November is the National Novel Writing Month. For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, as it’s known for short, the goal is for writers to begin a project on November 1 and see if they can succeed in finishing a 50,000 word novel by November 30. As it turns out, the first draft of my latest novel, Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order was written for NaNoWriMo in 2005.
I looked back at some notes from my experience. It was a challenging year to participate in NaNoWriMo. Not only does Thanksgiving happen in November, but I was scheduled to participate at the science fiction convention TusCon in Tucson, Arizona. Also at that time, the reading period for Tales of the Talisman magazine was scheduled for November. If you do the math, NaNoWriMo requires that you manage 1,666 words each day if you’re going to make the goal. However, with trips scheduled, I decided to make a goal of 5,000 words every three days. Keep in mind, that was 5,000 words every three days plus having to read approximately 10 stories each day for the magazine!
I did well on the goal through November 18. At that point, I had to pack up for TusCon. While I was at TusCon, I sat next to James C. Glass author of Shanji and John Vornholt, author of numerous novelizations in such universes as Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Dinotopia. During the signing, the topic came up of how much does one write per day. Glass mentioned that his goal was 1800 words every day, which works out to 54,000 words per month. Vornholt mentioned that he wrote between 3,000 to 4,000 words every day, but he took weekends off. That works out as anything between 60,000 and 80,000 words every month, depending on the month!
As it turns out, fate wasn’t on my side when I returned from TusCon. Life was so busy the week of Thanksgiving, that I simply could not get any writing time in between Monday and Wednesday of that week. I thought I wasn’t going to make the NaNoWriMo goal. However, I took a few minutes and did the math. I realized if I wrote 3,800 words every day for the rest of the month, I would meet my goal. That was right in John Vornholt’s target range and I figured if he could do that every day for a year, I could manage it for a little more than a week.
As it turns out, I wrote over 4000 words every day for that last week except the last day. That one, I only managed 2000 words, but I still came in over 50,000 words. Unfortunately, I still didn’t have a complete novel. I set it aside for a while, then cleaned up what I had, enhanced the romantic plot and added nearly 40,000 more words. I turned in the finished novel in 2010 and it’s finally available.
I hope you’ll take some time and check it out. Let me know how you think I did on this novel that started out during NaNoWriMo 2005.
You can buy Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order at: