>NaNoNews: Competition

>Competition with a capital “C” between my daughter and me, right here in the state between two rivers!

If you’re reminded of a song from Meredith Willson’s “Music Man,” that was intentional. (And that last phrase may remind you of a scene from a Lord of the Rings movie; then again, my family members may be the only ones who see the connection since they’ve been subjected to multiple viewings.)

My daughter, Bethany, is likely the only one to see the “Music Man” connection. She spent a summer’s internship in Mason City, writing curriculum for local schools on the city’s history. Mason City is the home of Meredith Willson and served as the inspiration for his famous musical.

Bethany and I have been running neck and neck in our NaNoWriMo word counts this month. Actually, if I’m totally honest, I should say that she’s been ahead by a neck most of the time. But she does have the advantage of attending some local write-ins, where would-be novelists meet to drink caffeine, absorb energy, become motivated, and wax competitive.

The write-in competition comes primarily in the form of sprints. This year I’ve discovered, for the first time in five years, the power of sprints. Bethany and I attended one write-in together at 12:01 AM on November 1. During a sprint, writers write for a prescribed amount of time (usually 20 or 30 minutes) and then announce their word counts. Anyone with even a moderately competitive spirit wants to pound as many words as possible during a sprint. It’s a terrific way to churn out words.

I was ahead of Bethany for a couple of days this week, but last night she logged onto Facebook to taunt me with her superior word count. I am currently at 22,657, while she stands at a smoking 25,316! She’s more than halfway to the month’s goal of 50,000 words!

Regular readers may remember that I made an effort to get more NaNo writing buddies this year. The main reason was that I was bored with always being light years ahead of all my writing buddies in my word count. Well! This year it’s another story!

Not only is Beth constantly pulling ahead of me, but several other writing buddies are nipping at my heels and a couple of them have pulled far in front. My friend Angela, who has been doing NaNoWriMo as many years as I have and usually garners most of her word count in the last week, is at an astounding 34,396!

Today’s personal goal is to reach the halfway mark of 25,000. I have other work and family commitments that will make that difficult to reach, but tomorrow…

…tomorrow is a write-in!


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