November is drawing to a close and another NaNoWriMo with it. Mine hasn’t been the all out marathon slog and final race to the finish as, once again, I’ve played by my own rules.
There’s one more day to go, but with that in mind, how have I done? Not bad. Not bad at all.
My target of 30,000 words won’t be smashed. But I’ll be close.
Twenty chapters? I’ll be a chapter short. Not a problem.
Have I enjoyed it. Certainly!
I have lots of flesh on the bones of my main plot and I’ve a couple of subplots bubbling away nicely. My characters have been chased up several trees and fires set under them. I still don’t know quite how it will end, but where would be the fun in that?
Now, like any good brew, I shall leave it to stand for a little time before launching into the second half of the book, which I hope to complete by next (southern hemisphere) spring. In the meantime, the novel I started last November, Song of the Sea Goddess, will be released in early January 2021.
My conclusion: November is a good month to start writing a novel.
Week 3 came to an end all too quickly but I’m still almost on track to achieve my personal target for this ‘dedicated’ writing month. I’ve dropped a chapter behind, but it’s not a train smash. The story is shaping up nicely and a few unexpected elements have emerged. I love these kind of surprises!
Meanwhile this week, I launched the ARC for Song of the Sea Goddess – do help yourself to a copy, there are still some left. Since it’s the sequel to Sea Goddess that I’m writing now, I’ve been truly immersed in my imaginary world on the west coast. It’s an exciting place to be.
Eight more writing days left to the end of NaNoWriMo2020. I wonder what further surprises lie ahead? Apart from a planned interruption to the electricity supply for the whole of Tuesday, which is really not going to help. Ah well, this is Africa!
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend – whatever you’re up to!
The first week is over – already! All is going well (so far). Words are flowing, characters are cooperating, and lo, I’ve even done a little bit of ‘panster planning’.
I’m embarking on the sequel to my soon-to-be-released novel and it’s certainly easier working with a core cast of fully-formed characters. New ones too, are appearing from the wings and it’s exciting getting to know them.
Here’s the mind map I’ve been scribbling, which is supplementing the jottings of my developing thoughts in a notebook. Don’t try to read my terrible handwriting. I blame it on years of note taking.
So, in summary, how am I doing? Five chapters (almost) completed 7169 words written (all of them good ones)
Verdict: Just a handful of words shy of my target. I’m happy with that!
Shall I? Shan’t I? This is what I’ve been asking myself over the past few weeks. I think I vowed not to do this again at the end of last November. I’d made hard work of it, although I didn’t need to; not that I signed up for the ‘real deal’, just a modest target of 30,000 words. However, in the end, I did get half a novel almost completed within the month.
So it was worth it!
That novel is now complete. Song of the Sea Goddess is due for release early next year and, in the meantime, I shall be offering advance reader copies to any of you who’d like to read it and review it. More about this soon.
So, NaNo again?
You bet! But on my own informal personal terms like last year and the year before:
– Target 30,000 words.
– Write at least 5 chapters each week.
– Enjoy it!
That won’t be a whole novel. It will be a good start.
Good luck to all NaNoWriMo participants! Especially those who have committed to doing it properly.
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 offerwill 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 tothis 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).
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.
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).