretty significantly as I start on that process. My current estimate is that I’ll probably hit that point somewhere in the low 40,000s, word-wise, but we’ll see. I may manage to squeak over the finish line after all.

To be clear though, both of these issues are exciting to me rather than discouraging. Discouraging would be feeling stuck. This is just more interesting avenues to pursue.

How’s It Going Out There?

I’m also really interested to hear how everyone else who’s doing NaNoWriMo is faring. What are you writing, how’s your word count looking, what issues have you run into? Comment on this post or come find me in our Discord. We’ve got a whole channel called #creative for discussing these sorts of projects.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

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