KingMidget's Ramblings

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It was NaNo 2003 that got me writing.  As a result, even though I didn’t write 50,000 words during the month of November 2003, there is something about the challenge that is near and dear to me.  I tried it once or twice after 2003 and each time I’ve achieved less.  I simply am not built as a writer to be able to churn words out like that.  I think far too much about what I’m writing as I’m writing to be able to just let the words flow.  In addition, there are simply too many other demands on my time to be able to commit to the time needed to do this for an entire month.  Some of those other demands have been eliminated in recent years — no longer coaching my kids’ soccer teams, for instance.  But, damnit … it is just so difficult to find the time.

This year, there’s another hurdle.  I have too many works in progress that I want to finish before I turn to something new.  I simply cannot let myself turn away from those projects now and start something new.  I committed at the beginning of September to the following:  finish Deviation in September, finish Northville Five & Dime in October, finish Carlota in November, and then turn to another short series I’m thinking about, before finally returning to one of my half-completed novels.  I finished Deviation as planned.  I made major progress on Northville, but probably won’t have it done by tomorrow.  Probably?  Who the hell am I kidding?  There’s no way it’s done by tomorrow.  I need to be true to these goals I set and not let NaNo distract me.

So, here’s what I’ve decided.  I’m going to strive to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  First, I’ll complete Northville.  I think there’s another 5,000-10,000 words to that story.  Once I’ve done that, I’m moving on to Carlota.  I’m pretty certain there’s another 10,000-20,000 words there.  And, as I get stuck with any of those projects, I’m going to return to Terror in a Small Town.  I started this story back in 2007.  It involves an Islamic terrorist plot.  I didn’t finish it.  Since then, I’ve decided to change the terrorists to whacko, right-wing, anti-tax, sovereign citizen loonies who are a burgeoning problem in this country.  The result of this is that I need to significantly re-write what I have already written.

Ultimately, I’m probably “cheating” to the extent cheating is possible on NaNo.  Splitting the goal up over several different projects, considering re-writing as writing.  But, I don’t care.  If I can get anywhere near 50,000 words this November, I will have done for more than I expected.

P.S.  In looking through my posts on this, I realized that I committed to something remarkably similar last year.  Let’s see if I do better this year.


13 responses to “Quasi-NaNo

  1. Aussa Lorens October 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Dang– it seems like you’re having pretty considerable success. I’ll have to hit you up for advice when I finally take that plunge 😉

    • kingmidget October 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      I’ve had one novel that has done well on some level. One novel that has been slow to take off. If you ever have questions, let me know. I’ve learned a lot, made mistakes, and still don’t know anywhere near enough. the one thing I know I want to do is to help other writers achieve their dreams.

      • Aussa Lorens October 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        That’s awesome. I have a manuscript that I’ve edited about 12 times but I know that I need to get it professionally edited (*sigh*) before self-publishing. That’s the next hurdle and then I’ll give it a shot… it seems so intimidating and I’ve been just kind of la la la and not learning very much about it. That would have to change…

      • kingmidget October 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm

        What’s the story about? By the way, I’ve been known to read other writers’ manuscripts — just as a reader or to provide editing and other feedback. Enough in the last six months that I’ve thought of charging for the service. But I may have one more free read/edit in me.

      • Aussa Lorens October 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

        Ooooo…. you don’t say? 🙂

        It’s a story I’ve alluded to a bit in my blog but have not quite tackled yet– basically I boarded a one-way flight to China on my 24th birthday, seemingly for no reason. I’d never even been to a Chinese restaurant. But I wanted to get as far away from my life as possible, and to surround myself with people whom I couldn’t communicate with because I was keeping a secret.

        The book is ultimately about “the why” behind my leaving and about what happened when my plan of running didn’t go as expected– but I learned to actually tell the truth. To strangers. Naturally, it is interspersed with bizarre travel stories like the ones I’ve been blogging about.

        That’s a very on-the-fly description, so forgive me.

      • kingmidget October 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        It sounds very interesting. The offer is open. I’m not a professional copy editor. I’m not a professional writer. But I have spent my life reading and the last ten years writing. I think I have a good eye for finding typos, grammar issues and the like. And I’ll gently tell you what I think of the story without trying to change it. It’s your story and if I can help you make publishing it a reality I’d like to help.

      • Aussa Lorens October 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm


        Now I have this mad impulse to go and re-edit it before I send to you 😉

        Are you sure? I’m so blown away, this is crazy. Do I just e-mail? AAAHHHH…

      • kingmidget October 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm If possible can we talk by phone tomorrow about it? What you’re looking for. What your expectations are.

      • Aussa Lorens October 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        Sweet, I will email it and get your contact info there. I could talk between noon and five– I’m playing hookie from work tomorrow afternoon to get ready for a party.

  2. tjtherien October 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    participating in NaNo for the first time this year… all the best to you Mark…

  3. sknicholls October 31, 2013 at 5:20 am

    I didn’t do it this year. I couldn’t muster up the courage. With all that is going on throughout the month of November, I was afraid to commit and fail. I don’t like not following through on commitments. I applaud those of you who are taking on this challenge though, and wish you the best of luck 🙂

    • kingmidget October 31, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Oh, I have no doubt that I’ll fail at the 50,000 word target. 😉 I’m just hoping that I get some meaningful work done in the month by “taking on” the challenge.

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