Like many other people on the NaNo treadmill, I find there’s a pattern to my ups and downs during NaNo. I can’t say X will happen on the seventh day or I have to have a block every Sunday when I have a little more open time. My cycles vary much more on the particular project and the things in real life that get in the way. (Thank you, half grown dane!)
- Stage 1: Hesitancy – Is this the right idea? Did I do too little or too much prep, outlining, names, character summaries? This lasts only a day or so into November, but takes a LOT of October.
- Stage 2: Galloping – once I get started, it’s a full push forward. Not that I can do the ten hour sprints I did in ’07, but any slowdowns or stuck moments to fix a plot issue don’t even last over night. This usually lasts for at least a week and usually about a third of the month. As things are generally going well, it’s not too stressful.
- Stage 3: Bleh – This is when the writing has gotten harder, and I have outpaced my more detailed sections outline. I know where the story is supposed to end, but some smaller things added in stage 2 have made the transition to the end hard. This is when I get discouraged and depressed. I’ve discovered that this stage is shorter and easier if I’m doing fanfic,
- Stage 4: Home Stretch – The last few days of the month or when I pass 50k I’m either winding down because I finished my plot, or I’m pumping out summares and scenes to get me to the end.
I rotate between stage 2 and stage 3 for most of NaNo usually. Now this year I finally hit stage 3 on the 16th. Grabbing enough time to write has been an big issue, and the 2k a day has been worse this year. My project has promise, but I’m already tired.
Good luck to all the other NaNos too!