catching up! 🏃♀️
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.
I’m halfway through NaNo word count now and only 8 chapters in. In total this story has 22 chapters so I’m definitely adding bulk to the bones 😁
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.
Second week was a mix. It started as a struggle but then on Thrusday afternoon I discovered that YALL Fest was changing this year and going virtual. Yippi! 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! 😁
This week I’ve remained motivated throughout. I continued from Saturday morning into Sunday watching YALL Write panels and workshops. In total on Saturday I managed 1.2k which isn’t the best but better than nothing. I was up late on Sunday due to the lateness of the last panel on Saturday night. For me here in the UK, it lasted until 1am 😂 But I was still there 😁. Sunday was a productive day and I managed over 2k in words.
Going back to work the next day was difficult. Then I did something stupid. I picked up Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. I had reserved it at the library and it had finally arrived. I started reading it around lunch time on Monday. Safe to say I didn’t start writing my story before 10pm and only got 500 words. I know people don’t like the series but for me who know what’s wrong with it and can still enjoy it, its a guilty pleasure. Though I’m not 100% sure its a “guilty” one 😁 Anyway. It took over a bit. So I turned it into a reward. I could listen to it after I did my writing.
On Tuesday, I did my writing right after work but I was really tired after the weekend. I did manage a health 1.7k before I gave up and continued on Midnight Sun. Wednesday was similar. I did 1.2k words. Still tired from the weekend and still listening to the audiobook. Thursday I wanted to do a really good word count in prep for the weekend, but then I decided to not do so many words and save it for my days off. I managed 400 words before bed.
Friday arrived and I had the day off. I woke up to the idea that if I managed 6k (which is my all time personal best word count day) I would allow myself a movie and take away. I got up and started writing. I even managed a workout midday! By 8pm I had ordered by Thai red curry with sticky rice and submitted my final words for the day. I ended up with a total of 5778 words! I was pretty chuffed 😁
Today is Saturday. It’s almost midday and so far this morning I have done 650 words. I need to go buy some food, do a work out, hoover, and do some laundry today as well as writing. So for now I’ll leave it at 650 words. I plan to had over 3k written today 🤞
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. 2nd draft does not go with NaNo. Next year I’m doing another 1st draft.
Halfway through Day 21 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 21:
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 found my pace. I wrote several scenes I really loved and enjoyed to write. The characters are still loving and the story is still going int he right direction. Though this morning I realised I’ve hit a dry patch. The story itself isn’t dry it’s a high intensity scene, but I’m a bit dry. Not sure if it’s because of yesterdays intense writing or the scene I’m trying to write, but it’s slow progress. Hopefully I’ll get some more words written later today but for now I have house chores to do…
Good luck to all the other WriMos out there! Just keep swimming 🐠