Nano day 8, 9, 10
Nano day 10
Day off did me good. Words are flowing. Had some pretty major realisations about novel and I finally feel like I can visualise it better. Feel like I was trying to force it into something, but now the characters are talking to me and telling me what the story is.
Nano day 9
Had the day off. Was sick of pushing uphill.
Nano day 8
It's Saturday. Didn't really feel like reading and just wanted to relax, but somehow got some words down.
Nano day 7
Plot twists are abounding. Some ideas I'm excited about that will really add depth to my novel. Realising I'm a pantser and not a plotter. The truly great ideas come from the process of throwing down words, akin to throwing random paint splotches on the wall.
Words today: 1,000 words
Total words: 11,167
Nano day 6
It's becoming habit. Even though I didn't feel like writing today, it was almost routine to sit down at my computer at 6.00 pm and get some words down.
Today's words: 1,783 words
Total wordcount: 10,167
Nano day 5
So tired. Worked all day and came home to write. Got a lot done and really feeling the book. My characters are coming to life and I'm beginning to understand them. It's amazing how the process of just getting words down makes things happen. Also how writing every day means that the muse demands creative space. Going to bed now. Need lots of zzzz's.
Today's words: 2,107
Total tally: 8,384
Nano day 3 and 4
0 words. Worked and was so exhausted I had to have a nap and then watch television for the rest of the night.
Was the day when I was regretting joining Nano or blogging about it. Writing was the absolute last thing I wanted to do in the world. Was feeling like this book is dead in the water and I had no connection with the characters or with the book. Started thinking I should just ditch the whole thing and start working on other ideas that have become more immediate in the months since I began this book.
Peer pressure forced me to sit down and in a few stops and starts throughout the day I got 2,223 words down. Feeling like things are happening and I'm in the moment.
Worried about the rest of the week. My day job takes everything out of me and I come home drained. Don't know if I'll be able to do anything until the rest of the week, but I'll try. Even if it's a few hundred words I just want to keep this book at the forefront of my mind and get some inspiration swirling.
Nano day 2
So it's day two. Got 1,703 words down, which is just a tiny bit more than the required daily count of 1,666. I spent at least 3 hours on the project today, but a lot of it was research. Two tools that are really helping track my research is a secret board on Pinterest where I have all my inspiration, and using Scrivener to import websites so that I have information to go back and refer to. My character is a lover of vintage fashion so I've been immersed in the beautiful world of vintage fashion and items.
The story is starting to come together a little bit, where I'm figuring out the story and character motivations. I have a cast of 12 characters so far, which is usually a good indication of the world building happening. The writing is still very rough and just sketches. Just wrote a scene that is just a dialogue script.
I feel like the romance side of it is being sidelined a bit while I get all the other elements in place, but I now have the motivation in place to bring my hero and heroine together and it's just a matter of watching the sparks fly.
Tomorrow is a work day so I'm going to have to really push hard to get some words down when I come home.
Nano Day 1
It's that time of year again when writers have to decide to Nano or not to Nano. National Novel Writing Month is an opportunity to dedicate yourself to finishing a novel and the idea is that having peer pressure will make the task easier.
I tried completing Nano for 6 years until I finally cracked the formula of finishing 50,000 words in a month. For me the process is about getting words down, figuring out my storyline and characters, and having some rough scenes in progress to work on for later. Once I cracked the secret to Nano I took it on in a private challenge and wrote a few more manuscripts and firmly cemented that this the process that works for me to finish a book. I will confidently state that there is only perhaps 1 % of my manuscript that is not edited in some way, which probably comes to a sentence or two. As Anne Gracie said "first comes the draft, and then the craft."
The last project that I used this process on was Hollywood Dreams. However I found that I had to re-write nearly the whole book because I veered too far off course. One of the plot twists I developed was that my heroine, Maree, thought that Tom was gay and he played along with it. While it was a lot of fun to write, it did not work in a book as that's a dastardly act that there's just no coming back from.
So this time around I've done some plotting and thinking before I came to the book. Two resources that I find invaluable during this process is Save the Cat by Blake Snyder and Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel workbook. Save the Cat helps me to think about my novel thematically and have a rough idea of structure, while The Breakout Novel's most helpful exercise is combining roles of secondary characters which has already led to some delicious plot details.
So I have committed to Nano this month in order to finish my third novel. I've had a bit of difficulty getting words down. I started a new job this year and the demands of full time work in a new profession has tested my stamina. I have written about 10,000 words already, so I'm technically not meeting the Nano challenge correctly as I'm not working on a book that I haven't started, but I'm just using it as a tool to get my motivation going. I find that signing up officially on the website, entering the daily wordcount and receiving emails reminding you where you should be, really help to put pressure and meet the commitment.
I am also going to be blogging about the process so that all this public commitment gives me a kick up the pants. I'm going to set a modest goal of $20,000 words this month just so I don't feel like a rotten failure.
Today's wordcount was 2,313 words. I'm really struggling with getting back into the headspace of the book and the scene I was working on is not really flowing. I've got my characters on their first date, but the sparks aren't really flying. It's been months since I worked on this book so it's just a matter of persisting and getting the characters come to life. I'm also wanting to get a lot of words down while I've got an (almost) long weekend (I have to work on Monday), so that when there are days when I can't write I won't fall too far behind.
Author of Return to Me, Hollywood Dreams and Vintage Dreams. Short story is published in the anthology Little Raven Two by Little Raven Publishing. Pen name for Amra Pajalic.
Mae Archer's books on Goodreads
Return to Me
ratings: 13 (avg rating 3.46)
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
Little Raven Two: An Erotic Collection
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.00)