Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo: The view from the middle

We're a little over halfway through NaNoWriMo, and well over halfway through our stories.   We're still finding this to be a great project and very worthwhile, even though it is taking up a lot of our time and other things are being ignored.  It's only for a month, right?

Eleanor had a slight word-count crisis the other day.  She told met that she is confident that she can write 10,000 words, but is not sure her current story needs that many.  So I cut her some slack and we adjusted her goal down to 6,000.  Or is it 8,000?  Anyway, I think we were overzealous at the beginning and don't feel too guilty about revising her goal downward.    I am still not sure of the overall plot of her story but it involves an evil Vice President of the United States, the outlawing of homeschooling, and a prison break.   It's funny and her main character is a twelve-year-old girl.

James is on track to meet his 10,000 word goal, but as Eleanor pointed out, "If he needs more words he can just add in another air strike or something."  His story is of the futuristic dystopian science-fictiony sort.  I hesitate to say "genre."  There are lots of explosions. 

My story coming along.  I'm finding it hard to keep writing more words, though, and I feel the need for more research.  Now and then I hit google to add a detail or get a general date for an event and find there is a ton of realistic history I could add, if I only had time to research it.  The seminarian gave me a book and has sent me some websites with information that would really add to the story, but I don't feel I can spare the time to look at it and use it.  I need to get my word count up. Thanksgiving looms and I am the cook, so I have to plan at least two days of not writing next week. But if/when revision time comes along, I can add those details later.

I still haven't told many people about our participation in NaNo.  Yesterday I imagined myself telling one friend but as the conversation played out in my head I realized that she would find the idea preposterous and would tell me so.  Anyone to whom I might complain about sleep deprivation, etc., would tell me to just go ahead and quit.  After all, what do we get out of this?    It's hard to explain that it's worth the sleep deprivation and the lousy meals just to do it. 

I'm very thankful that the seminarian is on board with this.  He is delighted that we're doing it and sees its value.  His opinion is the only one that matters, right?

I already hope we do it next year!


wayside wanderer said...

My older daughter was showing us a picture she took of Anna the other night. Anna had fallen asleep typing on her old laptop! Sara said that her hands were very heavy on the keyboard and so it was difficult to wrestle it out from under our sleeping writer! I said something about putting the picture on my blog but there was a very loud squeal of protest so....I guess that is a No.

If I were doing this nano thing with my kids EVERYONE I know (and don't know, for that matter) would know about it! :)

Sandy said...

I wrote you a post today. It's over here:

Anonymous said...

I tried twice to send a comment but I don't know what happened. My first comment was so much better worded :)

"What do we get out of this?"

I don't know why people think you need to be published or receive some $$ or other reward for doing this. How about the reward of actually doing it? Of finishing it?....especially since you didn't have any desire to write a novel in the first place.

I am so astounded to watch my 12 year old daughter write hers and push through the struggle, the frustration...the not knowing how to enter it on the website! I have so much respect for her tenacity, her creativity, her drive.

I'm not doing it personally but I would think the intrinsic, personal satisfaction of you completing this WITH your kids is a reward much bigger than people realize.

You have my "props", Margaret!

Sheryl said...

Well, I see all kinds of value in doing something like this. I think that many of the reasons that people run (or walk) marathons apply here - pushing through and finishing something hard and proving to yourself that you can do it, developing self-discipline, honing a skill...and on and on.

To all those nay-sayers out there, I say, PPPFFFFFTTTTT!!!

(Oh...and they all sound great...I wanna read 'em all! ;-) )

Kerri said...

We're all so utilitarian.

You'll feel satisfied when it's done and December will probably be a breeze in comparison-Christmas not withstanding. :)

Miss Mommy said...

I think this is a really cool idea. Can you explain what all the letters mean (NaNo...?)?

Emily/Miss Mommy

Marbel said...

Miss Mommy - National Novel Writing Month. You can find the information at