Thursday, 2 November 2017

NaNoWriMo diary 2017

I have sooooo much editing to do, and so many projects to finish... but it's hard to resist NaNoWriMo! The Swindon group do it so well! Look at all these lovely goodies they gave us in the planning meeting! :-)

Writing prompts, a "motivational monster", and a huge
cup of frothy coffee. Bring it on, NaNoWriMo!

This post is my NaNo diary for 2017. I'll be updating it throughout November 2017. It'll mostly consist of me moaning about my word count, so you've been warned!

If you're a NaNo-er and fancy a new writing buddy, click here to see my profile on the NaNoWriMo site. We all need more buddies! :-)

NaNoWriMo diary 2017

1st Nov 5,156
NaNo is off to a good start this year! Some lovely fellow-writer friends put on a Halloween party and then (at the very moment of midnight!) we all started typing like mad! 

Okay, we didn't really "type like mad". In true writer tradition, we all started moaning (like mad) about NaNoWriMo. Writing is a funny old game... it's horrible at the time, but lovely when you're done! A bit like running a marathon - it's just one of those things that's great to look back on and say "I did that". Doing it, however... ugh. 

Anyway, we type-type-typed and typed some more. I hit 500 words before yawns overtook us all. Once home from the party, I stayed up a few hours and managed to hit the daily NaNo target of 1,667 words. It was quite nice waking up on the 1st of November having already done my quota... I might try that again next year! I carried on and managed 5,156 words in total on the first day, which gives me a lovely head start.

I'm struggling though. So far all I've produced are weird little flash fictions, and it's been very much "blood from a stone" when getting ideas to fall out of my brain. Maybe it's about time I actually started to believe those people who tell me that NaNoWriMo is easier if you plan it first?

2nd Nov 11,443
Had a bit more luck today! Found some old half-finished novel attempts and added a few more chapters to each. I started a new novel as well: a fun one about God suddenly turning up in a guy's living room and telling him off for being too wimpy to ask someone on a date...

"I need you two to get together," says God, while drinking coffee and sitting on the guy's sofa. "Your great-grandkids are very important for the next stage of my plan." 

So far this new story's turning out to be good fun, so I might stick with it (rather than leaping around to various projects).

Last year's NaNo was frantic. Several of us raced, and that led me to finish the official NaNo word count in only three and half days. For some daft reason, I thought I'd try to race that record this year... but it's not working! However this insane plan did give me 6,287 words today, so the total is now 11,443. I definitely think this is a good way to do NaNoWriMo: getting ahead in the first few days really does take the pressure off.  

3rd Nov 16,494
I'm carrying on with my 'god on the sofa' story for now, because it feels like it has novel-length potential. It's shaping up to be quite a fun story! God's given up trying to get a nervous guy to meet his his soulmate, so is putting pressure on the guy to get him to actually talk to the girl. It's going well so far, but I definitely need to flesh out the protagonist a bit more on the rewrite.

Today's total was 5,051 words which gives me a NaNo total of 16,494.

4th Nov 20,317
Today was the first Saturday of November which means it was the first NaNo "write-in" day! A gang of local scribblers met in the local library to:

  1. write,
  2. motivate each other about writing, 
  3. moan about writing,
  4. and generally just try to force some words out of the head and into a manuscript. 
Unfortunately, even though these write-in sessions come with the best of intentions, I've got to say they really don't work when it comes to upping the word count! We all sit around chatting over coffee and cake, and very few words get typed. Oops.Maybe I'll get a bit more done if I remember to take my headphones next time.

I only managed to get 745 words done by the end of the two hour session, but was later able to push the day's total to 3,823, which has taken me over 20k! Official figure is now 20,317 words, and I'm hoping to hit the NaNo halfway point tomorrow.

5th Nov 23,339
It was a struggle to get started today, but a late push gave me 3,022 words. I'm still having trouble focusing on one project, but I tend to work that way anyway (not just in writing but in everything!).

It's nice to see each of the projects progressing a little further each day. I wrote a few pieces of weird flash fiction to get me warmed up, and then put the rest of the typing effort into an old novel attempt that had been put aside and forgotten about. 

This 'old novel' is a paranormal romance story... that's a long way from what I usually write, but I'd heard that genre is one that sells very well so I thought I'd give it a try! It's turning out quite corny, (but I think that fits reasonably well with the genre!) and I've thrown in a few vampires and a werewolf just for the hell of it. After all, it's not like a million other writers aren't writing paranormal fiction about vampires and werewolves, right?! 

Total NaNoWriMo word count is now 23,339. Nearly halfway!

6th Nov 26,472
I'm still struggling to force myself to write during the day... but I'm managing to get some done late at night. I've always had problems getting writing done during normal working hours!

Today gave me another 3,133 words (spread over several different projects) which took me over the halfway point - woohoo! The NaNo total is now 26,472.

7th Nov 29,560
I was feeling stuck on my "god on the sofa" story, so spent most of the day working on random projects instead. 

The "random" stuff is all in one file. Earlier this year, I filled a single document with a ton of writing prompts, with the idea being that during NaNo I could avoid writers block entirely, because I'd just drop down to the next prompt once I'd run dry on the current one. There are over 500 prompts in the file, so there's plenty to keep me occupied. 

Unfortunately, this file's not working out quite as well as I'd hoped. I'm getting the words down but I'm not convinced any of them will be useful enough to be turned into finished stuff ready for publication. Also, I have to be quite awake to be able to write all these random pieces. Instead of being motivated by a new writing prompt, my sleepy brain is just saying "um, dunno" to most of them, which isn't the idea at all!

Anyway, words got done, so I guess that's all that really matters for NaNo. I'll inspect the damage in December to see what's salvageable! 

Today gave me 3,088 new words, which means the NaNo total is now 29,560. Looking forward to hitting 30k tomorrow!

8th-12th Nov 40,024
It's been a right old few days of madness! What with one thing and another (translation: "life getting in the way"), I've really been struggling to get the words done. Every night I've reached 10 or 11pm and had to rush to the keyboard for some panicky typing. It's a silly way to work and I really should have just given myself a break... but somehow I've got it in my head that I have to aim for at least 1,667 words every day.

Word counts for 8-12th Nov were 1,747, 2,004, 1,671, 1,908 and 3,134 which means I've hit 40k at last. Grand total is 40,024 and I'm currently having daft thoughts of forcing myself to 50k all in one day tomorrow, which is a terrible idea and will almost certainly be ignored.

13th Nov 41,775
I knew today was going to be a busy day, so attacked the word count early... and I have to say: WORD SPRINTS ARE AMAZING! Two 15-minute sprints (apparently my brain is capable of concentrating that long!) gave me 800-ish words apiece, so in just half an hour of work I had 1,751 sparkly new words!

Okay, full disclosure... they weren't particularly sparkly. In fact they're a horrible mess. But they are NEW WORDS! And, because I'm a masochist, I attacked a new scene today (one that I had no idea how to write - and have been worrying about for quite a while) and guess what... it worked! Typing super-fast forced my brain to give me ideas, so I've now written all the way through the tricky bit and have come out the other side with no injuries (apart from possibly dying of shock).

Current word count is now 41,775 and I still have the idea in my head that I could go crazy tomorrow and force myself to race to 50k. Shush, brain. Stop suggesting silly things please.

14th Nov [updating soon!]
[updating soon!]