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NaNoWriMo week 1 – I don’t have the faintest idea where I stand

NaNo 2015 Participant Badge (Large Square)And so the first week of NaNoWriMo has gone.

I’m quite happy with it actually, though I don’t have any idea where I am in terms of word count.

My original plan was to write the first draft of Give in to the Feeling before NaNo started and then revise during NaNo. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t make it. I actually wrote the last chapter this week, which is good for my word count… if only I knew what it is. Because see, I handwrote the first draft. That’s what I normally do with short stories. Handwriting helps me concentrate (don’t ask me why) and so I prefer to do so with shorter works.
I’m now in the process of typing the novelette, so I’ll soon know my actual word count. At the moment, as I’m typing, the only thing I know for sure is that I love the story, but the writing sucks. Revision will be more likely a rewrite, but hey, that’s normal, right?
And also, the story has evolved while I was writing it and I have to do lots of adjustments especially in the first couple chapters (there are 5 chapters altogether).

But let me tell you, I’m quite happy with it. I enjoyed writing it, a lot. Writing Susie, Blood, Michael and even Simon was such a blast, even when they gave me headache because their motives kept changing.

Give in to the Feeling mock up cover
Mock up cover

So, now I’ll type the whole thing up, then I’ll let it sleep at least one week. This means next week I’ll be otherwise busy. I’m thinking: The New Woman’s New Look. I have all the notes ready for that series, so I hope I’ll be able to write it completely. Let’s see. Looks like articles will be quite long, so I’m debating whether I should split them in half. I read recently that the new trend is having blog articles around 2000 words long.
Isn’t that too long?
I don’t know. I’m going to write them first, then I’ll see. If you have an opinion about it, please share.

I’m a bit worry abotu my AtoZ posts, instead. I still have to take all notes. I have to find time to do that. Uhm… maybe on the train.

If you look at my NaNo profile, you’ll see a word count of over 5000 words. That’s bits and pieces I wrote on the side. Blurbs of the story, presentations, a new bio, a few reviews and the beginning of my blog post about the Cliffs of Moher.
It’s kind of tricky. When you write a novel, you always know where you are. Writing many different things and part of them by hand, it’s baffling.
But I’m enjoying it, and that’s the main part for me.

As a side note, I see all my buddies are doing very well, so give a cheer for them!

What about you? Are you doing NaNo?

Banner - Ghost Trhough the Cracks by Sarah Zama - A historical fantasy novella

Pinteret pin. The text reads, "NaNoWriMo 2015 - I don't know where I stand!". The picture shows the hammers of a vintage typewriter.


  • Alice E Keyes
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 20:16

    I’ll admit that when a blog is more than 5 to 8 paragraphs long I read the first paragraph and maybe the last paragraph. Most of the time if they are really long, I don’t bother reading them especially if they are about what the author is thinking that day and not conveying information that I might be researching.

    • Post Author
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 21:39

      Well, the articles I read all talked about post with content. That’s the kind of post that are growing in lenght, apparently.

      I don’t really mind reading a long post if it’s something intersting. I still think 2000 words it’s pretty long, though…

  • Sue Archer
    Posted November 7, 2015 at 22:47

    Glad to hear NaNo has been going well for you, Sarah! Sounds like you have many projects on the go, but at least then you can switch to whatever is inspiring you at the moment. Good luck with everything. 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 07:34

      Thanks Sue. So far so good.
      I’m going to glue my butt to the chair today, I really want to type all the rest of the novellet down 🙂

  • Crispian Thurlborn
    Posted November 8, 2015 at 07:08

    As a reader, it really depends upon the post. I don’t try to work out how long a post is. I start reading… if I like it then it doesn’t matter how long it is. If I’m short on time, then I bookmark and come back later. If I start reading and get bored I skip to the end.

    When I write posts I don’t think about the word count (but then I don’t care about word counts anyway). I care more about content. If a post is going to be long then it’s up to the reader to decide if they are interested enough to read it. It’s my blog. It’s my writing. I’m sure there is someone out there that likes what and how I write besides myself… (no, really).

    I don’t think about trends. If it became a trend tomorrow to post articles of less than 300 words, would you do it? Remember, someone did something and then a few other people decided that was pretty good and then it became a ‘trend’. Don’t just follow, be yourself and write/post how you want is what I say.

    • Post Author
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 07:33

      You know, I really like the way you think 😉

      Mostly, I think the same. If I like a post, I will read it to the end, no matter how long it is. But because I’m always short on time, I am very aware of time-consuming activities. If I don’t mind a long post when I’m a reader, I admit I do think about it when I write.

      I don’t much care about trands either, but this particular one made me think, because it goes the other way of what I personally think.
      While I don’t think 800 words is a long post, and I think 1000 words is a longish post, I do think 2000 words is really a long post and I’m very likely to hesitate start reading even if I’m very interested in the topic (though if the article is good, I’ll then read to the end, when I do get to read it).
      So, because this is my perception, when I write I tend to think readers will feel the same way… though, if what the article says is true, most of readers don’t feel the same I do.
      Uhm… maybe I’m not an avarage reader 😉
      It’s also true that if it is a topic I’m interested in and/or I know the author, I’ll do the same as you: I’ll save it for later.

      Thanks so much for your comment. It really gives me food for thoughts 🙂

  • Sara C. Snider
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 07:11

    I don’t think 2000 words is necessarily too long for a blog post, but really it depends on what the post is about, and whether or not I find it interesting. If it’s interesting, it doesn’t really matter if it’s long. If it’s not interesting, I’ll probably skim or skip it. Of course, even if it’s short, if it’s not interesting, then I’m still not really engaged as a reader, which then just loops us around to “it doesn’t matter.” 😉

    I’d say, do what you’re comfortable with. And congrats with finishing your story and with your NaNo progress! Even if your schedule isn’t going to plan, you’re still getting stuff done, and that’s awesome. 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:50

      I’m happy I’ve talked this out with you guys, because it’s helping me sort this out.
      I’ve just started writing the rest of the New Woman’s posts today, and I think I’ll be able to break them down in a logical way without making the posts too long, but I’m coming to the conclusion that really what counts is – as they always say – content.

      Can’t wait to share the posts with you all.
      Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  • Carrie-Anne
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 18:49

    If a blog has a more scholarly, in-depth topic, I expect a longer post, though I probably wouldn’t read the entire post if it’s like 5,000 words or more. It took awhile for me to find my perfect post length, but it’s now around 500–800 words, sometimes a little more, every so often a little less. If there are more than a few paragraphs, I now break them up with pictures, rows of asterisks, or bolded headings. Some of my earliest posts, which I now know are a bit too long for most people’s tastes, were broken up into series or edited down from even longer posts on my old Angelfire site.

    I did all my A to Z posts for my main blog in May, June, and July, and now only have a little bit of editing and tweaking left to do (as well as adding the alphabet buttons when they’re ready). I still have to finish my list of topics for my names blog and start writing those posts.

    • Post Author
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:53

      I like this idea of braking the text up with ‘other things’. I’m trying to do the same, also because I like it when I find it on other people’s blogs. As long as those ‘other things’ add to the article.

      Congrats on your AtoZ post already written. I’m a bit envious. That part of my NaNo challeng is a bit worrysome, but I’ll sort it out 🙂

  • Sara L.
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 15:41

    I don’t mind long blog articles. Probably because I have a tendency to write long ones myself. (The new Character Evolution File is a MONSTER. 😮 ) But if the content justifies the length and is interesting, that’s more important than not saying enough solely because you want to keep it short. Do what you think is best for each article, Sarah. 😉

    It sounds like you’re having a good NaNo, IMO. You’re making progress on the novelette, and you’ve got your notes ready for The New Woman’s New Look. Things may not be as far along as you’d like them to be – but don’t worry! It will all be done eventually, even if some of it has to stretch into December or happen another time. And that’s OK. So, keep up the great work!

    • Post Author
      Posted November 12, 2015 at 11:03

      That’s true. I am doing a lot of work, some of which had been posponed for quite some time, so I’m happy about it.
      The nevelette and the New Woman’s articles are top of my list, and I’m well into them already. Maybe my AtoZ articles will need to stretch into December, but that’s fine too.

      I will do as you and others have said: write the articles the way I think they should be. As Crispian said, readers will decide whether to read it or not 🙂

  • Ali Isaac
    Posted November 13, 2015 at 00:12

    I am not doing Nano Sarah… its added pressure I just dont need, theres enough of it in my life already! Good luck with your novel though. I do understand the writing by hand. I only do that for my notes and research… if I didnt, it would never sink into this leaky old thing I have for a memory!

    • Post Author
      Posted November 13, 2015 at 18:02

      That’s the same for me. If I write it down, it’s so much easier to remember. And when I write stories, handwriting makes me concentrate better. Sounds strange, but that’s how it is for me 🙂

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