Wednesday February 21

NaNo Support 2016

on November 2nd, 2016 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner

Join us to commiserate, to celebrate, to vent, and
to stir one another to the writing heights.

If you’ve accepted the challenge to NaNo in 2016, you’ll find support for your efforts here at The Editor’s Blog.

•  report your word counts

•  ask questions

•  request sympathy or encouragement

Need a writing prompt? Look here.


Join our write-in on Friday, November 11, 9-11:30 p.m. Eastern time



56 Responses to “NaNo Support 2016”

  1. Day One count for me—1194.

    Don’t worry if you couldn’t start yesterday. We are just beginning. Set yourself a scene to write, lock yourself into a place to write for an hour or two, and write away.

  2. Day one count for me–2421 (the first 1000 came hard), and then much easier. The editing witch clutched my shoulder much of that time.

    My goal is to write faster, so this month is a test. I intend to get ahead of the count as we will be in Philly Fri, Sat, Sun celebrating my husband’s birthday with our Denver daughter.

    Goal: average 1500 per day over the month.

    Thank you, Beth for “The Story Question is Vital” I used it to pinpoint where I need to go to finish my novel.

  3. Day one word count for me: 2,547, all written in cursive, by hand, since I don’t have a computer or a tablet to bring with me to work.

    Did some more writing today, and I’m up to 3,341, but I’m taking a break from hand-writing to type up what I have into my home computer. My goal is the completed first draft of my novel that I intend to submit to publish once it’s edited and polished.

    • Megan, I did some writing by hand yesterday and today as well. Necessary because of where I was. But those words count too. And sometimes that flow is stronger with pen in hand.

      I wish you great success with all your goals.

  4. Darien says:

    I found the link! Yay! I got to 3,103 day one. I’m pleased with that, as i tend to go back over and then go forward, and then go over and then go forward.

    I’ve got a lot plotted, and I do know the key turns, but alas, I really have to pants my way to them and figure how they’ll work. I’m nervous about it, but I’m just going to keep on with the scenes I do know.

    Before this started, I had written some chapters to about 10k, but I’m doing word counts on daily input.

  5. Darien says:

    Thanks so much, Beth. What are you writing? I’d love for you to share. And yes–man I’m winging it. I have a direction, but I’m pantsing blindly ahead.

    Today, I incorporated a scene I wrote on Halloween. I didn’t count the words for it, though I was tempted, but I edited through it and continued. Nano is absolutely forcing me to wing it, but I do know I need that. My writing today brought a small epiphany, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. It’s leading to a plot point I’ve been struggling to approach, so I hope I’m on the right path.

    I’ve never done Nano before, so do we post our progressive number, or just today. I’m calling it at 2,198 today, but I’m going to go absorb what I’ve done, edit a little, and hope for a direction tomorrow! Total is 5,301, and I got an auto-email. Yay!

    Thanks so much for doing this!

    Take care,


    • Darien, it sounds as if you’re doing great. Progressive number is probably what you want to share, but if you want to tell us how you did on a particular day, that’s okay too. This is all about using whatever works to keep NaNoers accountable and to encourage them to keep writing.

      I don’t mind sharing what I’m working on. The description I used over at NaNo is Time travel is possible, but government assassin Asher Kane doesn’t want to believe it. Not until his next assignment sends him back in time.

      That’s the novel I’m starting. I’m also going to work on a nonfiction book. But the subject matter of that one I’m keeping under my hat until I get closer to finishing it. I plan to use both word counts for my total.

      Today should be a solid writing day for me. I was working on a deadline for an edit the last two days, which meant I couldn’t dive in. But the next couple of days are reading days so I should have time for some of my own writing.

  6. Darien says:

    Thanks Beth! Good for you working two projects–very impressive! Thanks for sharing your plot. I think i mentioned I’m working on Book 3 of my trilogy.

    Happy writing today!


  7. Darien says:

    Thank you Beth for the prompts–I definitely needed some inspiration. Every time I read one of your inspirational blogs my circuits fire! Tonight, I used “have a MC get in a fight,” and the tension really helped carry through to some nuts and bolts stuff that would have been so bland without it! So far so good. I’m at 8010, and yay, now I get to go read back over it.

    Best wishes everyone!


  8. NaNo Tip: Turn that inner editor off while you’re trying to create. Let the writer play a bit without the oversight of a picky editor. Your inner editor will have time to do his or her thing, but don’t constrain your creativity as you’re writing the first draft. Anything goes. At least for a while.

  9. Darien says:


    I just wanted to thank you again for all you do! Even writing quick and dirty first drafty, I still hear your prompts from your blogs, encouraging me to push drama and don’t forget the senses. I’m finding the more I write the easier it comes, but . . . continuing to move forward is hard. I hate writing junk for the sake of doing so, and though my ideas from plotting are coming across so far, it’s a struggle to figure, okay, now what!? I am using your prompts constantly!!! Such a help! ( just came back for more now! )

    Despite the struggle, I’m really hitting great numbers. I’m happier to be ahead than behind. Since my book is a thriller, at some point I’m going to have work more on the crime scenes and evidence, but I’m content to see where the story evolves to before I bog it down with research. I do have a pretty good handle on it though from book 2.

    How’s your work coming? Are you time traveling? Do you try to write clean or just bang it out? I totally get to advice about the editor, but I do go back and forth and just fix little things while I do so. I have a pretty good relationship with my editor, lol!

    Lorraine, thanks for commiserating and congrats on your numbers! I was thrilled to cross 5, 000!

    Happy Writing all!


    • Darien, don’t let NaNo limit you—if you want to push deeper into something, do it. The point with NaNo is to not get caught up in all the research and rules at this stage. But if you find yourself writing “junk” that doesn’t fit your story, you’re just wasting time. The thing is, you have to know for sure that you’re writing junk.

      I wrote a scene almost entirely of dialogue today. I need to fill in the action beats and thoughts, the physical movements, but I needed to capture the flow of the dialogue as it came to me. I do that whether I’m writing fast or slow—I try to capture dialogue or action sequences without the essentials if I need the flow to continue or I know the dialogue or action but don’t know the other information. Much of writing is about layering—you get the foundation down first, then you fill in the details of the other levels.

      My current word count is at 10,861, but I want to get in as close to another thousand words as I can. So I’m heading back in. My characters haven’t traveled through time yet, but my main character was just told by someone he admires that time travel is possible. I’ve left that scene before I wrote the MC’s reaction. He, of course, will believe the other man to be mad.

      I hope you have a great writing week.

  10. Darien says:

    Awesome Beth! Congrats! And encouraging to hear, as I do the same thing. I find it so much easier to go back and flesh out. I have many, many scenes of straight dialogue, and lots of “turned, waved, nudged, moved, eyes widened” etc. It really takes some concentration to improve those so I can let them go for now, despite my editor. I like to listen to what I’ve got as I fall asleep, and it’s too distracting if it’s terrible, that’s why I do those little fixes on the way.

    So far so good tonight. I just keep thinking–plot-plot-plot–and trying to work in as much as I can. I’ve got multiple POVs, as well as plot strings going on, so no way can I nail it all in one draft. I will say, the scenes I have that are a little deeper with actions have been going great–I totally owe it all to you! Seriously! Your blog is totally my mentor! 😉

    Happy, happy writing, and congrats again! The scenario you’re writing sounds fun!

    Take care,


  11. I am back home from an awesome trip to Philly seeing the historic sites and enjoying the city of brother and sisterly love and the city of firsts. We walked more than 18,000 steps a day, partly because we like to walk and partly because of the transit strike.

    I did write 1143 words Friday as we waited for our daughter, 2 Saturday and 514 Sun night at the airport. Only 863 yesterday. I am behind! However, my total is approaching 10,000.

    I am happy with that because they are good editable words that address my story problem and answer the story question. Thanks Beth. Your blog post is keeping me well-directed. I have it written (in black Sharpie) on paper behind my computer.

    I realized during the night that where I stu

  12. Here’s your link to Friday’s (November 11, 2016) NaNo write-in. Join us between 9 and 11:30 p.m. EST.

    Invite your friends and writing buddies.

  13. Kat Sheridan says:

    I can’t seem to comment on the Write-in page, so I’m stopping by to say I’ll do everything I can to be there! Kind of like a virtual “slumber party”, but with writing! W00t!

  14. The NaNo write-in sounds awesome, but I’m usually in bed by then! Maybe I can stay up a wee bit longer than usual to join in for a smidge. If not, I wish everyone lots of luck and lots of writing progress!

  15. Darien says:

    I invited some writers from Awesome Writers–hope we get some takers.

    I’m plugging along: 21, 102 so far!

    (hard fought for many!)

    Happy writing all!

  16. I caught up! On this ninth day my math brain figured I needed 15,000 words to be on target. I had 11,320 tallied on NaNoWriMo yesterday. Due to an accounting error (I am finishing a manuscript that totaled 40,000ish when NaNoWriMo started, and miscalculated my progress), and today’s equation: inspiration + perspiration + persistence = 15,091 words total.

    Just in time for another trip. This time driving to Michigan (from KY) to attend a wedding.

    I am happy with my writing. I did edit what flowed yesterday, figuring I got up early and had 90 minutes to spare, so I added 900 words refining one chapter.

    For me there is no value in writing words that don’t relate to my story.

    I am loving NaMoWriMo. My hope is that it teaches me that I can write faster.

  17. No new numbers for me—lots of election stuff yesterday and editing today. But I’ll add some to my total tomorrow.

    • I teach American Government at the junior college level, but have not taken classes for two years as I am focusing on writing. I love politics and all the nuances of our representative democracy.

      However, this year has been challenging. I am glad I am not teaching, it would have been hard to put a positive spin on this election.

      It was refreshing to spend two weeks in Europe and not hear news from the U.S. (9/29/16-10/13/16).

      I am somewhat of a news junkie, so it has been hard, but I shut it off.

      Our system of checks and balances should continue its magic mitigating the effects that either candidate would bring as head of the executive branch.

      • Your job sounds like fun, but being away in Europe would be great fun at any time.

        I was in Europe for the first time during a presidential election year. Several people in a Paris park, on discovering I was from the U.S., asked me question after question about the election and politics and those running for office. It was amazing to see so many interested in our election.

        One way to help students understand a contentious election would be to point out that we have the opportunity to vote for our leaders every few years and that that’s a very good thing. Since we’ve got differences of opinion, it would be a tragedy for half the country to live under the policies of the other half for too long a time without relief. Having the chance to change leadership and focus every few years keeps us from a narrow-minded focus on only one group’s interests, needs, concerns, and dreams. Also, if the same political group was always in charge, just imagine what we’d ignore or overlook even by accident.

        Shaking up the country every so often is a positive in my opinion.

        • I love your thoughtful comments. I agree. We need both parties to keep our democratic republic healthy.

          I am home after a five-day trip to Michigan (from KY)to attend a wedding, visit grandchildren, my parents. I went alone so did all the driving.

          I managed 4000 words and another 2500 today. I have 22,500 new words (added to the original 40,000). I am off the NaNoWriMo pace, but my novel is growing well. I wrote the ending today, so need to braid in some story lines. I am excited because this process is teaching me to write faster.


  18. Darien says:

    Thanks Lorraine and Beth. Safe travels and happy writing! I’m going to try and figure what scenes to do for the write-in. Keeping still will be the hardest part for me,lol!

  19. Darien says:

    Lorraine, it’s awesome you can try and keep pace with all the travel! How’s it going now? Anybody want to update their counts?

    My count is fine but I’ve pants up to the parts I haven’t outlined and ugh! I know we should never stare at a blank page, but I could not decide between the many options. I may still go back and change it, but I had to do something!

    I’m crossing my fingers for tonight!

    Hope all is well with everyone!

  20. I’m a bit behind, with just under 24,000 words. I hope to pick up words before Thanksgiving.

    Go, writers.

  21. Darien says:

    Congrats, Beth! Hope you’re enjoying your time travels!

  22. How’s everyone doing? I got behind, but I’m determined to finish my 50,000 words. I just timed myself for an hour and a half session and added over 3300 words. Time for some lunch—or maybe I need to get dinner in the oven. And then I’m going to try for another 2,000 or so words. I hate to stop when I’m on a roll, but I need a Coke at the very least.

  23. Darien says:

    3300, wow that’s a lot! I’ve only hit those numbers twice, and that’s after hours of writing!

    I did cross 50K, but I’m continuing to write until the end of the month. After a lot of struggles with plot and direction, last night, I really felt it finally gelling. Even then I only hit 2,647, LOL!

    I have no doubt you’ll make it, Beth. Happy writing everyone!

  24. Darien says:

    It’s been an awesome experience. I know it would have been harder if it wasn’t book 3 in a series. Doing a whole story from scratch would have been really difficult.

    Thanks for all your advice and prompts. I’ve got a few junky scenes at the end where I tried this angle or that angle. Normally I’d cut them but as every word counted i left them.

    The stressful parts was hitting those plot walls, but again, last night it came together–yay! I’m not sure I would have forced myself to try things if it hadn’t been for Nano.

    Thanks for the congrats! Best of luck with your continued success!

  25. I hope everyone is still hanging in there. Even if you can’t reach 50,000 words, I hope you use the final days of NaNo to work on a scene or chapter, to get started or to work out a story problem.

    I’m on track to catch up to the target word count by this evening. That meant a lot of writing over the past couple of days, but the writing was both fun and productive.

    If anyone still wants one more write-in, let me know. I’d be happy to do one before Wednesday night. A couple friends and I have been doing some friendly challenges, and that’s helped us get the words in. Writing with others can be fun.

  26. Darien says:

    I’d be happy to try another write-in, I’m still plugging away.

    I had a question, Beth.

    Grammatically, this always gets me:

    “None of you are him.”

    Word says it should be “he” but it always sounds so awkward to me. Have you written an entry about it before. Are there any tricks to figuring them? I generally re-phrase unless that character would be so correct, but it would be nice to know.

    Hope you’re doing well achieving your goal, as well as everyone!

    Happy writing! :)

    • Maybe we should meet tonight for a lost hoorah.

      Darien, there’s no consensus on that issue. Some say that a subject complement follows a linking verb, so we should say things such as it is I. But most of the time, we say, “It’s me.” When a victim of a theft sees the thief running through the parking lot, she’s likely to say, “That’s her!” rather than “That is she.”

      A stuffy person may say, “It is I, Aloysius Montgomery Murgatroyd.” But the rest of us are probably going to say, “It’s me, Louie.”

      For formal writing, you would never be wrong to say, “None of you are he.” But for characters and in your own everyday speech, him is quite acceptable.

      Check out this Merriam-Webster video on this subject.

  27. How did everyone do? Anyone still working to make 50,000 words or some other goal? If you need some support or feel like joining us to celebrate, stop in here between 9 and 10:30 p.m. EST today. We can urge you on if you still need to make up some words or lift a glass or two in celebration for what we did accomplish, whether that means 50,000 words, the beginning of a new story, or some other goal.

    I met my 50,000 yesterday, happy to do so and have the night off. But I left my story at a good place for picking it back up, with a bit of a cliffhanger to keep me going.

    Congrats to any of you who got some writing done for the month. I hope you continue to work on your newest project and that it turns out to be a great story.

  28. If anyone is here and needs some help to finish NaNo, let me know.

  29. Darien says:

    Thanks for the answer, Beth, and phew! I hate how proper Aloysius Montgomery Murgatroyd talks, LOL!

    Congrats on finishing! That’s awesome! :)

    The gelling for me really helped. I’ve been pumping out words, and literally shocked every time I did my count. I reached 71695 for Nano. Total of project so far is 80,765, including the few things I did before it started.

    Hope everyone was happy with their results–I’m so happy I did this!

  30. What an awesome word count. I’m glad it was a good experience for you. And I’m glad I did it this year too. The month went by so fast, but the days I could make time to write, I never ran out of words. Switching between two projects was fun, and the word count was almost evenly divided between them, even though I hadn’t tried to make it work out that way.

  31. Darien says:

    Nothing better than not running out of words! I just checked and the junky scenes at the end are around 3000 of the count. Some of it I want to consider again, as it was shots at different angles. The story above them was the continued direction.

    I’m assuming the cliff hanger is on the fiction project, but what an awesome place to pick up from. Did you use a planned approach or pants it? Maybe a little of both? It’s interesting how many different approaches writers take.

    And thanks, I’m pleased with the numbers, but oh the work ahead! :)

    • I actually had plenty of material for both projects. The nonfiction was something I’d been jotting notes for since spring. The time-travel story has also been churning for more than six months, so I had plenty of notes for it. I know where that one’s going to end and I knew what kind of scene would open it—he’s a government assassin, so it had to open with him assassinating someone. I hadn’t anticipated a couple of the layers, however. Once I let the characters talk, I realized that I needed to fill in some of the back story. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually keep in the story, but it’s material that I need to know.

      So much fun, working through a novel from the beginning. It’s very different from editing and very different from writing nonfiction. I like the creativity of it. And I love all the thousands of choices that you need to make to bring a story into a cohesive whole. It’s great exercise for the mind.

      • Darien says:

        That’s great you had some prep. I had a bunch loosely, but when it got to the crux–that was my ugh moment. Nano made me work through it and I’m so glad.

        Those characters can take over, I love that about writing! Had a few surprises of my own–one in particular using your prompts! Thanks so much for doing this, and the support you provided.

        I posted links to the prompts for several others who were struggling. Hope they took advantage, because I love and appreciate your ability to inspire!

        Take care

  32. Again, congratulations to everyone who participated in NaNo, who wrote anything this month or maybe tried something new. I wish you great success with your projects and stories.

  33. I am still out here! I intended to write about 40,000 words, but finished last night with more than 50,000 around 10:30 p.m. What an accomplishment. My book is finished, although the last chapter is barebones.

    The greatest value for me is that I learned to write faster. I am excited about editing Sixty Mortal Sins.

    I ran a grammar check this morning. I seem to overuse ago. Anyone have any advice?

    The painting was last seen in France 300 years ago. Her mother died ten years ago. Months ago, yadayadayada. Grammar check wants a comma, so it highlighted my overuse of ago.

  34. Darien says:

    Congrats, Lorraine!

    I could give you a list of my over-used words, LOL!

    I don’t know if it’s better, but maybe: It’s been ten years since her mother died.

    Good luck with your edit! :)

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