Preptober Wrap-up and NaNoWriMo Day 1

Today was relatively uneventful, and involved very little having to do with actual writing. My Preptober didn’t go exactly as planned, although I did give myself until the third to finish what I need to (ie; my outline). As someone who has only recently discovered themselves to be a bit of a manic pantser, that has been a bit stressful.

I have several finished outlines already for my planned NaNo novel, but this is what I refer to as The Big One.

This meaning it is a comprehensive, chapter-by-chapter outline that I hope will help me along my journey to 50,000 words. My goal was originally ten thousand words, but then as I began to fall behind, I settled for eight. Now I’m at more like eight and a half, and I’m beginning to think I should bump back up to nine or nine and a half. However, the word count goal is not as important to me as actually finishing the damn thing.

Because of this, today I decided to ditch the word count goal altogether, and that a chapter goal would be much more effective for this particular novel. It’s too bad that I had to come to this realization so late, but in the future it will be something to consider. Unfortunately there is not a “chapter” option for goals on the NaNo site the way there is for Camp NaNo in July and April. So for the next two days, I will be staring at this less-than-satisfying image:


Less-than-satisfying mostly because I did give myself so much time, and still have not been able to stay on track. It may go without saying, but this has left me with a new level of stress: if I can’t write 10,000 lousy words of an outline in FORTY THREE days, how am I supposed to believe I can write 50,000 words in THIRTY?!?

It’s a little daunting, especially considering I’m a full-time college student with (arguably) bigger things to worry about than writing 50,000 words this month. However, I know my characters well, I’m approximately six chapters away from finishing my outline, and I’ve sought out many resources to help keep me going along the way.

On top of that, I have a bit of a head start. I already have my prologue and first chapter written, putting me neatly at ~2.6k words. About the first day and a half writing taken care of, which is honestly a relief to say the least, given that today would have been possibly one of the worst days to try to squeeze in time to write 1,667 words.

Something that has really helped get me pumped up for this month are very extensive, pre-made Excel files that can be found here and here.

Of course for this month I opted for the NaNoWrimo-specific word tracker, but I see the yearly tracker coming in handy next year.

Overall, I have the normal “can I really do this?” anxiety that I think is rather universal for Wrimos and writers in general. But more than that, I’m excited. This novel is something I’ve been sitting on for well over four years. I’ve started and scrapped it too many times to count, just because I couldn’t get the beginning quite right. I was always a pantser and didn’t believe in “wasting” the time it took to sit down and plan out my story.

Going into my first NaNoWriMo with two successful Camp NaNos under my belt and four different outlines has left me feeling beyond excited and maybe even a little bit ready for the month ahead.


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