I went to a local NaNoWriMo get-together on Sunday afternoon. It was held at Sono Caffeine in Norwalk, one of the coffee shops I’d recommended in my blog about where to write one’s novel. I wasn’t sure how I’d recognize the people, but I spotted one young woman whose face looked familiar from her Facebook photo, and started with her. The laptop she had clutched to her chest was another hint that here was a writer on a mission.
As people started arriving it was clear that we NaNoWriMo writers are about as varied a bunch as you could find. Ages from about 18 to way up there (me), men as well as women (I generally find more women in writing groups) and a variety of different writing styles and genres, as it turned out. I think I was the only one writing a historical novel, but here’s the thing that threw me off a bit. I was right on target for the number of words per day if I want to get the 50,000 words done in November.
But I was shocked to learn that not every writing software counts words the same way. So what might be 50,000 words in Word, might not be in some other writing software. And no-one knows how the NaNo people count the words, except that they often come up with fewer words that the writers.
I’m using a software called Scrivener for writing my novel, and I love it. It lets me plot out scenes and chapters and is altogether terrific. No-one should write a novel without it (and it works for non-fiction, essays, presentations and reports, too). Here’s the link: http://www.iteratureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
But what if Scrivener comes up with a different number of words from NaNo? My new friends, (at least those who’ve done NaNoWriMo before, told me I should write a few extra words to be on the safe side. “Like a couple of hundred?” I asked.
“More like a couple of thousand,” they said.
So now, although I’ve written 25,000 words by the middle of the month, (tomorrow), it actually isn’t half of the novel. Rats!