NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 26

I’m finally on a roll. I’ve already written over 2,000 words today, and by the end of the day, I plan to have fewer than 5,000 words to go to reach the magic 50,000 target.

I may not even have finished the story by then. I have a very dramatic incident coming up, that could well take up 10,000 words on its own (by the time it’s all resolved). So far the plot has taken a few unforeseen twists and turns in the middle, but I’ve managed to bring it around so that the ending will work out more or less the way I had intended when I started writing almost 4 weeks ago.

Back to it then…

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 24 & 25

Remember that slump I was in the other day? Day 23… I was in such a bad way. Then I knuckled down and got on with it. 2,300 words later, I was back on track.

Day 24 began with the funeral of an old family friend. It was someone I hadn’t really seen much in recent years, but other members of my family are still close to members of his family, so I went along.

Then I came home, attempted to stop the dog from licking my lunch, and wrote. At the end of the day, I had another 2,000 words down. It could have been more, but my laptop overheated and I ended up having a little nap while I waited for it to cool down…

So here we are, day 25. I start today with 8,985 words left before the end of the month, and 6 days to get them done. That’s a bit under 1,500 words a day. I’m hoping to write closer to 2,000 words a day, so that I have a buffer if I run into unforeseen speed bumps between now and Monday. Right now it feels like a case of ‘so near, and yet so far’, but I’m feeling much more certain that I will be wearing a winner’s t-shirt again in the near future.

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 23

I’m feeling down about the progress of my novel today.

I feel like most of my characters are more like caricatures, and the ones that aren’t don’t seem to be letting their depth shine through.

I feel like I’ve spent thousands of words on insignificant scenes, but don’t have all that many scenes that contain key plot points.

I feel like I’ve tied myself in knots by writing bits and pieces out of order, and now I can’t figure out what I want/need to write next.

None of these are particularly major issues in the context of NaNoWriMo. Once November is over, I have the rest of my life to fix all of these things (except perhaps the last).

The real issue is: all of these problems, coupled with the short amount of time I have left to write, have left me overwhelmed. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I get paralysed. The task is too big, I don’t know where to start. So I won’t [start].

I’m determined to win NaNo again this year… I’m only 200 words behind… One good day and I’m back on track… I just need to keep telling myself those things over and over again…

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 21 & 22

Friday night, after I’d already posted here, I went on and wrote another 1,000 words. Life was good.

Saturday was busy, but I still managed to knuckle down in the evening and write a bit over 1,600 words. I was still ahead.

This morning I sat down and pumped out 900 words in about an hour. Then I had to stop, because I had to pack up and come home. (I think I mentioned in Friday’s post that I was having a weekend away.)

I had really good intentions of writing more this evening, but I came home tired, and just a little bit cranky. I got as far as backing what I’d done on my tablet up onto my laptop. That’s it. Spent the rest of the evening playing with my Goodreads account. That’s all I had the energy for. I’m now about 200 words behind the pace. Big catch-up planned for tomorrow!

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Days 18-20

I’ve been neglecting my responsibilities the past few days… well… my responsibility to my readers anyway. The past two nights I’ve been so absorbed in my writing that I’ve reached midnight, looked at my word count with satisfaction, then realised that I’ve missed the opportunity to share that satisfaction on this blog.

This is, in some ways, a good thing. Since I last posted here I’ve written nearly 4,500 words, and it’s only early in the morning today, so more may yet happen. I finished the Alice in Wonderland crawl in the early hours of day 19 with a final total of 7,064 words. I’ve started doing a crawl based on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and at the end of the seventh challenge have already accumulated 2,313 words. There are 15 more parts to that crawl – some of them huge – so expect a huge increase in my word count when I get back on Sunday.

(I’m going to be away from any reliable wi-fi until Sunday evening. Lots of time to write, with no Facebook to distract me!)

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 17

A very easy day today. Hit 1800 words in about 90 minutes. Now that my story is more solidified in my mind, I’m finding it easier every day.

I could have gone on, but I’m still doing the Alice in Wonderland word crawl, and the next challenge is to multiply your birth month by 100, and write that many words. For me, that number is higher than I’m prepared to write this evening, but I’m hoping to finish the challenge completely tomorrow. (It looks like I still have about 2000 words left on it, so I’ll be even further ahead of par by the end of it.)

If you missed the post where I explained what a word crawl is, you can read it here.

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 16

Today I was so excited about writing that I got distracted by planning out what I was going to write next… I didn’t start on my NaNovel until 10:15 tonight.

Big mistake. I just barely managed to get in my 1,667 words today. At least I’m still on track, and writing a very important scene, that hopefully will tug on the feels. Hopefully I won’t procrastinate so much tomorrow!

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 14 & 15

I had good intentions of posting yesterday…I really did. Instead I ended up getting distracted by my NaNovel. The good news is that I wrote 2524 words yesterday, and by the end of today I will be past the half-way point, right on schedule at last!

How did I make this miraculous recovery, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not a secret (although until yesterday I had no idea this technique existed). It’s a ‘word crawl’. You can read more about the origin of these here, but basically it is a series of challenges designed to speed up your writing. The first one ever created was based on a ‘pub crawl’, but being the creative bunch Wrimos are, they’ve gone to town and created a whole series based on pop culture favourites: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Pokemon, Divergent, Alice in Wonderland…there’s even one designed to be done while doing housework!

The basic premise is that you follow the landmark events in a story, while completing related challenges along the way, for example: you are chased by X creature, do a five minute word sprint to escape. Sometimes there is a choose your own adventure element: Which Doctor are you travelling with? Multiply his number by 50 and write that number of words. There can also be an element of chance: roll a six sided dice and write 100 times the number you roll. Sometimes a challenge can come with a penalty: write 200 words in 5 minutes, if you fail, write another 250 words as a punishment.

This is the crawl I did yesterday, which netted me a total of 2800 words (I finished it after midnight, so some of those words have counted towards today.) Doctor Who Crawl (by Tigger89)

If you want to try any of the other crawls that are out there, they can be found in the NaNoWriMo forums under this thread.

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 13

I’ve mentioned a time or two before that I do my best work between Midnight and 2 am. Which is fine (for me) unless I actually have to get up and do something that affects other people the next morning. For example, if I have to get up and go to work, I have to try and go to sleep earlier, or sneak in some extra ‘Zs’ later in the day.

I’ve not done much writing today (at least not as much as I’ve hoped). I spent 45 minutes when I would normally be sleeping talking my grandmother through how to check her e-mails (she’s nearly 83, and never used a computer until this year). Since I’d been up half the night writing, I then ended up sneaking a 60 minute nap when I would normally be writing in the afternoon. It’s a vicious cycle.

As it is, I’m still a bit over 24 hours off the pace, but the good news is a couple of disconnected scenes I wrote earlier in the month have now found their place. I’m also coming up to a massive event that is going to affect the lives of many of the characters in a profound way (although as I’m writing this, I realise the event is quite similar to one that happened in last years’ novel…) Either way, I’m going to get the words out, and edit later!

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 12

I’m finally starting to get on a roll. Characters are interacting with each other in the way I’d originally hoped. The plot is moving forward at a pace I’m happy with, and plot points that were originally disconnected ideas are now starting to dovetail together, so that there is actually a logical progression between them.

One other major development that has helped everything fall into place. I had originally envisioned my story as taking place in a fantasy world closely resembling the middle ages (in a similar style to The Chronicles of Narnia or A Song of Ice and Fire.) Turns out my world had advanced while I wasn’t looking, and is actually much closer to the late Victorian period. The funny thing is I don’t really have to make any changes to make this shift happen. My descriptions of all but a few items have been vague enough that they could have described objects from either period equally well. Those few items I have described in painstaking detail are the ones that point to it being a much later period anyway, so all up I’d count that as a win.

Only 2 of us at our local write-in today, but I still found it pretty productive. 1600 words in two and a half hours. Planning to write a little bit more before bed, and hoping to be back up on par by the end of the weekend…

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