Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Countdown to NaNoWriMo -- your daily word count calculator and strategy for making your word count

Chris Baty, the original creator of NaNoWriMo frequently talks about the importance of low expectations when writing a novel for the first time.

Here are some of his thoughts:

"Novels are simply too long and complex to nail on the first go-around."

"Exuberant imperfection... helps you tolerate the drivel that greases the wheels of genius." 

10,000 words in 30 days equates to 333 words a day (including weekends). So this is what your daily word count will look like:

Day 1: 333 words
Day 2: 666 words
Day 3: 999 words
Day 4: 1,332 words
Day 5: 1,665 words
Day 6: 1, 998 words
Day 7: 2, 331 words
Day 8: 2,664 words
Day 9: 2,997 words
Day 10: 3,330 words
Day 11: 3,663 words
Day 12: 3,996 words
Day 13: 4, 329 words
Day 14: 4, 662 words
Day 15: 4, 995 words
Day 16: 5, 328 words
Day 17: 5, 661 words
Day 18: 5, 994 words
Day 19: 6, 327 words
Day 20: 6, 660 words
Day 21: 6, 993 words
Day 22: 7, 326 words
Day 23: 7, 659 words
Day 24: 7, 992 words
Day 25: 8, 325 words
Day 26: 8, 658 words
Day 27: 8, 991 words
Day 28: 9, 324 words
Day 29: 9, 657 words
Day 30: 10,000 words

You will not be graded on whether or not you achieve your goal but how productive you are with your time at school and at home. As you may have noticed, this is something you will have to work on at home as well as at school, so you must keep that in mind as well. Even if you don't have a computer, you can always write scenes in your writer's notebook and then copy them into your Google Drive file when you get to school the next day.

What I'd like you to do right now, is create a strategy for how you will ATTEMPT to make your 10,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo. Do this in Google Drive and when you are finished, turn it in to Google Classroom.

As an example, here is my plan:

I am someone who has a hard time turning off my inner editor, so having a word count goal is either going to motivate me or make me freeze up. In order to make sure the word count goal motivates me, I will continue to remind myself that this is just a FIRST DRAFT, that it's not supposed to be good, and that you can't revise a blank page. 333 words a day is really not that much -- it's just one page.

So I will make sure that every day, I open my Google Drive file and write until I come to the bottom of a page. I am not allowed to get up from the chair until I do, whether this is at school or at home - most likely at home since I will be helping out my students in addition to writing my own novel.

I will also make sure to use weekends to play catch up if I do happen to fall behind and I will consult the word count chart daily.