24 November 2011

NaNoWriMo: Week 3 - The Dreaded Lurgy

It's kind of ironic that Lindsey's week 3 pep talk inferred sickness might slow us WriMos down. As I sit here, I frequently pause to cough my guts out and soak several tissues. I haven't slept properly in over a week, wheezing through the night, and it's all I can do to keep my eyes open at work.

So how is NaNo going? Well I haven't caught up, as you might expect. I'm toiling on, accepting the fact that I won't 'win' but I will have made significant progress. 40k, which I'm confident I'll get to, is half the length my novel should be.

There are still big plot and character gaps, but I have made quite good progress on new scenes for the main romantic plot arc. I still have parts I can flesh out before I have to do more real thinking ;-) I was hoping to do said thinking on the weekend but I'm not getting any better, so long naps and trashy TV might be the order of the day around other commitments.

Last night I got several good ideas/phrases in my head just as I was dropping off the sleep, and of course my foggy head couldn't remember them today (just mediocre remnants of them). I had a notebook next to my bed and everything, but I just couldn't summon the will to move or turn a light on. If I ever am a full-time writer, I think I'll be quite productive just after lights-out, when I don't have to worry about getting up for work. That and early evening, when I've told my brain it has to focus on making dinner and other chores... so it bursts into creative life.

Enough rambling from me - shower and to bed! I hope all the fellow WriMos out there are in a healthier state!

Week 3 Summary:

Day 16: 1778
Day 17: 1723
Day 18: 860
Day 19: 0
Day 20: 2541
Day 21: 1401
Day 22: 2030
Day 23: 1006
Day 24: 792

Total: 34,833
Target: 40,000

15 November 2011

NaNoWriMo: Week 2 - The Plot Thickens...

... but not as much as I'd like. After one day of having zero time to write, and another of limited time, I'm a little behind! And I'm not sure if I can keep up the pace without further time to contemplate the plot and characters. I'm excited about some of the scenes that have dropped into my head, but I need a lot more. We shall see how much further behind I fall. I did always think 50,000 words was a trifle optimistic. It does feel like the half way mark of a marathon.

And that's all for now!

Day 8 - 1461 words
Day 9 - 1851 words
Day 10 - 1554 words
Day 11 - 0 words
Day 12 - 2075 words
Day 13 - 1895 words
Day 14 - 844 words
Day 15 - 1832 words

Total - 22,702 words
Target - 25,000

07 November 2011

NaNoWriMo: Week 1

*comes up for air*

Yeah, that's what it feels like! How is everyone else doing in the trenches? I have to admit I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed, but still trying to keep up. Whether I keep up for the month is still a huge question mark. Even if I finish with the 30,000 I originally talked about, I'll have achieved a lot more than I would have otherwise.

My NaNo effort started poorly. On day 1, something else came up that I had to attend to with my husband, so not a word was written. I tried to catch up on day 2, but I just fell short of one daily word count. By day 5, the mounting shortfall had me quite uncomfortable, so over the weekend I sort of cheated by pulling in some scenes (or scene ideas, which I then wrote) that I thought of prior to November. Even that didn't catch me up. Today I wrote 2,500 words, so I'm just 500 shy of the target. Another 2,000 tomorrow and I'll be there - but today I already had quite strong ideas about what I wanted to write in an important scene. I have probably five other scenes like that in my head... and then what will I do? *wrings hands*

The problem is that scenes generally occur to me organically, and not in order. And trying to rush the process like this might be counter-intuitive. If I run out of ideas, I won't be able to keep going. As I predicted, writing consecutively (chronologically) is also a struggle. I banged out chapter 1, because I already had a pretty good idea of what that needed to be, but then chapter 2 descended into scrappy notes and character brainstorms. I know I need to keep working on developing the story including minor storylines, but for now I need to write the scenes I know exist and hope the intervening chapters come to me (or that I get time to think through them properly).

All the advice I'm reading says, "Don't try to make it good, don't edit, don't research, don't try to form a proper book - go back later and fix it". I'm realising this flies in the face of my instincts... I want to make my sentences or word choice correct from the beginning, and I hate leaving paragraphs that I know won't make the cut later. For now they have to stay, so that they can lead into the next thing. I also can't really "free-write" as such... I do have to have some idea of what a scene will achieve before I start. Perhaps that will come as I get more desperate towards the end!

So, another three weeks. This seems like madness, but it's a madness I very badly want to abide by so that I can achieve something special. I already have those nagging doubts (maybe this isn't special at all, and it only has 20,000 words in it), but I need to persevere just in case there's a real book in this idea. This whole writing thing does seem incongruous sometimes.

Week 1 Summary:

Day 1 - 0 words
Day 2 - 2407 words
Day 3 - 1454 words
Day 4 - 1384 words
Day 5 - 1019 words
Day 6 - 2411 words
Day 7 - 2515 words

Total = 11,190
Target = 11,669