NaNoWriMo Progress Report: Day 8

Fiction, NaNoWriMo, novel, Writing

So, eight days in and I am finally getting around to writing a progress report. I’m not going to lie – the first week has been stressful, but you know what? I’ve been enjoying working on this story. I don’t know if it’s because I wrote a plan for the first half of my novel, but I’ve yet to reach a point where I’ve gotten stuck or not known where to go. It also feels like everything is flowing really well.

With one week down, I’m feeling completely different to how I felt about my novel, at this point last year when I was already having doubts about my story and was already thinking that it wasn’t flowing and that the story was just weak whilst not really working. To demonstrate, look at how rubbish last years daily word counts were:

 

For so long, I struggled to meet the daily word counts, showing how much I really wasn’t feeling it with my story. This year, however, has so far been completely different:

 

I feel quite proud that every day I’ve managed to be over the daily word count, with the help of some forward planning for the days that I’ve not been able to write. This weekend is going to be another with very little writing, so I’m trying to keep on top of it.

The funny thing is that the further along I get with my story, the more paranoid I get about falling out of love with my story. I’m getting a bit anxious about when I reach the end of my plan, and hope that I can find the time to work on the second half of the plan. But I’m currently still incredibly confident about my story, and that I might actually finish this one. Well, I have written the epilogue after all, so I do know exactly where this story is heading.

How is everyone else doing? I’d love to hear your stories so far 🙂

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NaNoWriMo Final Countdown

NaNoWriMo, novel, Writing

In less than five hours, NaNoWriMo will officially commence. The plan had been to keep organised in the build-up, to have everything set out including scene breakdowns, character motivation write-ups etc. Has any of that happened? Well, not entirely. Most things are half written, because as usual life has gotten in the way. Am I worried about being unprepared? To be honest, not this time. I’ve planned about fifteen scenes so far, with – very – brief summaries, and there is plenty of room for expansion into additional scenes etc, so I certainly have a big board to jump off. A much bigger one than last year.

And that is the reason why I really am not worried, because even if I’m not as prepared as I feel I should be, I’m prepared enough to get go in confidence that I know where I am going.

Every so often, I do find myself thinking “hmm, maybe I should do that story instead”, but no, I am sticking to my guns and I know that I have chosen the right story to work on.

For anyone who is giving NaNoWriMo a try for the first time this year, I wanted to offer a few tips that might put your mind at ease. These are, of course, all based on my own personal experiences and everyone will have a very different experience of NaNoWriMo, that does without question.

One. Do what you can

Writing 1,667 words in one sitting is daunting as hell. Trust me, I know. A lot of people can do it easily, but then a lot of us really can’t. If you’re like me, don’t force yourself. If you can only manage 150 words, that’s great and it’s better than nothing. Just dip in and out of your work at various intervals during the day.

Two. Back Up

Don’t forget to back everything up. There is nothing worse than a power failure, your PC to die and you to find your story lost into oblivion. I like to store my work on Google Docs, because I don’t always use the same PC, so it makes things easier. I’d also “like” to believe that Google won’t lose it. But, if you’re a bit sceptical, I often email my work to myself to, so that’s another back up.

Three. Don’t give in

November is going to be a stressful month, especially once you reach the halfway point. Don’t give in, instead you should feed on the “fear” to drive you forward. If you find yourself in a rut, just write ANYTHING. Literally, anything. Well, maybe not literally, otherwise you’d just keep writing the one word….seriously though, just write a character biography. Write what something in the scene looks like. Put yourself in your characters shoes and describe what they can smell, see, hear, feel etc.

Four. Get Competitive

NaNoWriMo is not a competition. You won’t win any prizes and at the end everyone is ultimately a winner whether they complete it or not. But who is to say that you can’t treat it like one? Last year, I fond that seeing my friends’ word counts really spurred me on. If they were higher than me, I always felt pushed to catch up. On the other hand, if they were lower than me, I felt pushed to keep going so that they couldn’t catch up with me. It really does work, and is all harmless fun of course 😉

Five. Have fun

Yes, NaNoWriMo is stressful but at the end of the long slog of a day, writing is meant to be fun. Okay, so we all dream about publishing our novels. But, is there any point if we haven’t enjoyed writing it?

Good luck to everyone taking part in thirty days and thirty nights of writing abandon.

Let me know how you get on 😉

Writing Inspiration: Then We Came to the End

Books, novel, Writing, writing inspiration

Novel: Then We Came to the End

Author: Joshua Ferris

Opening Lines:

We were fractious and overpaid. Our mornings lacked promise. At least those of us who smoked had something to look forward to at ten-fifteen.

Closing Lines:

But for the moment, it was nice just to sit there together. We were the only two left. Just the two of us, you and me.

Writing Inspiration: The Devil Wears Prada

Books, novel, Writing, writing inspiration

Novel: The Devil Wears Prada

Author: Lauren Weisberger

Opening Line:

The light hadn’t even officially turned green at the intersection of 17th and Broadway before an army of overconfident yellow cabs roared past the tiny deathtrap I was attempting to navigate around the city streets.

Closing Line:

And then, while the pretty brunette girl finished singing her verse, he buzzed me through like I was someone who mattered.

Writing Inspiration: The Rules of Attraction

Books, novel, Writing, writing inspiration

Novel: The Rules of Attraction

Author: Bret Easton Ellis

Opening Line:

and it’s a story that might bore you but you don’t have to listen, she told me, because she always knew it was going to be like that, and it was, she thinks, her first year, or, actually weekend, really a Friday, in September, at Camden, and this was three or four years ago, and she got so drunk that she ended up in bed, lost her virginity (late, she was eighteen) in Lorna Slavin’s room, she remembers, a Senior or a Junior and usually sometimes at her boyfriend’s place off-campus, to who she thought was Sophomore Ceramics major but who was actually either some guy from N.Y.U., a film student, and up in New Hampshire just for The Dressed To Get Screwed party, or a townie.

Closing Line:

She started telling me her life story, which wasn’t very interesting, and when Rockpile came on singing ‘Heart’ I had to turn it up, drowning out her voice, but still I turned to her, my eyes interested, a serious smile, nodding, my hand squeezed her knee, and she

 

Note: The opening and closing lines really do begin and end mid-sentence!!

Writing Inspiration: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Books, novel, Writing, writing inspiration

Novel: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Opening Line:

The day begins in the middle of the night.

Closing Line:

I grab hold of his warm hand. Deep breath.

Ready.

Set.

Jump.

Note: I really do recommend this book for anyone looking for a really quick read. And for lovers and haters of the film, it is very different!

Writing Inspiration: Starter For 10

Books, novel, Writing, writing inspiration

Novel: Starter For Ten

Author: David Nicholls

Opening Line:

All young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-Level results.

Closing Line:

I’m nineteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things.