For the first time doing NaNoWriMo,I actually kept above the target word count for the first week. … Then my husband’s birthday hit. We enjoyed his birthday together, then hosted a party the next day for friends, which required plenty of cooking and cleaning. The following day he woke up sick, so I corralled the kids for church and after that we all kinda collapsed on the couch.  We did finally get to watch Toy Story 4 (which I didn’t like a much as I’d hoped). Monday was a day off school, and my kids were still feeling exhausted and grumpy, so again we didn’t do much. At some point during all this, either I ate something I shouldn’t have or the stress of the weekend got to me, and I had overwhelming exhaustion and foggy brain. It was really impossible to write coherently, even though I knew what I wanted to say. Thankfully, by Tuesday morning, I was feeling more like myself, so I was able to get the daily word target – now I just need to overwrite for a few days in order to catch up.

In terms of what I’m writing, short stories have proven to be quite different than writing a novel during NaNoWriMo. I’m finding I’m needing to get into the story flow much faster and develop my characters and their relationships much faster than I generally do with a novel – otherwise, I won’t know who’s in my story before it’s finished! The benefit is that if I’m stuck, I can just work on a different short story while I think through the prior one. With a novel, I was never one to jump scenes – because I never plot things out, if I jump a scene, I have no idea how I got there plot wise. On the negative side, I miss delving deeply into the character personalities and seeing how they interact with each other and with the situations thrown at them. 

One thing I’ve noticed on this round of NaNoWriMo is that I’m becoming very comfortable with severely crappy first drafts. As with many writers, I struggle with trying to make everything sounds good the first run through. However, with the amount of editing I’ve been doing on prior novels, I’ve found that no matter how good my writing was on the first draft, it’s going to be changed – very little remains of my first draft. That’s given me tremendous freedom to write sentences I know won’t stay in the story. More than once, I’ve simply added (describe appearance) or (insert poem) or something similar, which let’s meet know I have detail work to do when I go back and rewrite. For the first time, I’m seeing the first draft as really laying down the skeleton of the story, knowing I’ll build the organs and flesh in later. It’s fantastic, and had reminded me why I love NaNo so much.
In terms of personal writing, I’ve worked on 4 stories so far:
1) Romancing Rose – a romantic ghost story. The story is complete with many details filled in. The beginning needs to be tightened, and extraneous scenes need to be cut. Submission guidelines: 7-15k. Currently at: 12097
2) Tokyo Olympic demons (title TBD) – a police officer contains supernatural threats in Tokyo as the 2020 Olympics begin to gear up. This one is very bare bones and had lots of room for expansion. Submission guidelines: up to 10k
Currently at: 2744
3) Christmas Games (Nonfiction, title tbd). Bare bones only. Quite messy. Submission guidelines: Max 1200 words
Currently at: 654
4) plague in the city (title tbd) – a reporter interviews a doctor who shares what has happened to the city to cause it to become quarantined. Good detail, needs specific details added re plague symptoms, and CDC procedures. Submission guidelines: up to 5k/7.5k (two different submission possabilities)
Currently at: 281 (unfinished)