NaNoWirMo – A Retrospective

A lot of you may have been wondering where I’ve been for the past month, minus the electoral upset taking place in the good ol’ USA. Well, I’ve actually been right here, typing out much smaller blog posts, and not spreading the word via social media. Mostly because unlike my longer, larger and more interesting posts, these were updates regarding my the little journey to write a 50,000 word novel in the span of thirty days. As of Monday November 28th at about 3:30pm in the afternoon, I crossed that finish line.  So bear with me as I talk about writing 1,667 words a day for the month of November.

It wasn’t all that hard.

Now, I’m not diminishing anyone else’s little victory, but I’m saying is not once during this month I felt stressed out by the thought of sitting down and writing a bunch. It never felt like a daunting task. All I had to do was make sure I was ahead of the daily quota, and to keep plugging away every day at it. Some days I only got 800 words scribbled down. Other days I managed to blow through more than 3,000 words. No matter the day, I managed to get some writing done. Not only that, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I still managed to give this blog an additional couple hundred words. I know some of the people here are writers themselves, so I’m going to whisk you away on an adventure into how Mr. Charlton managed to get so much writing done in so little time.

The Bad

1) The novel (so far) is a complete piece of shit.

I’ll state this right off the bat; it’s not a good book. The characters stand around shouting exposition at each other. Sometimes a chapter will end with “And then they all went out to do the jobs they had to do”. There’s a couple of little flourishes in there that I’m proud off, there’s also complete chunks of novel missing, replaced with COME BACK AND WRITE THIS SCENE IN LATER or GO BACK AND CHANGE THIS CHARTER SO THIS PART WILL MAKE SENSE. I’d love to sit here and tell you I wrote a masterpiece, but I’d be full of it.

2) I still have a shit ton to write to make it an actual novel.

It ain’t over yet, I’m afraid. There’s still at least another two months of writing needing to be done before I could even call this a first draft. I’m happy I was able to complete the task National Novel Writing Month set out for me, but the truth is, 50,000 words isn’t a heck of a lot. Both science fiction and fantasy novels tend to be at least twice that number. Seeing as how this is a science fiction novel I’m writing, I’ve got a long way to go before I can actually call this a first draft.

3) Holy sweet Peter, is this going to require a hell of an edit once it’s done.

With the book being in bad shape, once it’s actually completed, the book will need a complete overhaul. There are sentences that will need to be pulled out into full paragraphs to better paint the scene, and there are entire paragraphs I’m going to have to widdle down into sentences because when you’re trying to get a word count in, you occasionally pad stuff.


The Good

4) Every damn novel ever written requires an edit once the first draft is complete.

What did I expect, that I was going to crap out ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ in the time frame of thirty days? Even a book like ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ needed an edit after the first draft and numerous edits after the first edit. Here’s some wonderful news; I like editing. I’ve got no issue going over things with a fine tooth comb and giving it some TLC. Heck, if you’re a writer out there and you want someone to go over a page or two of your stuff, pro bono, give a guy a buzz.

5) I learned I’m a fast typist, and I’m getting better every day.

Hand-eye coordination, people. Whoever told me video games were a waste of time can suck an egg.



If the groove is going, I can crank out 1,500 words in an hour. That means I can crank out 3,000 words in two hours if the mood is right. And here’s the kicker. I could be faster and more accurate. Saying you’re a writer who can’t type is like saying you’re a chef who can’t slice an onion properly. Get better at your craft.

6) No such thing as the right time to write.

Picture a novelist. Maybe they’re in the nook of their home, a warm cup of coffee next to them, undisturbed. You’ll hear people say things like, “Unless the mood is right, and I’m in my special nook, there’s no way I can write”. Well, that’s fine and dandy for people living in some magical world that’s not populated by anybody else, but I live on planet Earth, and this shit can get wild sometimes. I would say that somewhere between 5-10% of this book was written on my phone. I’m on the bus and I have ten minutes? I can crank out 50 to a 100 words. I’m 15 minutes early to pick someone up? Another 100 to 200 words get put into an email and sent to myself. The right time to start something, whether it’s writing, or Ju-Jitsu, or learning to weld is right now. And if you’re lucky enough, the thing you want to learn is something portable, like writing or drawing or the harmonica.

Overall, I’m glad I did NaNoWriMo. I learned some things about myself, and because I hit the 50,000 word mark, I get a sweet deal on some killer writing software.

Don’t worry, next post I’ll be back to the usual garbage I normally write.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton.

p.s. My other big secret is not having children. My lord, do I have so much wonderful free time to myself.

p.s.s. Seriously, if you’re an aspiring writer, send me your stuff. I’ll give it the classic Mr. Charlton once over.



NaNoWriMo – Entry #8

The goal line has been crossed. I’ve hit the 50,000 word count, which qualifies me as an official NaNoWriMo winner. I still have two more days of writing. I’m going to try and crank out as many words as possible, and tack on a wrap up to the story.

The next post will be a NaNoWriMo perspective. I’ll be answering some questions I have for myself about the whole ordeal. Right now, I’m going to take a well-deserved break.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. regular posts resume on Friday.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #7

Five thousand words left. I’ve got well over five days to do it. I’m headed to a write-in tomorrow morning, and I’ll have a couple hours in between to write as well. It’s not a victory yet, but there’s still a lot of story to tell, and I have plenty of ideas. Long story short; I should have no trouble finishing the 50,000 words the NaNoWriMo challenge has put me up to. For that, I’m going to give myself a pat on the the back.

I’m also going to take the rest of the day off. It’s Kat’s birthday, and I’ve got a few hours alone before she’s back. We’ll be making sushi and taking it easy. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy a nice, refreshing adult beverage, and maybe play a game or two.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. Can’t wait to get my hands on a full blown copy of Scrivener!

NaNoWriMo – Entry #6

HA! Well, my crappy novel is at the climax right now, which I’m going to tell you right now is quite the joy to write. They say you need a beginning, middle, and an end to a story. What I’m finding out is you need a beginning, a teetering cliff, and a crashing conclusion. There’s going to be a wrap-up chapter, certainly, but right now the main focus is getting some resolution to some of the open strings I have laying about.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed by sitting down to write for at least an hour every night is this; I’ve gotten a lot better at typing. Kat’s grabbing me a nicer keyboard for Christmas, so hopefully I’ll be clacking away at a mechanical keyboard in 2017. Let’s see if I can boost up the ol’ words-per-minute.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton.

p.s. It’s one of those new fangled mechanical keyboards. It has LEDs in the board and plays dubstep when you turn on the numlock key.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #5

I’m sitting at 38,000 words, with nine and a half days left. This week is the last full week of the month, and I can taste the end approaching. It tastes like a poorly thought-out, quickly written story, with gaps and missing characters and so much required polish it makes me wonder if I should even bother finishing the novel.

It’s better to have a shitty novel than no novel at all. At least I will have something to edit, to change, to spruce up a bit before I have someone else look over it. I’ll finish the book this year. I will make it readable the next.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. Thankfully, I haven’t had writer’s block yet. I just have periods of writing garbage.



NaNoWriMo – Entry #4

Halfway through the month, and I’m over halfway through the word count. I’m hoping to keep the pace up and finish strong. So far, it hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be, but I’m also lucky to have a lot of free time on my hands, as well as a lack of children. I should have no issue finishing up on time.

That being said, even though I’m almost thirty thousand words in, it still feels like I’m starting out. The story is slow, and there hasn’t been a lot of action yet. I’m trying to limit the dialogue, but it seems at least a few scenes are people simply sitting down and talking. Once I’m done the first draft, I’ll go back and start sprucing the place up with furniture, if you get what I’m throwing down.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. To anyone who’s new to the blog. All kinds of apologies. Once this month is over, It’ll be back to interesting topics, I swear.

p.s.s. I feel bad for anyone who has to read this shit.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #3

It has been a week today, since the national novel writing month began, and I’m still on track to finish fifty thousand words by the end of the month. That’s the good news. The bad news is I took a break today, and haven’t actually written a word until this moment. Hear me out.

You see, for the last month or so, I haven’t actually had a real day off. Even when I didn’t have a shift scheduled, I still had some sort of obligation that had to be met. Which is fine, that’s life. But today marked the first day in a while where I could just hang out and not do anything. So, me and Kat did some shopping, I got some jeans, we ate some roast duck at a place, and kicked back later and watched a movie.

The point I’m trying to make is this; There’s a lot of pressure western society places on achievements and accomplishments. And these things are wonderful. But you gotta look after yourself too, and take a break every now and again. You can only keep a fire burning so hot until you run out of fuel. It doesn’t hurt to take a day or two and refuel a little.

That being said, I still have 45 minutes to write, and I’m sure I can crank out a few more words tonight!


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I also made Zucchini bread today. It was fluffy as all sin.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #2

It’s been four days into the contest so far, and I’m a little ahead of the game. Although it’s been going smoothly so far, each say has been getting a little tougher and tougher. Certain questions keep popping up in my mind. Here’s one of the big ones that has been rattling around in the noggin.

Has anyone explained to the other members of this national novel writing month group that 50,000 words isn’t really a novel? I mean, it’s not an adult novel, and even if young adult literature is popular is that what everybody is writing?

Yes, from the people I talk to, everyone seems to be doing young adult, typically referred to as YA.  Which is fine, I guess. After Harry Potter success, I can guess people are after that sweet teet of children’s fantasy.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. Ok, that last sentence came out wrong.


NaNoWriMo – Entry #1

So I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, which is the clever abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. The goal, which is listed on, is to write a 50,000 word novel in the span of a month. A particularly lofty goal for many people. This year Mr. Charlton has decided to participate. As a result, I won’t be hitting my usual 750-1000 word article which graces the internet thrice a week. If I’m going to be running a word count, it should very well be towards the project I’m working on.

With that said, I’m still going to be posting here, thrice weekly, although it’s going to be a lot briefer than usual. Expect to see anywhere from 100-200 words put down on the intertubes. As it stands, I’ve hit about 3,500 words. It’s only day two, and to be honest, I haven’t written much today, until now.

I’ll keep you posted.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. See, this is 150 words that could have gone to getting me a deal on software. I’ll explain later.