Posts Tagged With: NaNoWriMo

Countdown to Craziness

I’m not going to say much right now, just that in 2 hours and 20 minutes, NaNoWriMo officially starts in my timezone. Going in without as much prep as I’ve had the past two years – this could be interesting, or a complete disaster!

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Happy 2016!

It’s a new year, and once again I’m reflecting on how I did with the goals I set for myself twelve months ago. In summary – not good.

#1 Back on the diet… again

I’m really good at dieting (although the people I eat with when I’m on a diet find it a pain in the neck). My biggest problem is that I have a lot of weight to lose, and when it doesn’t come off fast enough I get frustrated  and depressed, and start eating badly again. This year I think I’ll aim low and just focus on trying to minimize binge eating.

#2 Edit my novel, and get it ready to query

I tried doing this twice: neither time did I get more than a few chapters in. I still have hopes that it will happen though…

#3 Write another novel

If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that NaNoWriMo is a wonderful thing, and I now have a second draft to edit in addition to my 2014 novel. Honestly, I think the second one has probably benefited from my 2014 experience, but it also has a lot of issues to iron out.

#4 Actually enter the competitions I’ve picked out

Hmm… I did better at this in 2015, because I actually entered a writing competition this year. (True, it was in the middle of December, but that still counts, right?) I have a massive list of competitions I’d like to enter in 2016, and a couple of drafts on the go… I just have to make sure I finish them this year!

#5 Spend some more time hanging out with people in the real world

Again, NaNoWriMo is a wonderful thing. I actually had a social calendar in November. Pity about the rest of the year…

2016 Goals

Umm… I’m not doing so well on the following through part, so I think this year I’m just going to try to do better at accomplishing 2015’s goals. I do hope to be more consistent with this blog though, even if it means scheduling posts in advance for times when I’m not going to have internet access. This year there was almost a six month gap between posts in the middle of the year – I don’t intend to let that happen again!

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Post NaNoWriMo 2015: what next?

This time last year, NaNoWriMo ended, and I kind of burned out. I read a fair bit, and wrote a few book reviews, but writing fiction just didn’t happen. I missed a couple of short story competitions I really wanted to enter, because I had nothing ready.

I’m determined not to let that happen again. Last year, I decided that after writing 50,000 words in a month, I was entitled to a few days off from fiction. Those few days (with the exception of one aborted attempt at a short story inspired by my nephew) turned into almost 11 months. When I got down to NaNo prep at the beginning of October, I was excited, but out of practice… I started November with only half an outline – a beginning, and an ending, but no idea how the two were going to meet!

This year, I have a plan:

  • Last year my sister gave me a book of writing prompts for Christmas. I intend to pick one a day, every day, and write something (even if it’s only a couple of hundred words). I started doing this on December 1st, and I think it’s going to be a nice habit to get into.
  • I have a long list of upcoming writing competitions on a whiteboard in my room. I’ve been thinking about potential story ideas since half-way through November (some have themes or words/phrases that must be included in the story, some don’t). I’d like to enter at least one every two months in 2016, but there are more than that on my list.
  • Once I have a few of those out of the way – some of the deadlines are going to be quite a challenge – I’m planning to rewrite my 2014 NaNovel. I’ve had a few thoughts about some of the things that I know are wrong with it, and I think I’m ready to revisit it.

Does anyone else have any hints? How do you keep the momentum going once November is over?

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Wrap-up

I did it! 50,000 words in 30 days. You’d think it would be easier the second time around, but there were times there when I wasn’t sure I’d make it.

I’m officially a two-time NaNoWriMo winner now, but I’m not actually finished… well… either novel actually. I still have a few loose ends to tie up in this year’s plot, and then I think it’s finally time to go back and edit last year’s novel.

I’ve learned something really important about my writing this November. I suck at conflict. I’m too quick to resolve fights, rescue damsels and plant clues (which aren’t nearly cryptic enough). The struggles that make plots suspenseful might appear in my writing, but they don’t last. I plan to work on this in the next year…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a whole lot of old writing I need to go fix!

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 27

I’m going to be without internet for the next two days, but I just wanted to check in and let you all know that with any luck, the next post you will see from me will be one announcing my triumphant NaNoWriMo victory. I have only 3,790 words to go, and a bit over three days to write them.

My protagonist is in peril, she’s thinking on her feet to give herself the best chance of being rescued, and the man who loves her is going to be in the right place to find the clue she is planning to leave. Spoiler alert – there’s going to be a happy ending in their near future!

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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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