The final week shuddered to a grinding halt yesterday, with not a single word more written since Thursday. ‘Life’ got in the way.
The ‘life’ bit included trying to persuade people to help themselves to the free download of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I’m pleased to say there has been some success so far, and the offer will still be running for almost another 24 hrs.
Back to NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite reach my hoped-for word count of 30K, but I’m beyond 25K and story-wise I’m reaching the mid-point, although there are a few blank spaces in the chapters I’ve written so far. Compared to last year, I’m about two chapters shy of where I got to with ‘Following the Green Rabbit‘, so I’m pretty satisfied.
Of course it isn’t all over. The story continues to drip forth. I’m hoping to have something approaching a completed MS by next Easter. Then comes the tricky bit. To paraphrase one of Mr Shakespeare’s characters: ‘To query or not to query?’
If you were participating in NaNoWriMo on any level, how was it for you?
Well, I’m pretty pleased with myself at the end of week 3. I have a further six chapters more or less completed, although obviously not polished, and the story is flowing now.
My characters are fleshing out nicely: they have quirks and foibles and they’re starting to spark off one another. Yesterday I nearly fell off my chair trying to imagine what it would be like to climb up the inside of a cave, and I became quite breathless swimming along an underwater tunnel.
It’s been fun!
I’ve fallen a little behind today, as I spent all morning chatting over rooibos tea and biscuits with one friend, and half the afternoon chatting over coffee and stollen with some other friends. I must take advantage of the sudden sugar rush!
On to the final week…
Enjoy, fellow NaNo writers! My tip of the week: cake helps.
Well I’d be fibbing if I was to say it was all going swimmingly. And, in a sense this is more prevarication. So I’ll keep it short.
This week two things have been troubling me:
Firstly, the story I’m working on is set in a semi-fictional part of South Africa, which I know fairly well, and it’s sort of present day, but there’s something which doesn’t feel right. I’m not yet sure what it is.
Secondly, I’m having trouble with a couple of characters. I can’t quite work them out. I’m still waiting for them to speak to me. I’m sure they will. I need more conversations!
I just checked back to this time last year. I was doing better word-count wise, but I can see there were doubts in my mind.
Oh and my laptop is on a go-slow. Must be the heat: mid afternoon, 34C in the shade.
Okay, I’m telling myself it’s going to be fine, fine, fine. Just go with the flow and enjoy it! It’s not that anyone but me is piling on the pressure.
Going back to the writing ‘happy place’ for a couple of hours…
Onward and upward, fellow Nano writers!
(as I said this time last year).
To which this year I add:
Okay, I can’t stop long: brain to squeeze, imagination to let fly, words to get down…
I was feeling confident to begin with; I had a bit of a head start: the main characters were waiting for me and I already had parts of their stories. Some of you might remember, young Sam and his little boat, Johannes the retired engineer, feisty Albertina, the two little aunties and shopkeeper Abdul.
So I spent a day or two reviewing and re-writing. Big mistake! I wasn’t getting the flow. No-one speaking to me, so no-one was guiding the story ahead. (You have to remember, I sit back and let my characters do the work).
Temporary crisis of confidence. Why am I doing this? There’s nothing there! NO story to tell!
But then I ran out of old stuff and started out again. Now we are moving forward. Scenes are emerging before my eyes, there is an overarching theme, there’s going to be a road trip, and I can see a little vervet monkey sitting on a book shelf. The monkey tells me he’s called Felix, but I’m not sure where he fits in yet. But he will.
Oh, and there will be mystery… and magic… and a stick fight…
Heads back down, fellow NaNoWriters! I hope it’s going well.
But not officially.
I’m going to write, write and write some more under the ‘NaNo’ umbrella, but just for me, just as I did last year. That was pretty successful. I have the recently released ‘Following the Green Rabbit‘ to show for it!
I don’t do unachievable targets. I don’t set myself up to fail.
I’ll consider around 30,000 words a major success. I won’t have finished a new book, but I’ll be well on the way. And that suits me.
I’ll be touching base out there in ‘twitter-land’ and I’ll post a little weekly update to brag (or shame myself).
And for a little light relief, I’ll be continuing with the ‘what do you see?’ challenge, which has recently been revived by Sadje.
Good luck to everyone who’s doing this! See you on the other side.
Last day, last update!
Well, to continue the railway analogy: I haven’t run out of steam (far from it), but I have run out of time. But only just. I’m nearly there.
I might manage to squeeze another chapter out before the end of today, but I’ll still won’t have finished. That’s fine.
It was always ‘my rules’, so I’m extending my deadline into next week. And why not? Then I will have a completed ‘rough-ish’ first draft to work on next year.
It will be a good start to 2019.
So, how was it for me?
It was a good experience.
I enjoyed it.
It hasn’t mattered that I didn’t quite reach my goal.
I wrote every single day (apart from two Thursdays, which I’d anticipated).
Other priorities permitting, I discovered that I can write more, and I can write more quickly without (I believe) compromising on quality.
Would I do it again? Quite possibly.
So, all you other ‘NaNoWriMos’ out there. How was it for you?
I hope you achieved success – however you care to measure it – and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! See you next year?
Normal service will be resumed shortly.
Actually, no, not flagging!
Three-quarters of the way into the month and my children’s novella is coming along quite nicely, in fact it’s probably just about at the right point in the story now for it to crank up, wind down and come in close to the finishing line by this time next week; lucky I set the bar low. But I mustn’t be complacent. Just plug away. I never know quite what the pesky characters are going to do to trip me up!
Meanwhile, back in the real world…
Swept up in all the Black Friday hype (no, not really, that’s a lie); rather slightly aware of an opportunity, I went for the old ‘Kindle giveaway’ for ‘The Silver Locket’. Now that was a handsome piece of prevarication, don’t you think. Still, I’ve taken advantage of so many freebies and cheapies from other Indie Authors, that I wanted to join in with a free offer – don’t worry about missing it – I’ll be tweeting the odd reminder next week.
So, have a pleasant and productive week all you NaNo people – and everyone else by the way!
This morning, having once again had a terrible Thursday – not even one paragraph completed – I was feeling discouraged. The whole day before me and I just couldn’t get going. Maybe I’d put my characters through too much in the last couple of chapters? Charred bodies? Too gruesome for a middle grade story?
Leave it. Move on. I can always tone it down later.
Then after doing a spot of ‘real work’ up they popped, ready to go. Now Chapter 10 is all finished and I’m pretty much on track for my 30,000 word target for the month – 14,290 to be precise – and they’re ‘all good’ words (I think).
So, onward and upward to fellow ‘NaNo’s next week, and to everyone else busy toiling at the keyboard!
The first week is almost over. Well, it’s been a week and a day, strictly speaking, but since my Thursdays have been too chock-full of ‘other stuff’, I’m not counting them (or on them).
I am enjoying it. I’m having fun. Maybe not getting quite the word count… but I have (mostly) finished my first five chapters. I’ve allowed myself to miss bits out: not worry about names, or particular locations. I’ve left notes to myself to look up this and fill in that. It’s working, at least in the context of my own particular goal for a short novel for children.
Oh, and the planning has mostly gone out the window. I’ve discovered I can’t write that way. Although I do still have the end written. It might change , I’ll have to see what my characters do. And I’m loving them!
So, my writerly friends out there who are busy with this little adventure too: may your words flow fluently, your plots thicken seamlessly and your characters give you joy! (Was that too many adverbs??).
On with the journey…