Throwback Thursday #11: NaNoWriMo

This will be a slightly different version of Throwback Thursday, because I’m tackling multiple past/current projects!

My NaNoWriMo timeline, under the name musemorgan (which you can become writing buddies with if you want!) goes as follows…

2010: My very first NaNo. I was a sophomore in college, taking Organic Chemistry and Calculus II at the same time, and it was probably the worst time I ever could have competed in NaNo, lol. But I ached to rekindle my writing skills, especially because I was also attending Bret Lott’s creative writing class that semester. I jumped in on November 1st with nothing except a few characters and a loose concept. It was the first iteration of Paradisa, back then called Crusaders. I failed the challenge with only 32,000 words, most of which was outline. Because as I realized, I can’t work without an outline. Only about three chapters of actual prose was written, and barely any of it became part of Paradisa.

2011: Skipped NaNo. I was in Physical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis. My junior year was hell.

2012: Senior year gave me a lot of free time, so I tried my hand at NaNo again. This time I did have an outline, but I also had the benefit of living my story. The Shadow of Saturn was a memoir about my internship at NASA, because what happened to me at NASA was often so serendipitous that it all could have been scripted. A lot of natural parallels between people, etc. This was the first year I won NaNo, just barely eking out 50,000 words. If you’re wondering what happened to that story, well – I never finished it. I got about 10 chapters into a rewrite, and nailed out a final, full outline, but it is a massive story. If I ever finished it, it would probably be 150,000 words. But I hope to finish it someday, and perhaps self publish.

2013: This year, I wanted to actually finish a novel. Because I knew that if I half-finished one, like in 2012, it would sit in my drawer forever. I outlined Paradisa and set a goal of 100,000 words. Unfortunately, November is INSANELY busy for me, with AtomaCon, Thanksgiving, and a week-long business trip I took in 2013. I did not make my 100,000 word goal, but I still topped out at 65,000 words. I took December off and finished the first draft of Paradisa in January 2014.

I’m still working on Paradisa, as you all know, but I’ve decided to throw myself into something new this November. I’ve uploaded the basic details of Wake, which I’m in the outline stage for.  I’m setting my goal word count at 70,000 words, because I think that’s what it will take to finish this novel. It’s going to be a short, simple book. Or it might not be, in which this post will probably show up as a Throwback Thursday next year :P

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7 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #11: NaNoWriMo

  1. I wish I had found NaNoWriMo earlier. This is my first year and I am really psyched. Having a degree and working in a factory really calls for an intellectual outlet. A half-trained monkey could do my job many days and if you worked there you would think a few do.

    So I have about thirty pages of notes for my novel to be called “North of the Fox” And by the way I AM looking for a writing buddy, if you would be interested.

    As a chemist, how much writing do you get to do as part of your job? It must be fairly interesting work, more so than running a machining center.

    Good luck with your novel and I am looking forward to hearing about it.

    • I’m actually an industrial chemist, not an academic one, so I work in a factory too. And there’s little or no writing, heh. It’s either lab work or production work, and if you’re a machine operator, I know how monotonous that can be. I don’t envy our operators at all. My job is, at least, intellectually interesting. Although my first job as a chemist was pouring reagents and labeling vials. A machine really could have done my job. It was so mind numbing.

      I’ll be happy to be your writing buddy! What is your NaNo username? And what is North of the Fox about? :)

      • North of the Fox is about a female journalist that has been recently released from prison and has no interest in returning to investigative journalism. She is given information about a more than cozy relationship between a local military contractor and the government and this leads to unraveling a corporatocracy.

        Her anger leads her to exposing the truth but through exposing the truth she destroys her best friend.

        My degree is in journalism with a minor in English with its emphasis in critical theory. Sounds pretty boring, yes?

        My NaNo user name is ThomasReich. Very cryptic, I know.

    • Three WIPs over the course of four years? Naaah. Remember, my first and third NaNos were the same book. My second NaNo was just a memoir which, while it took effort, was still adapted from blogs I’d already written. This next one will be a challenge, but I think one first draft per year is a fair rate for most people.

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