November Challenges: Week #2


It’s been another productive week for NaNoWriMo and the November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I’ve managed to stay on track, despite a few interruptions in the writing schedule.


Early Bird Word Count: 1,611

Last Week’s Word Count: 3,262

This Week’s Word Count: 4,567

Total: 9,440

Like any overly organized writer, I’m keeping a spreadsheet of daily and weekly word counts to ensure I don’t stray too far away from the overall goal.

Both this week and last week, I had two days where absolutely no writing took place. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I run an after school program, which turns my usual 10 hour workday into a 12 hour workday. It turns out those two extra hours make a huge difference. However, I’m usually full of energy on Mondays and Wednesdays. Most of my writing takes place on those two days.

The surprises continue to come during the process:

I’m still a pantser!

I thought by now I would have pulled out my meticulously organized notes for Lineage. Nope. I’m on Chapter 3 and I’m still pantsing it, while my notebook sits on my desk unopened. The second I sit down at the keyboard my characters start talking. I just listen in on their conversation and start writing.

Writing a sequel is really different from writing the series opener.

While I’m not looking at my notebook, I am looking at the manuscript for The Muse. I find I’m having to reference main story points and details from the original to ensure there are connections between the original and the sequel. Readers need reminder cues and it’s tricky to work them into the continuing story without feeling forced.

The plot twists keep coming.

The general storyline has been worked out in my head for quite some time, but it appears my characters have different ideas. Apparently, one of them has a huge secret, (and I’m not entirely sure what it is yet.) A secondary character has a connection to another character that I didn’t see coming and it’s significant.

However, one of the secondary storylines has completely changed. The original plan isn’t lining up to what my characters are telling me, so its scrapped for the time being and something different has taken its place.

Sometimes I just have to let my characters and my muse overrule the original plan.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

I remain on track with writing one poem a day. It turns out writing a haiku before jumping into NaNoWriMo is a great warm-up. It gets my muse warmed up and ready to roll!

All my PAD Challenge poems can be found on my haiku blog, Haiku Tree.

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How are your November writing projects going?

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c.b.w. 2016


November Challenges: Week 1


First, let me apologize for how quiet it’s been a little quiet around here. I’m still adjusting to my new writing schedule for NaNoWriMo and the November PAD Challenge, which means my blogging schedule has been completely thrown out of whack.


My current word count stands at 4,093, which is slightly ahead of the target for my weekly goal of around 3,500 words. I missed two days of writing, but caught up on the weekend, (I figured this might happen!).

As the process unfolds, a few things have surprised me:

Apparently, I’m a pantser

Despite the fact that I have an almost complete outline and pages of notes I haven’t referenced them once. I’ve never pantsed a novel in my life, so this is shocking. My characters are just talking to me and I’m running with it.

Old Writing Has Found A New Home

It turns out a selection of pieces I wrote almost five years ago fit in perfectly with the storyline I’m piecing together for this novel. I had a poem that works as an opening quote and what was once a short story has been re-engineered into a prologue. Who knew I had these little gems hiding in my archives.

I’m fast.

I’ve alway classified myself as slow writer because I have the absolute need to go back and read over everything I wrote the day before. That sucks up a lot of writing time! With a schedule as tight as mine is, I realized I don’t have the luxury of appeasing my perfectionist tendencies. I just have to jump in and start writing. In a way, it’s liberating.

November PAD Challenge

I’ve haven’t missed a day! All poems will be posted on my other blog, Haiku Tree, starting this week.

Throughout November, poems will be a week behind the prompts posted on Poetic Asides, as I spend the week writing the poems and then I schedule them to post the following week. It’s just how my writing schedule shakes out!

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How are your November writing challenges going?

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c.b.w. 2016

A Plan For NaNoWriMo


Over the last few days, I’ve asked myself if it’s actually a good idea to do NaNoWriMo. My schedule is already ridiculously full and my stress level is already off the charts. Do I really need to add writing 500 words a day to my insane list of things to do?

In a word: YES. Writing is actually a stress reliever for me. Just like knitting helps me sleep (the repetition helps to slow down the thought train in my brain), writing lets me escape everything giving me a headache.

The only thing I’m worried about is having a enough time to complete 500 words. From past experience, I know I can punch out 500 words in an hour if I’m really focused. During the work week finding that kind focus will be challenging.

To deal with the work week challenge, I’m giving myself the freedom to have variant word count days as long as I hit a weekly goal of 3,500 words (which works out to 500 words/day). Some days I’ll be happy to get 200 words, while on others I might get up to 1,000. I know this isn’t how NaNoWriMo traditionally works, but I know what will work best for me!

I have several days off in November due to Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. I’ll be using those days off to their full advantage, along with weekends. Hopefully, I’ll be able to work ahead whenever the day job isn’t taking up 12 hours of my day.

We’ll see how it goes. While I’m motivated to dig into my novel, I’m also realistic. If I make my goals, great. If not, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. This is supposed to be a fun stress reliever, not a source of stroke inducing deadlines!

In any case, I hope my favorite coffee shop ordered extra mocha so they can keep me happily caffeinated while I write!

Stay tuned for updates on progress!

What’s your plan for NaNoWriMo?

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c.b.w. 2016