I’m catching up, I think
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month (should probably be interNational Novel Writing Month)) has started!
The goal is to write 50 000 words in 30 days from 1st November to the 30th of November. It can be whatever you want to write from a new novel to a selection of short stories or your thesis. Normally, I would have done the classic thing and started chapter 1 of my brand new story, but not this year. 2020 is the year of weird stuff right?! So this year I’m doing a 2nd draft of my 2018 project…
I have not had a lot of time this autumn to sort myself out and figure out my project. I had some ideas in early COVID-19 times for a new story which was more of a sci-fantasy then anything. I also have a lot of other ideas I have yet to flesh out and write. But as mentioned I have not had time to sort any of it out and prep for it. So my backup plan was to flesh out a second draft for my 2018 project. I posted the first chapter for it last year here.
When I write a first draft I mainly write the plot and dialouge with some feelings, some inner thoughts and some scene stuff, but the draft is the bare bones of it. I need to set the scene in so many places in this story. I need more feelings and scene descriptions as well as character descriptions and body language etc. I think I will be able to add another 50k to the already existing 50-ish k word I wrote in 2018. Yes I know that is optimistic and it probably won’t happen with my current speed.
Update: This will definitely not be a 100k project! I’m struggling to get my everyday 50k, but I feel I’m added muscle to my story corps so I’m excited to see where in the story I am when I hit 50k. I hope I’m not at the end.
My initial plan was to start of with the original 50k words and only add anothe 50k to hit 100k for this story. But as I started to write this became very difficult. I ended up rewriting everything from the beginning.
Anyway. I prepped for NaNo in only one way and that is to plan out my leave days from work, just because of NaNo! haha! I have taken every Friday off work for this too 🙂 I love how dedicated I am for this. For the last 4 years I’ve done this. 1 holiday/annual leave day a week for the entire November.
1st Week was a hit and miss. I started off with a bang only to go downhill until the weekend when a tension headache hit me and I was out. I posted the weekly blog last Saturday during this headache and it lasted until Monday morning… lovely.
Most of this week has been a struggle. I’ve managed up to 900 words a day but it’s been heavy. I end up sitting in front of my laptop all day from 8 am to 10pm and I barely leave the office. Yes I know I can go write somewhere else and I do occasionally go into the living room but I’m scared it might cause another tension headache when the laptop in in my lap and I’m looking down for hours. I can not afford to get another one. And I really dont want another one.
Then on Thrusday afternoon I discovered that YALL Fest was changing this year and going virtual. Yippi! For those who don’t know, YALL is a big book expo in the US for YA books. Its the US version of YALC. Or maybe YALC is the UK version of YALL? I don’t know. Anyway. The change this year was to go from talking about new books to talk about writing books – and it was all FREE and VIRTUAL!!! I got super excited and signed up for pretty much everything! I also managed a goo word count that day too and felt much better about writing. Just knowing about YALL Write was motivating 😁
Friday and Saturday (which is today) is jampacked with YALL Write seminars and panels. So far I’ve seen Brandon Mull talk about Key elements of Stories, V. E. Schwab talk about looking at your story with the metaphor or a corpse and how to build it up from the bones, and a panel about story structures other than The Hero’s Journey. All super fascinating and I’ve learned a lot. I was going on until midnight on Friday but today (Saturday) I’ve signed up for the latest one which goes until 1am here in the UK. Todays talks have yet to start (starts at 3pm) but I’ve already gotten some words in. Even Friday I got a good chunk of words in. I managed my word count of 2.3k on Friday and so far this morning I have 900 in the box 😁
Thanks to YALL write I’ve found new motivation and feel more refreshed than I have since the first day of NaNo! Yay!
The graph below is my official NaNo progress graph. The straight line is the progress you would have if you wrote 1667 words a day as suggested by NaNo, and within 30 days you would have 50 010 words. The wiggly line is my actual progress. You can see I’m behind…
It’s the worst start to NaNoWriMo I’ve ever had. But I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted its been a bad year and a bad start to NaNo and if I fail (which would be the first time ever), I’m ok with that. Even with this new found inspiration from YALL Write, I’m still ok with failure. 2nd draft does not go with NaNo. Next year I’m doing another 1st draft.
Halfway through Day 14 looks like this:
For the last two years I’ve done a bullet journal spread to track my word count and see the progress in colour. The first year I did a gem cut in several colour-in pieces which counted up to 50. While last year I had a landscape with mountains and As I gained words I climbed up the mountain until I reached the sun which was 50k mark.
This year I have a different motive. I have gone for a desk with a window into my imagination and a standard tracker for both daily word counts (blue lines) and the accumulative word count (pink).
This is how it looks before I include Day 14:
In 2017 I had an idea, a beginning and an end but no body and no outline.
In 2018, I outlined everything (almost). I feel much better prepared and I feel that I didn’t have to worry about what happens next because it’s already planned out in my notes.
In 2019, I prepped massively. I had a story, a plot line, all the character with visuals, etc. I was ready to write. However, I wrote a different genre than I have usually write and it was tricky.
This year I have gone for re-writing a previous draft. This is a first for me. I have not spent any more time on any of my previous works as much as this story. I’m fleshing out my 2018 projects with pirates (or they would call themselves privateers), set mostly at sea with a found family trope and a feminist crew who gets hunted for carrying a dangerous cargo.
This week I think I’ve made up my mind that a second draft is a bad idea for NaNo. And that ok. It’s a great discovery to make. But if it wasn’t for YALL Write I would be at just below 10k words today but I’m not. I passed 12k this morning.
Good luck to all the other WriMos out there! Just keep swimming 🐠