Category Archives: Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo Aftermath

Half a month ago, I was going strong. I’d written my prerequisite 25,000 words by November 15th and the home stretch was in sight. It was all downhill from there. But November 30th came and went and I didn’t reach the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in one month.

What happened?

Well, there were a few days I didn’t hit the daily goal of 1,666 words needed to write 50k in 30 days. There was one whole weekend I didn’t write at all. I wasn’t writing a novel for November, as the rules state (but aren’t rules made to be broken?) but rather trying to write as many short stories as possible.

No, strike that. I had five very specific short story ideas I wanted to write. If I could get them done in a month, I’d term it a success.

To that end, I did get all five stories done, wrapping up the fifth and final one today. My word count as the sun set on November 30th was 41,643 words. After finishing the final short story on my plate, I stand at 44,350 words. This is still a little short of NaNo’s official 50k, but I’m more than pleased with myself for finishing the stories.

Two of them, Hot Merchandise and Santa Vic, will be published later this month through my company, JMS Books LLC. The other three are on schedule for January releases — Mojo’s Mojo is the only one with a title, though. The other two (a gay YA romance and a second tattoo story) are still nameless until I settle on something I like. Titles are the second hardest part of a story for me to write. The first is the blurb.

So did I “win” NaNoWriMo in 2011? According to their standards, no, I did not. But I got into a daily writing habit again, which I sorely needed to do, and I finished five short stories, including two I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, since I got my last two tattoos earlier this year.

For that, I think maybe I won something after all.

Halfway through NaNoWriMo

Yet again, I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month. I got about 30,000 words written last year before I stopped mid-month. I don’t remember exactly what I managed to get up to in 2009, but it was 20k in 2008. I only managed to finish in 2007 (53k — I wrote most of the titles in my series, The Positions of Love, that month) and 2006 (also 53k, when I wrote Between Brothers).

This year, I didn’t want to start a brand new novel because I have last year’s attempt (as yet untitled) as well as the novel I started for NaNoWriMo in 2008 that aren’t finished yet. Also, I have quite a few short story ideas rattling around in my head which need to get written, so this year I decided to focus on writing 50,000 words in toto. Here we are halfway through the month and, believe it or not, I’m pretty much on track.

The first story I wrote was Hot Merchandise, which I’ve been toying with for a while now. It was inspired by two more or less unrelated events. Back in high school, my brother was detained at the music store in the mall (we called it a record store then, even though there weren’t any records sold there) because his bulky jacket made the manager suspicious. Fast forward a few years later when I was in college, and I got a job working at that same store one summer between semesters. Add in a sexy boyfriend (or two) I once had and presto! Instant story.

My goal for November was write 5,000 words in three days. At a hair over that length, this story fit the bill. But the second story I wrote went a little over. Santa Vic is a Vic and Matt story (as if the title didn’t clue you in) that topped out just under 14k in length. It was a lot of fun to write, but then again, Vic and Matt usually are. They’re almost like fan fiction to me — I can go back to them at any time and dip into their lives to write about what’s happening now, and it’s like I never left.

Currently I’m working on my third story, as yet untitled (I’m really bad at coming up with names for my stories, especially while I’m in the middle of them). This one I’m calling my “tattoo blowjob story” because that’s basically what happens in it. The idea came while I was attending Authors After Dark this past August, and the tattoo vendor there (Geoff from Voodoo Monkey) helped me hammer out some details for this and another tattoo-inspired story I want to write. There are just some questions you don’t want to ask your regular tattoo guy, you know? It’s like going to confession at church and picking the visiting priest so he won’t know who you are the next time you show up.

I’m about 4,000 words into this untitled tattoo story, and I hope to wrap it up this week. If nothing else, NaNoWriMo has helped me get back to writing regularly — I try to hit about 1,000 words a day, but most days double that. If I can maintain this pace for a month, what’s to stop me from doing it all the time?