NaNoWriMo: November’s Challenge

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So I love that November 1st fell on a Thursday because one, I can post this post at the perfect time and two, it lets me post this post at the perfect time!

Last month I hand-copied the book of Acts, which has 28 chapters, in 30 days. Technically I actually finished in 28 days, writing a chapter a morning (or thereabouts) without taking any grace days. This is contrasting to how Sarah Ruszkowski did it. She copied five or so verses at a time, coming back to it throughout the day as she had time and a desire to.

I’m the kind of person who does it all in one go (or, at least, tries to) so the way that worked for me was doing it all in the mornings when I have time set aside anyway.

nanowrimo top image

I found copying the Bible to be a very good exercise. I learned things about historical Biblical events that I’d forgotten or never even knew to begin with, came up with questions that I really should be asking my pastor, and excitement that there is literally nothing stopping me from doing more of this with other books of the Bible.

I’ll do it in fewer chunks, though. It took me roughly a minute per verse to hand-copy in cursive, and there were a couple chapters of about sixty verses…

Anyways.

November’s challenge is, so far, my favorite going into it!

NaNoWriMo officially started this morning at midnight. I spent the last two weeks or so planning out my novel, and I announced it on the NaNoWriMo website last weekend. You can follow my progress if you have a NaNoWriMo account and add me as a buddy (username camitchell246).

The plan for November is to meet at least 50,000 words. Doing this means I’ll “win” NaNoWriMo.

Every 5,000 words I’ll have a reward for myself, like playing Skyrim for an hour, unashamedly spending an hour on Reddit, or watching a movie from Netflix that I’ve been sitting on for a while. When I meet my goal (at or before 11:59 PM on November 30th), my big reward will be to go out to a celebratory dinner with my husband – probably somewhere like Brazilian Steakhouse. (My masseuse told me about it and it sounds amazing.)

In addition to this progress and reward tracker, I have this handy daily word count page in my bullet journal. Just like my previous 30-day challenges, I’m tracking daily to keep me on task and accountable.

nanowrimo tracker

One of the things I think is going to help me the most, though, is having spent the last couple weeks really planning out my novel and thinking through the characters and plot. I have everything set up in a Scrivener novel template and filled out character sheets and scene sketches.

I’ve been writing in some shape or form since I was twelve, and my earliest pieces were fiction (not even fanfiction) that I spent hours and hours pouring my soul into.

Only one of them ever became a complete (though shitty) first draft. The other got half-finished and then re-imagined a few times.

The Novel

My NaNo novel is mashing those two stories up, and this is my temporary cover, along with a brief summary:

week thirty-seven nano

Emma Jackman from small-town Palouse, Washington, about to turn 18, is also about to receive the shock of her life. She grew up reading letters left to her by her father (who died the day after her first birthday) – letters that somehow predicted events for each year.

She’s kept the contents of these letters secret from everyone, including her mother (or so she believes), but she’s starting to have doubts.

Day by day, the tesseract birthmark on her palm gets darker. And every time they Skype, she can tell her brother has his own secret.

The final letter cracks her world wide open, at the same time isolating her even further from her distant and uncaring mother. Can Emma confirm the truth of her new reality before it consumes her?

Obviously, this summary will evolve and shift as the novel does, too – I haven’t written a word of it yet!

This month by far will be the most challenging of my 30-day challenges. On top of everything else I do on a daily basis – now I’m writing a book!

nanowrimo pinterest

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  1. Good luck! I don’t have time to do a full 50k this month, as I’ll be out of town some, etc, but I am going to try and use this month to get back into the groove of working on my WIP since it’s been awhile. I love that you’re rewarding yourself at various word counts – that will help motivate you too I’m sure! Also, I really need to look into Scrivener.

    -Lauren

  2. This writing is totally new to me as I have never thought to copy or hand write scriptures. Good luck with your progress and novel.

  3. Congratulations on your new writing adventure. I am writing one as well. My 13 year old helped me with a lot if the brainstorming. I am hitting around 1,000 words per day which is fine because I am writing a novel foe kids. How is your writing going?