IWSG 12/4/2019: Aggressive Writing, the November Way!

When aggressive writing takes over your life, you go with it.
This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blogging event and brought to you by founder and writer Alex J Cavanaugh. This month Alex has the help of

these awesome co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson! Please visit them.

There is an optional question of the month. Instead, I opted to talk about my November writing  experience. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I outlined and also wrote scenes in October in preparation. Less effort went into creating the characters. They were lightly sketched out, on paper. I am horrible at predicting who my characters will become until I write the story. I write minimal and fill in the blanks later.
My project: A (probably) young adult thriller depicting how lives messed up mess up other lives. It has twists and turns, red herrings and clues.  
Here's the gist of my power writing month and what I learned about myself:
  • I experienced writer's block, and I NEVER have writer's block. I have only two early morning hours before work where my brain writes clearly. I wrote 39 words that day. I write that many in my sleep most nights. But...
  • I made it up during the next two days.
  • I wrote more aggressively during the week. On the weekend, my brain rebels against aggressive writing. What's up with that? 
  • I MUST have a tentative outline (and did), but honestly this isn't anything new. I'm a list girl. I don't clean my house without an outline.
  • Speaking of outlines, I ran out of outline and that's why I believe I did not make my 50,000 goal. My outline ended my writing at 39502 words so I wrote a mysterious prologue, an epilogue and finished around 44,521. This short story writer wants  to write longer pieces, People!
  • I loved meeting the daily word goal.
  • For me, November is a difficult month to power write. Work becomes busier in both good and bad ways. I also had one November birthday party plus another on December 1. In theory, I used effort and brain cells for that in November. There was also Thanksgiving cooking and eating. Yes, excuses!
I'm not totally disappointed that I did not reach my fifty thousand word goal. In fact, I am inspired to pick another month to do some fast writing, since I have two additional novel ideas. I might even use bleak, wintery, snowstorm driven January since I'm on a roll. I might even name it NaJanWriMo! No?  Not as catchy as the real one?
Anyone else unofficially or officially do the NaNoWriMo? What about your characters. Do you know them early on?



  1. Being inspired is great. Writer's block sure got kicked to the curb. Nothing wrong with 40K+ words at all.

  2. That's fantastic! Hope you celebrated getting so much done. I bet you could go through the draft and add more description, etc. and bump up the word count (I always leave character and setting descriptions out until a later draft). I got a lot done too on two books (not as much as you did, though.) NaJanWriMo sounds like a good idea...January is a *much* better month than November for fast writing, for sure!

  3. Well done on writing so much – and not letting the day you found it so hard put you offwriting again at your next opportunity.

  4. You still did really good and finished your story. I also wish I wrote longer stories.
    You outline your house cleaning - funny!

  5. Congratulations on all that aggressive writing! That's terrific. Your story idea sounds thrilling. Yes, go ahead and invent your own writing month. JanOWriMo!

  6. Yay you!!! I'm so glad you've found fun in the longer stories as well!
    I did NaNo too - just finished up that messy first draft yesterday. I'm learning to plot/outline so I spent the 1st few days doing that then dove into the story. I think it worked but like you I need to do some fleshing out :)

  7. I love the JanWriMo idea! A much slower month than November. I'm with you on the character writing - I have a surface idea of who they are when I start writing and get to know them better during the first draft. Happy December!

  8. You got most of the words down and completed a full draft. I say that's a win. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Congratulations on everything you got done. all of us must write when and how much we can--you should do what works for You.

  10. Hi. Well that was superb... I would count that as a great month! Best wishes!!

  11. That sounds like a really productive month! I was a NaNo failure :( But I'm hoping to write more "aggressively" during December.

  12. November is a hard month for writing! I'm creating my own NaNo in January.

  13. That's an impressive amount of words regardless. Writing aggressively is a good way to put it.

  14. Congratulations! I've never attempted NaNo because October-December is a crazy time for me. I think you did fantastic!

  15. Congratulations, Teresa! 44,000 words is no small accomplishment! Maybe I'll try a NaNo of my own in January. Secret, of course. Merry Christmas. All the best to you!

  16. Hi Teresa ... do hope you've had a happy Christmas and New Year and now all the best for 2020 ... I've just been occupied trying to catch my tail ... but getting back ... take care and all the best for 2020 - cheers Hilary

  17. Perhaps we could pick another month (February - it's gloomy, and not much going on) for those of us who are too busy at the holidays? Maybe National Busy People's Writing Month? NBPWM?


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