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Arts in Review

NaNoWriMo Update: Week One

A NaNoWriMo update from The Cascade’s four participants. Confidence is hovering around 80%, so you know it’s still early.



Print Edition: November 7, 2012

Dessa Bayrock

Working title: The State of Giraffes in Absolute Darkness

NaNoWriMo username: DessaYo

Confidence to finish 50,000 words in one month: 79 per cent?

Current wordcount: 7406

I’m trying not to get too involved with numbers, which is ironic because my main character is a little OCD when it comes to numbers. His name is Brian, and he works at an as-yet-unnamed fast food establishment. My other character is named Cherry, and she mans the fryers at the same restaurant. I’m thinking I should probably add another character but that seems like a lot of work.

Basically their manager was found murdered and a giraffe has come back to life at the zoo. I’m debating if I want to make the giraffe a reincarnation of the manager, but I really hated the manager, which is why I killed him off. So maybe bringing him back is counterproductive.

I’ll admit that I cheated a little; I started with 6000 words, but for the record I basically rewrote them. It’s a little easier than starting from scratch, but more finicky. In any case, I have a respectable word count and I’m going to stand by that.

Karen Aney

Working title: working titles are still for suckers

NaNoWriMo username: KarenAney

Confidence to finish 50,000 words in one month: that’s what she said.

Current wordcount: 3800

So here’s the deal. When you’re used to typing over 100 words per minute, and your keyboard isn’t working, it’s kind of hard to write productively. I’ve spent the first week of writing doing character sketches and setting descriptions. In fact, I described one setting in 10 different ways. The shortest was a sentence that amounted to “there were walls and stuff.” The longest was over 1000 words. These things do not a novel make, but hopefully by next week I’ll have a new computer and be able to actually get into the bulk of it. Also, I have 3800 more words than I did before . . . and that’s what I’m focusing on.

Sasha Moedt

Working title: The Caged Parrot: Roles and Suicide in The Awakening – Oh, wait, that’s my essay’s title . . .

NaNoWriMo username: smoot

Confidence to finish 50,000 words in one month: 82 per cent

Current wordcount: 10,278

It did occur to me that the month of November is literally the worst month to undertake a novel. First of all, it’s the end of the semester. I have final exams, final essays, and a final presentation. It’s the month of final. My final month. Oh god.

Second, it’s November. Grey, rainy, overcast. The wind is moaning at my window right now like a walker from The Walking Dead. I don’t do well with horror shows, why did I watch that?

Despite all of it, I’m doing pretty well. My confidence rating has gone up, as you can see, by a few points. Ten thousand words is ahead of where I should be, and I’m not running out of steam. Perhaps it’s because I procrastinate like hell, and I go to my book and write to avoid my essay on The Awakening. Maybe, in that sense, November is a good time for this.

Anthony Biondi

Working title: The Big Smoke

NaNoWriMo username: ABiondi

Confidence to finish 50,000 words in a month: 90 per cent

Current wordcount: 15,615

One weekend in, 15,000 words later. I started this thing with a run, and don’t intend to stop. If all goes well I will be ahead of schedule before finals and final papers are due. Let’s be honest though, no matter how much planning goes into this, shit will hit the fan. It will hit hard. It will hit fast. I will be screaming. There will be blood, sweat, tears, followed swiftly by a coma that may last until next semester. But I am going to finish this novel, so help me!

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