NaNoWriMo 2014, Week 1: Blasting Through Doubts, 3K in Less Than 2 Hours, and a Neat Way to Use Scrivener Labels

So I recently shared that I'd be participating in NaNoWriMo this year and that I'd actually be writing the third book in the Unbreakable Love series, Unfailing Love. Jimmy and Mayra's story. I can't be more excited because I must confess that I had lots of doubts regarding this story. I LOVE Jimmy and Mayra, and I wanted to tell their story so badly, but I wanted to make sure their story was the right one.

Theirs. Not something I just made up, although technically that's what it is, but the one that I can feel in my gut and heart is their story. The one that speaks to me.

A couple of weeks before November, I finally found it. Or I thought so. (After trashing two different plots.)

I'm a week into NaNoWriMo, and just yesterday, I was still having lots of trouble figuring out Mayra and Jimmy’s story and having doubts again. I even started getting bored.

That's when I really started getting worried. Then some work-related things came up, and I went from being day ahead to 3300 words behind. And I did not want to start writing today because of that.

But I did.

And I broke through all the doubts I've had the past few weeks. I'm caught up again at 13,459 words and feeling super confident that this really is their story and I’m getting it right. You know you’re getting it right when you can feel every emotion your main character feels, especially the sad and intense parts. And believe me, it's getting sad and intense.

I'm just glad that I think I'm finally getting to the part where I'm like, "I CANNOT WAIT TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE DOWN THIS STORY."

How I Wrote 3300 Words in Less Than 2 Hours Today

I actually kind of stole this idea from Johnny B. Truant from the Self-Publishing Podcast. I remember him saying in a podcast that his routine consists of setting a timer and having to meet his word count for the day by the time that timer went off.

No matter if he got distracted or went to go pee, the timer didn't stop. And this is how he's able to write prolifically without spending his entire day and night at his desk. I think he said he wrote like 6,000 words a day or something.

Well, today, I needed 3300 words to catch up, and I was doing okay, but I didn't want to spend the entire night at my computer, espeically since I told myself I wasn't allowed to shower until I caught up. And believe me, I'm feeling gross right now (just got done writing).

So I did what Johnny did. I can produce about 2000 words an hour if I'm in my groove so I set a timer for an hour and forty-five minutes to complete those 3300 words.

And it worked. With three and a half minutes to spare. And little breaks here and there. Again, without stopping the timer.

So hopefully, that helps you too. Gonna keep trying this method.

A Neat Way to Use Labels in Scrivener

Recently, I also saw a webinar from Joseph Michael of Learn Scrivener Fast. He said labels could come in handy for categorizing scenes as different character POV.  I thought it was cool, but I never write in multiple POVs. I just labeled them all blue as scenes and that's how they showed up in my binder.

I was having a hard time remembering what scene I had left off at in the binder. It occurred to me that I could use the labels for that. I quickly made two custom labels: Written and Need to Write and gave them each their own pretty color. Just right click, select Label, then Edit...

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.03.47 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.03.54 PMThen I went and relabeled the scenes. Boom.

I can easily visualize how many scenes I have left to write and which one I left off at with a glance at my binder.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.03.29 PMThe colors also show up on the corkboard index cards. To get the label colors to show up in the binder and index cards, go to View > Use Label Color In. Then select Binder and Index Cards.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.40.51 PM

If you want the status (To Do, First Draft, Revised, Done, etc) to also show up on your index cards, go to View > Corkboard Options > Show Status Stamps. I also selected Show Card Numbers to easily know how many scenes are in my book.

Again, I learned all this stuff from Joseph Michael. I just came up with the idea of using label colors for Written/Need to Write scenes.

Well, I'm off to take my well-deserved (and well-needed) shower. Can you tell it's just been an intense day? ;)

How are you guys doing?