Local authors and contestants in the Journal-World’s National Novel Writing Month contest are inching closer to that final goal of a 50,000-word novel by the end of November.
For some, the words are flying out of their heads and onto the page much faster than expected.
NaNoWriMo veteran Jessica Levine says she was about 16,000 words ahead of schedule.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, but my word count has been increasing so quickly it’s flabbergasting,” says Levine, who was at exactly 34,633 words on Wednesday.
She says she’s found support and inspiration from weekly “write-ins,” where local authors share their NaNoWriMo experiences and, of course, write.
“There is something very motivating about sitting in a room with 20 other people all doing the same thing you’re doing, and not much noise other than the clicking of keys,” she says.
Fellow contestant John William passed the 20,000-word mark with 20 days to go. While he’s ahead of schedule with words, the event has been an intellectual challenge.
“It isn’t necessarily hard, but it takes some amount of determination, if not just endurance, to last so long. Even just a week seems a stretch for the brain,” he says.
But thankfully, he has a secret weapon.
“Luckily, there’s coffee in the world,” William says.
Jileen Shobe, meanwhile, passed the 30,000-word count before the midway point, but she’s having trouble with a few words in particular.
“I have what appears to be a great story, but for the life of me can’t come up with a title,” she says.
Other contestants are a little behind on their word count, which should average about 1,700 words per day to finish on time.
Impediments, such as life, have kept Melissa Lytton a little off-pace with 7,000 words by Thursday.
“There have been some road bumps trying to get work done while life goes on throwing unexpected challenges as it is wont to do,” she says. “But I’m not worried.”
Finding enough time to write consistently has been a challenge for contestant Matthew Fearing, who is at around 2,000 words, but he says his story outline is keeping him motivated.
“The idea is there and has focus,” Fearing says. “It just has to get on paper.”