Today is the November meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which convenes the first Wednesday of every month to discuss our latest pressing worries, fears, doubts, and struggles.

This is my second year officially doing NaNo, though I started books in November 2010, 2011, and 2012. Had I known you only need to write 50K and not just a book complete at that scant length, I would’ve been officially participating long ago! If you want to friend me on the NaNo site, my screen name is Russophile–Estophile (with an N dash).

Just when I’d gotten a nice fresh wind on my alternative history, November started, and it has to go to the back burner once more. Now I feel less inspiration for my fourth Russian historical and more for the hiatused project! I’m not even that keen on the first two chapters, perhaps because I just have a general idea of where I want to go with these framing storylines.

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Lyuba and Ivan are still the anchor characters, so I can’t not use them, but I have much more detailed plans for the storylines about Igor and Violetta, Ilya and Milada, and Katrin. I at least have a better idea of the storylines involving youngest children Irina, Sonyechka, and Tamara not fitting in at their new schools.

I do know I can win again, since I wrote just shy of 75K last November, and doubtless would’ve written more had I not been felled by a severe cough and cold for like two weeks. I was below par a number of days as a result. Looking at the word count records of some of my other books, I have written at least 50K within any given month, if not much more.

I’ll probably be one of the overachievers in my local writing group again, though not by means of rushing through it. I’m gobsmacked at the people patting themselves on the back for winning within the first 24 hours. I might be able to write 25K in a single day if I had nothing else to do and were really motivated. Usually, I just do a few thousand words a day. It’s not really a challenge anymore if you’re not taking your time, and that’s not fair to the people who take their time to write quality slowly but surely. I’m sure even the 25K I might be able to write in a single day under the best of circumstances wouldn’t be very good.


Name-related question!

Which name do you prefer, Dagmar or Dagmara? I have plans for a character named after the Dowager Empress, whose original name was Dagmar. The Dowager Empress was in the Crimea with this woman’s parents while they waited to be rescued by the British, and she was a great inspiration and help to her people, even if she wouldn’t exactly have mingled with commoners.

Dagmara is the Polish version, and seems like the logical Russian adaptation, while Dagmar is the Czech, Slovak, and Scandinavian form. I’ll probably call her Mara, Marya, Marusha, or Marusya for short, since neither version is exactly a normal Russian name. At least other non-native names adopted into the language sound Russian enough, like Klarisa, Iliana, and Stella.


Are you doing NaNo? Have you done it before, and how many times? How many words do you think you could write within 24 hours under the best circumstances?

13 thoughts on “IWSG—My second official NaNo

  1. I did NaNo twice and hated it both times. With as many commitments as I have, it’s just not realistic to get down 50K words in 30 days, or if I do, they’re junk words.

    I think Dragmara is better for a woman–just because of the possible nicknames. If it was a male name, I’d go for the other one.


  2. I think the name of your character should fit the personality. Dagmara is more intense with a girlie feel than Dagmar. So if she is a girlie girl I would go with Dagmara. Or…maybe she is fighting against the frill in her name. I fought my own in periods of my life. As far as the contest, I think you’ve got it covered. I can tell you are highly motivated and I wish you the best!


  3. I did it once, but only got a little over 30,000 words in. I write slow & it’s just too hard with a full-time job, kids (and a husband) to take care of. Excuses, I know 😉 Best of luck to you!


  4. Wow! 25k in one day is, like, so amazing to me! And here I am patting myself on the back when I can do 3k a day. If I can get 50k done on this project this month, I’ll call myself a Nano participant but if not, I won’t stress. Good luck with your project. And in terms of names, I like Dagmara better.


  5. You’re doing great so far! Good luck. I love NaNo and I miss it that I can’t do it this year. Too much going on elsewhere. I might do my own little NaNo in January, though! I prefer Dagmara.


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