Out of necessity, I wrote for AnNoWriMo on Saturday and Sunday, originally scheduled as days off. The roughly 3,000 words I wrote over the weekend weren’t enough to catch me up. On this Monday morning, I should be at 10,000 words, twice my current word count.
I’m not worried, though. There are 12 buffer days–Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving)–remaining in AnNoWriMo.
By Monday, November 16, I would like to be on-target with 20,000 words. My goal for each “work day” would be 2,000 words if I were on-target with the first week’s 10,000 words. To accomplish the second week’s goal, I’ll need to average 3,000 words (roughly equivalent to 12 pages!) each work day or a little over 2,000 words (8.5 pages) each calendar day.
According to my outline, this week will cover scenes already familiar to me. I’ve written a version of some of these scenes before. The others I’ve envisioned enough times that I expect I can write them with little thought. That’s another reason not to worry about being behind on my word count, I guess. The scenes I’ll be writing while catching up won’t be overly difficult.
Of course, I’m fighting the habit to edit as I write. I deleted entire paragraphs before remembering the NaNoWriMo technique of striking out intolerable text to preserve a word count. There are other NaNoWriMo cheats techniques I’m not entirely comfortable using:
- avoiding contractions (e.g., typing “do not” instead of “don’t”)
- writing in a wordier style (e.g., “took without first gaining permission that which he would have purchased if he had previously come to possess the money” instead of “he stole”)
- unnecessarily repeating information (e.g., “She told him not to go. Really, she insisted. ‘Don’t go,’ she insisted. ‘I don’t want you to go.’ He heard that she didn’t want him to go.”)
A high word count simply isn’t worth the risk of developing bad habits. Could you imagine the cleanup this winter if I consistently used the above techniques in AnNoWriMo?