The End is Nigh…

Of NaNoWriMo, I mean. In one sense, that’s good. My fingers are sore, my bum’s developed a beastly callous, the snacks are all but gone, and I’m on my last bag of coffee. I’ve even considered drying out the used coffee grounds and eating them for any residual caffeine, and as a substitute for the dwindling supply of comestibles in my office.

Yes, it’s really a good thing this is drawing to a close.

It’s also very sad to consider the end of NaNo. No more hanging out in the chat room, warring with fellow writers, pushing each other to higher and higher totals. No more crazy scenes to work out. No more burned drapes, exploding washing machines, or Big Wheel racing in the halls. (Sorry, Ms. T.) No more living away from the world, all the news (good or bad), the sports, the weather. (Did Truman really win?)

I started this campaign with the lofty goal of putting 210,000 words of fiction down on “paper.” I set that goal because that would be nearly 50% more than last year, and I wanted to see if I could push that hard. Looked at in isolation, that number is scary-huge. I nearly got a panic attack, with the feeling that a brontosaurus had collapsed on my chest. Then I realized it’s only 7,000 words a day. Every day. For a month.

That didn’t make it any easier.

Then I found a reference that said that Earle Stanley Gardner would write 6,600 words a day in what he would call a “writing day.” And that was on an old Remington manual typewriter. Fighting carbons, paper changes every 300 words, and the dreaded typos.

I’ve got it easy. Word processor, spelling and grammar checks, major thesauruses and dictionaries only a hot-key away. That put things into perspective, after a fashion.

At this point I’m about 262,000 words into the month. Far exceeding my original expectation. Running at nearly 10,000 words a day, even with a couple days lost to travel, to and from Missouri. Makes you wonder how many more wonderful Perry Mason novels (or Poirot, or Marple, or even Hardy Boys) might have been written with today’s technology?

From here I expect to get to 300,000 words. At which point I will simply collapse from sheer ridiculosity…

Look Out, Energizer Bunny…

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