50,003 words, according to yWriter. 50,031 according to the NaNoWriMo word-counting hamsters. I’m going with yWriter since that’s what I was using to decide when to stop.

And yes, I am stopping now, and putting this away for at least a month.

50,000th word: “we”. Sentence that put me over the top: “A few last-minute items, before we march out tomorrow.”

And still, after 50,003 words — 37,861 of which were not bonus material — I have no plot. I think the story’s going to start pretty soon now. Maybe. I know how the last book in the series is going to end, but I still don’t have a clue how the first book is going to start. The hazards of embarking on an epic.

I don’t even feel like I have a first draft yet. Just something that sort of explores the outlines of an idea.

But dagnabbit, I’ve got 50,003 words of it!

I think it’s time to drink some celebratory chocolate milk and do some celebratory laundry.

NaNo: Home stretch – Saturday

Yesterday, when I sat down to write, I had 14,648 words to go in the ~3.25 days remaining in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Today, right now, I have 5,800 words left to go. After just one and a quarter days of writing, I got well over halfway to the finish line. My goal was to write 5,000 words today; I actually managed 5,927, so one more day like today and I will hit fifty thou! And that was with frequent breaks today — I got four or five hours of DVRed TV watched, and ate my way through half a bag of potato chips (with chip dip) and more than half of a frozen pizza. And Coke. Lots of Coke. Ran the dishwasher so I would have clean glasses so I could have more Coke.

Yesterday I had my doubts, but today, this thing is looking totally doable. And I haven’t even busted open the Little Debbie cakes yet.

I’m trying not to think about my next weigh-in, though.

NaNo: just a bit behind

I started today with 22,787 words on my NaNoWriMo novel. Almost halfway to the goal — but way, way past halfway through the month.

After one marathon writing session this morning, I had broken 25,000. After another marathon this afternoon, I had just edged past 30,000! I wrote 7,234 words today (!!), over probably five or six hours of writing. Wow. My word count currently stands at 30,021.

But my target for today should be 36,667. I would need to double today’s performance to catch up. Eep.

And I’ve been cheating a bit. The last 12,142 words weren’t actually the novel at all — they were the bonus material. You know, the stuff you’d get on disc two of the extended DVD release. Interviews with the characters and so on. Actually, way over half of that was an interview with the narrator, i.e., me interviewing myself. I got the Q and A roles confused more than once.

It’s normal for me to spend a fair bit of time writing out brainstorms, just to sound out my ideas before I start writing, but usually I wouldn’t count any of that toward my wordcount — it would just go in a log that I could look back at later, separate from my actual wordcounted novel. But this year, with as far behind as I was, I figured, what the heck. Those special features ain’t gonna write themselves. (grin)

If I can crank out 2,500 words a day from now until the end of the month, I’ll finish in time. Should be doable in a couple hours a day if I just write, and don’t dwell on what to write. That’ll be tough, though, because I’m pretty much out of ideas for bonus material. I’ve come up with some great ideas for interactions between some of the main characters, but no idea what they’ll actually be doing for a plot. What is their quest? Beats me.

Yes, I’ve gotten to 30,000 words without even knowing what my story is. I’m finally experiencing NaNo as it’s meant to be experienced! No Plot? No Problem!

But now I’m going to spoil it by going to get some sleep.

NaNo: on track so far!

It’s November, so I’m writing another novel. National Novel Writing Month, you know.

I think this is the first year I’ve managed to (so far) consistently stay ahead of my word-count targets each day. It’s kind of weird — I’m so used to falling behind and then scrambling to catch back up. Today is the 4th, so I need to end the day with 6,667 words, and I’m already at 6,870. I even had youth group tonight — didn’t get home until about 8:45 — and I still beat my word-count for the day.

If anyone’s interested, here’s my one-sentence story summary. Before you accuse me of cheating, it is technically one sentence. But you do have to imagine Hal Douglas doing the voiceover.

In a time when Light overwhelms the Darkness, and sweeps lives in its path…

four chosen warriors set out to right the balance…

to rescue a love…

and destroy an empire.

Very Final Fantasy, don’t you think?