Just as I suspected…this is no piece of cake

nanowrimoAn Evening Update on Week One of National Novel Writing Month!

First of all, it’s not nationalit’s international. As a Canadian taking part in the albeit mostly-American fanfare/insanity, I feel obliged to point that out.

Second, and more to the point, I am all but four days into this exercise and I am already tired. For those of you who missed it, the exercise is this: write 50, 000 words within the month of November. What will I win, you ask? Absolutely nothing! This is all in the name of “fun”.

But let me tell you! While writing 2,000 words in a day may not blow me off my feet, keeping up that pace for thirty days just might. Since midnight on November 1, until time of writing (that is, 8:12 pm, November 4), I’ve compiled 8,659 words. That works out to almost 2165 words per day which, if you remember, is more than the bare minimum of 1,667. So I’m ahead of schedule. It’s both relieving and alarming, really. Relieving, because if I keep it up, I might even have the occasional day off this month, to regroup and recuperate my creative capacities. Alarming, because I have to keep it up.

Not to mention half of what I’ve written will have to be nixed when it comes time to edit. Out of the gate, I strayed ever so slightly from my outline, and already I’m tripping on plotholes. Thankfully, a true artist knows how to fix her mistakes: ignore them and plow on! It may not be the most graceful approach to writing a beautiful, epic, fantastic love story, but…okay I don’t know where I was going with that.

Moving on.

Lots of people have asked me how long a book with 50,000 words is. It sounds like a lot, and I will continue to gripe that it’s a lot, but in the novelverse, a Very Fat Book it does not actually make. Peruse the following, then make sure to tell me your thoughts on this all-perplexing matter.

  • War and Peace: 587,287 words
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: 99,121 words
  • The Joy Luck Club: 91,419
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: 76,944 words
  • Lord of the Flies: 59,900 words
  • Slaughterhouse-Five: 49,459 words
  • Fahrenheit 451: 46,118 words

(Sources: All word counts came from here, except for Harry Potter, which I got from here.)

Finally, for those of you who found me because you’re also a WriMo, feel free to check me out.

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3 responses

  1. Hooray, Deborah!

    This makes me wonder how long writing a novel typically takes. I know that would vary wildly from author to author, but is there a general average?

    Or, maybe a better question is: how long would this take you to write if you weren’t doing NaNoWriMo?

    • I guess it could take me six months to a year (including editing, if I buckle down), but I think the issue would be finishing it. Without outside motivation I suck at finishing my stories!
      I suppose it’s different for every professional author, though. I know many of them write more than 1,667 words a day!

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