Nanowrimo 2014 : Day 10 to 28…the Fall

Few more days to go before Nanowrimo 2014 is over and I have just reached the halfway mark. 25,135 words validated today.

I know I will not complete the challenge and for a few days I was a little upset about it. I felt I had let myself down by once again giving up before I could finish.

November was supposed to be the quiet month before the madness of Christmas and unfortunately it wasn’t. Work has been busier than ever and I completed on the purchase of my first flat halfway through the month. That meant most of my energies were spent chasing lawyers and estate agents, planning the move, coordinating builders for quotes, panicking that I had made a mistake buying said property (I haven’t but there is always the little bits you discover once you get the keys that you didn’t see before), sorting out the energy supplies to the flat – I discovered with great concern and horror that the flat was set up with pay as you go meters for gas and electricity, which means scrambling around to get keys/cards and then get them loaded with money…not something I want to keep but I can’t get it changed straight away either…and the fear that converting the meters would cost me money (thankfully, it won’t) – realising that I have to spend a bit more money to fix the walls…Anyhoo, nuff about this or more to the point, I might do a separate little post for this showing before and after pics (if I dare).

The long and short of it, I have written as much as I could which is still way behind but more than what I wrote for Camp Nano in July (20K). I have accepted that this is a fail, as challenges go but I will take the win on the personal best front.

What I have written probably doesn’t make much sense as I kept jumping back and forth in time as I was getting bored and lost with my story. I think the first few chapters will disappear as they feel more like backstory than story but it all adds up to the final count, which is why I haven’t culled them yet.

I still like the idea of my story but I think it is a little more ambitious than I had anticipated. Maybe I should have gone for something simpler…

What I take of the experience is you can never prepare too much and with the intention of participating next year, I have now 12 months (ish) to get there. Maybe if I have a more detailed plan, it won’t feel so hard.

Thank you to those who encouraged me and well done to all who have participated winners or not….

Until next Camp Nano, I’ll tinker more with the story…or do as I usually do, start with a new one…

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Nanowrimo 2014: Day 5 to 9

or the consequences of not planning properly…

First of all, I am quite happy that I have gone over the 15K mark over the weekend…that is an achievement in itself for me and the positive spin I am trying to hang on to.

knife stabbing book with black blood

This is how I feel right now about what I have written… (Image from Corbis)

But, I hate what I have written. I don’t like where my story is going – actually it’s all over the place at the moment because I keep jumping back and forth in the timeline when I get stuck.

The set up is taking too long, my characters are not consistent and I kinda lost my way…

I decided not too plan too much in advance – just had some generals notes and character bio (only for my main protagonist) – because I was worried that I would be bored if I knew exactly what was going to happen…

I fear this was a mistake. As I don’t have a clear roadmap, my writing is meandering around, taking forever to get to a point, only to realise that the point I got too is in the complete different direction than to where I needed to be to get to my story.

sad puppy

I am a sad puppy…

Some people might say ‘That’s ok. Your story is finding it’s way and maybe it’s what your character needs to do…’ but I am so far off my original synopsis that I don’t know how to find my way back…I am considering scraping my 15K words and start over again…but if I do, I might not be able to get to 50K by the end of the month… What a conundrum. I really, really want to be able to hit the target come 30th November but what would be the point if everything goes into the Recycling bin at the end?

I may have bitten more than I can chew but at the same time, it is still early enough that I could start over…Right?

I may give myself a couple days to think about it. Especially as I have to do some “new house” related stuff…because of course, I have finally exchanged on my first flat and I have now to plan for a) a bathroom refit and b) a move and all also before the end of the month…

Who says I don’t like to challenge myself.

I hope you guys are doing much better than I am.
Until next time…

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Nanowrimo 2014: Day 1 to 4

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NaNoWriMo started with a bang last Saturday. I say with a bang because there were some fireworks popping outside in preparation for Guy Fawkes night tonight, you know ” Remember, remember, on the 5th of November” shenaningans….In London (and maybe all around the UK – but I wouldn’t know as I have never lived anywhere else in the UK), you get fireworks cracking from the first and nearly to the last of November…

But I digress…this is not a post about the merits (or not) of unlicensed fireworks selling, it’s about how I am doing with project Nano. Starting on a Saturday was a huge bonus as although I had a couple of Halloween parties to attend, I still had far more time to get stuck in that if it had started on a weekday. By the end of the weekend, I had already achieved 4409 words and by Monday I had broken the 5000 words mark. Which is really handy because since then, it has been a little trickier to fit the time as I have been pulled in too many different directions and with darkness setting so early, I really find it hard to sit down and hack my way through my story.

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I am very easily distracted. I am the Queen of Procrastination. I try to take those distractions away but somehow, I always find a way…last night it was doing the dishes…yup, you heard right. I hate doing house chores but last night, they look pretty damn good compared to having to decide what to do with my character. I did my work but although I had been averaging out 2000 words a session, last night I only managed 1700…I am still within the daily quota but below my personal target..

This is also because I am reaching the dreaded spot of Chapter 3, which is my personal nemesis…I always find it easy to set up the story and characters, but then I flounder because I am not quite sure what I want to see happening.

I have read the books on story structure and I understand arc and milestones and heck, I have even thought of the ones I want to see…my problem is I am not quite sure how much I need to write to get there and how…well, mathematically speaking I do but I haven’t got the feel for it. That is probably because since I was 15, I haven’t actually finished a story. I have started loads but I haven’t been take one through all the way…That’s the point of Nano though…to force you to keep on at it.

I have read loads of blog posts about how to make Nano successful beyond writing 50K of garbage words that will require tons of editing but in my case, that’s what I need to do…plough down without thinking too much about the editing as it is normally what stops me at Chapter 3.

Oh and I massively struggle with voice as well…I bet that when I re-read what I have written I’ll find that one minute my character’s voice is dark, the next it’s sarcastic…then again, this is how I am myself (without the dark part) so maybe it’s not so bad…? We’ll see…for now, I just want to get to my First Plot Point – which according to story structure maths should be around 12.5K words (25%). I am actually a little over halfway there. Good to know.

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