From Couch to 50k (or: ??? Days to NaNoWriMo)

UPDATE! Camp NaNoWriMo officially begins in July!!!

It all starts with a plan…

With Camp NaNoWriMo lurking in the wings, it looks like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) might come earlier than November this year. There are still no solid dates for when we’ll be able to go play, but I’m guessing camp will open up July or August. (I was right!)

Which is a great excuse for kicking things into gear! After all, if writing in NaNo is the same thing as running a marathon then I need to start building up my endurance now– as opposed to stumbling into it from a dead start.

And right now, I’m pretty much at a dead start. *pokes The Wolves We Are*

The Plan

After several false starts I came up with the following schedule, which focuses on past writing trends to set future goals. Thus even if I falter along the way, it will be easy to pick back up from where I started.

Before You Start

Everyone who does NaNo has their own style of writing. There is no right or wrong way to fit writing time into your schedule, so adjust these drills so that they fit into your life. NaNo is the killer of social lives and the point to this training is to make the transition as easy as possible.

TL;DR – Your mileage may vary, adjust as needed

How Many Words Do I Write Today?

This is your formula for the first five days:

A)Write for 10 minutes. How many words? = 200
B) First Daily Goal = 3 * A (30 minutes/3 Sprints) = 3 * 200 = 600

C) Final Daily Wordcount Goal = 1667
D) Needed Growth = C-B = 1067

E) Number of Days of Training = 60
F) Increase Per Day = D/E = 1067/(60 – 1) = 18.084 = 18

Lather, Rinse, Repeat…

G) Second Days Goal = B + 18
H) Third Days Goal = G + 18
I) Fourth Days Goal = H + 18
J) Fifth Days Goal = I + 18

Once you have five days in the bank (even if you skip a day), start using the following formula:

K) Total Words Written in the lasyt 5 Days = 3180
L) Average Words = 3180 / 5 = 636

C) Final Goal Wordcount = 1667
D) Needed Growth = C – L = 1031
M) Remaining Days of Training = 4
N) New increase Per Day = 1031 / 54 = 19.0925 = 19

Moving forward, you use the same calculations. The growth rate is pretty level, up until the end. If you miss a day (or two) the calculations will automatically adjust so that you ease back into writing.

If you miss days towards the end, it’s not as forgiving, but you can lie to it and say you have more days if you need to (or that you want a lower final target).

When Do We Start?

Right now! Or later! Just as long as you start before NaNo does…

I’m going to be calculating my 10 minute writing speed tonight and will work from there. (I’ll post calculations and whatnot when I do the Progress Report.) I’ll be working on The Wolves We Are and hopefully finishing off the rough scene by scene ‘this is what happens next.’

At which point there may be story before June is out… *shifty eyes*

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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