NaNoWriMo, 2021 – The First Week

happy november, cyberspace!

I was going to do a whole introduction post for the first day of NaNoWriMo last week, but alas alack, sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

Whoopsies Oops GIF

The past two weeks have been silent here on my end of the blogosphere, but let me tell ya, folks: that time away was used for some much-needed rest. I have exactly 0 regrets. XD I’ve definitely missed being present on the blogs, though, and now that I’m back, I thought it would be fun to jump back in with a Weekly NaNoWriMo Recap! It’s crazy to think that we’re already a solid week into November, but I guess time truly does fly when you’re having fun! *awkward laughter*

Let’s take a look at the first week of NaNo, shall we?

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As predicted, revising a novel for NaNoWriMo has already brought forth a whole host of random difficulties that were previously unforeseen. Take, for instance, the fact of progress charting. When one is working by chapters as I am, you can’t really focus too much on what the wordcount for the day is.

As I mentioned in this post last month, I’m currently working on the second draft of Project Sunset, my YA Fantasy set in an alternate universe. It’s been an absolute BLAST getting to rediscover the plot and the characters, but my goodness. Progress tracking for this NaNo has been a nightmare. XD Currently, the book is set to have about 30 chapters. This means that in order for me to hit my goal of half a completed manuscript by the end of November, I need to second draft 15 chapters–or half a chapter per day.

The issue? I have literally no clue when I’ve hit half a chapter. Which forces me to go further and finish a whole chapter each day. Which means that, if I continue with this trend, by the end of the month I’m going to have the entire second draft of this book written.


Of course, it’s the 6th day of NaNo and I’m only at 4 chapters done, so clearly I’ve been doing the proper amount of slacking off, thank goodness. But there’s still the confusion of converting chapters to wordcount. I did the math before the month began, but now that I’m in the middle of it… I’m just confused. XD Supposedly, I should be counting each chapter completed as 3,334 words done. This would, essentially, get me to 50k by the end of the 30 days. But it’s so ingrained inside of me to count my actual words written that I’ve just been… doing NaNo the normal way.

While revising.

Like an idiot.

Friends, I would highly recommend not listening to any sort of advice I give on progress tracking for NaNoWriMo. Or just any sort of advice I have for NaNoWriMo as a whole, because holy cow I’m breaking every single rule I made for myself during Preptober.

Taking a week off to write? Lol, nope.

Getting up early so that I can get my words in during the wee morning hours and not worry about it for the rest of the day? HAHA, YOU THOUGHT.

Not over-exerting myself because at the end of the day it’s just a writing challenge and I don’t need to stake victory over my enemies friends inner editor self-acceptance? ….yep, not this either.

To be quite frank with you all, I have never been more determined to prove to myself that I can write, blog, have a life, and work a full-time job while not sacrificing my sanity in the process. And while I’m still not entirely sure if I’ll win this NaNo or not, I have at least discovered that I had exactly 0 sanity to begin with. So there’s virtually no fear of me sacrificing it to the chaos at this point. Huzzah!


*insert AFV music here*

Of course, this wouldn’t be an accurate summary of the first week of November if I didn’t acknowledge some of the happier highlights! While there’s been a lot of awkward juggling to make the writing work this past week, I’m still super, super in love with this book, and I’m even more excited than ever to get this story into your hands someday… (*crosses fingers and wishes on a star*)

  • The Characters… as predicted, getting to know these characters all over again has been one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon me this month. Ed and the Gang gave me SUCH trouble during the first drafting process that it didn’t even occur to me that I’d miss their chaotic energy as much as I have. Writing this second draft has been like coming home after an overnight stay at a friend’s house: you enjoyed your time away (writing another book), but you still kinda want to cry because you missed your own bed and everything feels safe again.
  • The Plot… Now, I’m not here to toot my own horn, guys (lies. I’m always here to toot my own horn), but the story outline I finalized for this second draft has brought me nothing but pure, unadulterated joy the past 7 days. There are many, MANY changes that are being implemented this go around, but I’m learning that this is just the way I like it. I love tearing things apart and rebuilding them. I love poking at loose threads to see what they unravel into. This is the part of the creative process where I really and truly thrive.
  • The Spontaneity… There’s something about the second draft that I had completely forgotten about until now, and that’s just how spontaneous it is. First drafting is incredible for its pure, undiluted creation. Every page is a blank page, every sentence a new start. With second drafts, you have the outline of the first draft to keep you in check when needed, but also the understanding that the first draft was the wrong draft. This draft, in comparison, has the potential to be the right one. Or at least as close to the right one as you can get right now. By chapter two I had completely thrown elements of my carefully constructed outline through the window, but I’m so excited with the way things are headed that I don’t even care. I feel like I’m finally telling the story that I’ve always wanted to tell, and that is quite literally the best feeling in the world.
  • The First Death… On the sixth day of NaNo, my true love gave to me I witnessed the first death for Project Sunset… and it was a car. Carlos’s beloved van, Charlotte, is no longer running, and it was a very touching scene, indeed. Thankfully, he’s able to find a replacement pretty quickly, but between you and me… that may end up being more trouble than its worth… (mwahahahahahahaha!)

I could honestly go on and on and on about how much this project excites me, but there’s only so much I can talk about before we head into the dangerous Spoiler Zone, and you guys know how very scared I am of that particular zone. XD

doctor who spoilers GIF

I will, however, continue to silently squeal about how much fun this book is to write. I feel like this novel is the height of my chaos crammed into 30 chapters, and if that doesn’t give you at least some clue as to how much fun I’m having with this plot… well, I honestly don’t know what will. XD

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talk to me, peasants!

We’re right on the cusp of Week Two, my friends! Week One was a bit of a roller coaster of wild highs and sleep-deprived lows, and I’m fairly confident that Week Two is going to be even more crazy! (which excites me on a whole new level, tbh) I cannot wait to see where the next 7 days takes this story, and–hopefully–I’ll still be alive by the end of it to tell the tale. XD

how is YOUR NaNoWriMo treating you? have you discovered any new plot bunnies since starting, or has your outline (unlike mine) turned out to be solid? what’s your favorite thing you’ve written so far–scenes, lines, character descriptions, ect.! do you have a favorite place to write, a favorite writing snack, a specific pair of socks for good luck? let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *


6 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, 2021 – The First Week

  1. Yay Kenzie, you’re doing so well!! 4/11 chapters in the first week is excellent!!

    Haha, breaking Preptober rules is a #mood. I haven’t broken many of mine yet (just the one about not eating any sweets besides NaNo rewards. And I only broke that one because it was Sunday. XD) but then, I am someone who Follows My Own Rules Almost All the Time, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, lol.

    It’s always so lovely to revisit old WIPs and characters that a lot of time was spent on! My first ever “real” WIP was a huge train wreck and I don’t think it’s all that salvageable, but I still think about those characters all the time.

    I hadn’t thought of a second draft as being spontaneous, but I love that! I’ll keep that point of view in mind when I dive into my second drafts. :)

    My NaNo is treating me ok so far! I know you’ve heard a bit about my progress already, but I’ve really started getting to the fun part–except that so far EVERYTHING is the fun part, which is kind of new to me? And I LOVE it! Anyways, Things Are Happening, and it is making me happy. Butttt the characters are being a bit inconsistent, which is problematic, so there’s that, too.

    Oh, and I did want to let you know–inspired by your writing hat, I have gotten myself a writing flannel shirt! I put it over whatever I’m wearing while I’m writing so it gets me in the writing mood. :)


    • Meep! Thank you SO much, Samantha!

      Oh goodness, I WISH I was like that! I’m an excellent rule follower when someone else builds the rules, but when it’s me, I tend to blur the lines and cross boundaries every single time. XD (it’s a problem. always. XD)

      YES!!! I think everlost was a similar project to me! The plot is utterly nonexistent, but those characters still plague my dreams. And if I ever get the chance to go back and rewrite that story, I know that it’s going to feel like coming home all over again!

      OHHHHHH! Yes, I am SO excited for this!!! Projects which are just FUN are literally the best. And that’s slightly what Project Sunset is right now! (although I’ve hit a bit of a rut in the middle of the book, and I’m trying very desperately to get out of it again. XD)

      OH MY GOODNESS!! Samantha, that makes me SO happy!!! A writing flannel honestly sounds like the coziest thing ever??? I’m 100% going to keep this in mind if my writing hatt ever decides to be mean to me. XD


  2. Oh my goodness, girl, you’re doing awesome!!! I love this post!

    You’re making me very excited for the second draft of my WIP… I’m hoping to finish the first draft this month!!!

    So, I’ve discovered that my story is a mess. I had decided to skip a few scenes and jump about chaotically, and lost my numbering system for my chapters (they’re titled ‘chapter the next’ now). Only recently have I found the where I’m actually supposed to be. And my outline is “more of a set of guidelines than actual rules.” But I got to write a cute sick scene the other day, which makes me very happy… 😍.

    I’m trying to overcome perfectionism, ignore the insta-love and cringy descriptions, and let it just be.

    I’ve also joined the King’s Daughters Writing Camp, which has been fun! Having a community of writers is so inspiring.

    Anyways, best of luck with the writing!


    • Meep!! Thank you SO much!!!

      Dude, second drafts are a whole beast in and of themselves, but I LOVE them! It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of drafting, so I highly recommend being excited about it! It’s an incredible (and slightly terrifying) experience!

      Okay, but outlines becoming more like guidelines than actual rules is LITERALLY HOW IT IS, THOUGH. XD I always think my outline is going to be incredibly helpful, and then I just…forget about it. It’s a mess. XD

      YES! Overcoming perfectionism is such a struggle sometimes, but it is SO worth it!

      I’ve heard of that camp! I haven’t participated yet, but I’m definitely considering it for the future. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

      Meep! Thank you! And same to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AAAAHHHH KENZIE. YOU’RE DOING SO WELL. And I’m so beyond ecstatic to hear you’re having a blast with this and excited about the whole project! That is the best feeling EVER. (But R.I.P. Charlotte! *sobs* How COULD you, Kenzie. The sheer cruelty!)

    I do totally feel you on trying to track a revising project with a NaNo event though! I did Camp NaNo last year with a second draft and just??? Trying to track editing words???? It gave my OCDness a heart attack. XD Plus I’ve trained my brain to think doing NaNo means SPRINTING with the words, but with revising I want to take it slow and steady and careful. So it was a very confusing time, yes. NaNo helps me IMMENSELY with first drafts, but may just hurt my brain with revisions. XD AND YET, at the same time, having that push and motivation is so good! So I don’t even know. What would be ideal is if they bring it back where you can set it to track pages or time instead of words. Then you’ve got that lovely motivation without the confusion of adding up words!

    BUT ANYWHO. I am so very, very glad your first week went well! You are ROCKING IT. I do hope this second week treats you spectacularly!

    (Also that gif at the beginning is the most hilariously horrifying thing I’ve ever seen and I’m dying. The *insert AFV music here* line killed me as well.)


    • LOL! I definitely should have shed a singular tear for Charlotte, but I was having way too much fun with it. XD

      YES!! All of the yes to all of this! I so wish NaNo would bring back the ability to track by pages or minutes/hours, specifically and especially for Camp! Revising was one of my favorite things to do during those months, and now it’s just confuddling. XD

      MEEP!! Oh my goodness, thank you, Christine!!!! I’ve gotta say, having you in my corner honestly makes life so much better…


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