NaNoWriMo? No!

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To my future reader,

I know I said that the whole point of this blogdiarything was to stop my “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude, but this time I do actually have a legitimate excuse as to why I am going to “do it tomorrow.” Or, more specifically, do it in November.

As well as being the start of “No-shave November” (something I will also be participating in), November the First symbolises the start of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a month where you write a novel, nationally? It’s now more of an international thing, I guess, but InterNaNoWriMo doesn’t sound half as good as NaNoWriMo (try saying that five times fast after five fast pints.) Until I saw a post about it on Twitter, I had completely forgotten about NaNoWriMo (henceforth shortened to NNWM because the current abbreviation is far too long for me. I’m lazy, we’ve been over this.) And it’s complete luck that the start of it just happens to coincide with my new motivation scheme (there isn’t a scheme) and me trying to write one of those book things.

The NNWM scheme encourages budding, and established, writers to work to a deadline, 30 days, to try and bust out a first draft of that first, or however many-th, novel. It’s perfect for me. A few days ago I didn’t have a deadline, I didn’t have anyone telling me I had to write. Yet now I have two things telling me get active: this fillingmyblanks blog, and NNWM. One feature of the NNWM site (http://nanowrimo.org) gives the ability to track word counts day to day with the end-goal being a 50,000 word draft, say on Saturday I write 3,000 words (ambitious) and on Sunday I write 2,000 words, the site will track my average words per day so far (2,500), how many words I have left, if I am below or above target, how many words I need to write per day to meet my target etc. Relating words to numbers and vice versa is pretty important to me, but that’s for another blog post on another day, so the way NNWM works, I’m sure, is going to help me a lot.

I’ve kind of cheated a little bit because I already have half a novel written, I started one early this year and got about 24,000 words in to it and lost motivation, I know where I want the plot to go, I just don’t know how I want it to get there. A few weeks before the start of my second year at Uni, I started a new novel. Bad way of doing it, I know. But I fell out of love with the idea of #1 so I filed it away for later and started a new one. On the first day of writing Novel #2 I wrote 7,000 words, the most I’d written in a long ol’ time, and most of them were words I was at least somewhat happy with. Then Uni hit and #2 got filed away and saved for later much like #1 did.

Since my 7,000 word Personal Best day I haven’t added to either of them, even though I’ve read them both start to finish about a gajillion times each. I’ve done a fair amount of planning and research for #2, because unlike #1 it’s not one I can just sit down and make up, there’s a lot of facts to check and things to learn. Although I’m sure you’ll allow me a bit of creative license here and there.

At the moment, I’ve stated #2 as the Novel I’m writing for NNWM, they ask for a title (the title isn’t “#2”, by the way) and a brief description of the novel before you get started, so I typed in some details about #2 just to have something in the box. I still might go back to #1 for NNWM, because it’s closer to being finished. But right now, where I am in my life and in my head, #2 resonates with me slightly more. It’s slightly darker and I think I need that right now. Swapping and changing between the two would make things so much harder, but if I reach a standstill on #2 during NNWM I might have to give #1 a look over again.

Apart from this blog/diary post/entry (delete as applicable, I’m still not sure) today has been an unproductive day of writing. During a lecture on Chebyshev Norms (don’t ask, I couldn’t tell you if you did) I had a eureka moment on a major plot point in #2 that had been bugging me for a while. I wrote down what I’d thought of on the back of my notes, saving it for later, and carried on pretending to understand the notes I copied down. Other than that relatively large breakthrough, there has been no progress today, but there’s (not) always tomorrow. 

Jacn

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