08 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Update: Days 4-7

Days 4-7 Word Quota: 0
Days 4-7 Words Written: 0
Cumulative Word Count: 5,393

Ah, the best laid plans don't mean diddly when vacation is involved.

Wednesday through Saturday of this past week, Jean and I went to Orange Beach for a family trip to visit her parents and a number of other relatives. I was looking forward to the trip, but I was apprehensive to a degree; yes, I needed a week off, but how would I handle NaNoWriMo while I was out of town?

I could have soldiered on while I was on the coast, staying hunched over a laptop in the condo while Jean and her family went to the beach or had some amazing seafood dinner, but that wasn't going to happen. For one thing, I don't even own a laptop and there was no way I would be writing longhand. For another, I WAS ON VACATION, for crying out loud! Through these two realizations, I was eventually able to rationalize not doing any "real" writing -- "real" meaning adding to my word count -- while I was at the beach. NaNoWriMo could wait a few days.

But I wouldn't ignore the project; there is too much at stake to take off that kind of time right at the beginning of something like this. So I made a plan: While Jean and I enjoyed some much-needed beach time, I would knock out seventeen or eighteen phase outlines (in a most relaxed-and-groovy manner, of course). Doing so would give me momentum to come back for my first non-vacation WriMo week; when I got back, so the plan went, I would simply have to flesh out the rest of the phases. The goal of 50,000 words would be easy to reach.

Yeah, yeah, sure.

As it worked out, I did much more vacationing than outlining. There was good food, good company, and I even had an opportunity to visit with my own aunt and uncle while we were down there. Crowds were nonexistent, and the weather was nice -- if a bit breezy. I saw dolphins swimming in the morning, and a sunset that caught the breakers with a light like nothing I had ever seen before.

It's not difficult to understand how NaNoWriMo was pushed to the background, at least for a few days -- except when I was excitedly telling one of Jean's third cousins all about the project.

I wasn't a complete beach bum during the trip. I worked out three nice outlines, two of which come next in the storyline. The third just popped up out of nowhere, and I'm saving it for later on. These phase outlines give me enough material to work out the story through Tuesday, my next non-writing day -- and the day I will work on phase outlines again. Yes, I've put myself a bit behind. But not so much that I can't make it up, and quickly.

Besides, the trip was totally worth it.

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