Nanowrimo: Day 12

I’m so behind, it’s maddening. I’m still three days behind, but I was six when the day started, so at least I’m making up some ground. I would like to catch up tomorrow, but that’s unlikely. I just hope I don’t get further behind.

November has been brutal, writing wise. First, I had a presentation to prepare. Then I had present it, in Oklahoma City, more than five hours away from home. I wrote Sunday, worked Monday and drove to OKC, no writing done. Tuesday was the class and presentation, then the drive back to Amarillo. No writing done. Wednesday was a long day, and I ended up working a full 12 hours, spent the night in Amarillo again, then a full day on Thursday. Too exhausted to write, and the first night home since I left on Monday.

I meant to write on Friday, and I took my laptop with me to Amarillo, and set up to write at Roasters while I waited for a friend to drive in. We were going to meet for lunch, and I thought it a perfect time to get out of the house, drink some coffee and write. Nope. My computer’s battery was dead, and I left the charger at home. Crap!

I ended up going to Walmart, buying a composition notebook and a pack of pens, and sat down to write out a vague roadmap for my novel. While I’ve stated on countless occasions that I’m a pantser, I’m feeling as though having no plan isn’t working for me. I need at least a general outline of what I want to write. I may not follow it exactly, but at least it’s a guide.

So now, finally, Saturday comes, and I can write. I should have written more, but I’ve played too much online. Damn Facebook. I’m still please with what I have so far, the outline giving me some direction on where I need to go with the story. I decided as I was outlining that the story needs to be organized into three parts. So, maybe planning is helpful.

I have a long way to go before the month is over, and longer until I get to the end of the novel. I wish I didn’t have so much happening to distract me from my writing. This coming week is Inventory Week at work, and it’ll be long days and nights until Thursday. The following week is Black Friday, again a lot of long days to prepare. The last week of November has me going back to OKC for another project. I need to be beyond the 50K mark before then. I don’t know if I’ll have time to write on the 29th or 30th!


Counting down

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participantI have no idea what I’m going to write about. Does that surprise you? It doesn’t surprise me, but it does have me worried. Maybe something will come around, but what if it doesn’t? What if this is the year I lose? I can’t lose. I have to write 50K words. I can’t fail!

NaNoWriMo starts on Tuesday. 30 days, 50K words, which is what many consider the minimum word count for a novel, hence the name, National Novel Writing Month. I think it’s madness to attempt it, but I can’t help myself. It’s a personal challenge to just sit and write with abandon, foregoing any thought of scrapping what I’ve written.

As I sit here trying to write this, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll write. I have no clue. Hopefully something will be sparked between now and then. Probably a million ideas will come and go, none holding my attention for long. Though I’ve always thought of myself as a pantser, I wouldn’t mind having some time to at least think about what I’m going to write, some vague roadmap that’ll take me from beginning to the end. I want a complete story, and not my usual collection of stories abandoned halfway through.

It won’t help that November is a horrible month to begin with. I work retail, at The Home Depot, and our inventory is on the 17th. On the 8th, I actually have to go to Oklahoma City for a Leadership Development class with the district team. Why did I agree to that!? Oh, and let’s not forget Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the start of the Holiday season. Let’s write a freaking novel! That’s not at all insane! I hope to be back to normal come Tuesday, and then it can go out of whack again as I try to pound out something somewhat coherent.



NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 8

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareI’m still chugging along, somehow managing to keep myself on par. This is probably one of my better writing experiences I’ve ever had. Today I squeezed out 3584 words, bringing my November total to 14226, or almost a thousand over par. No need to pat me on my back. I’ve already done so.

I don’t know if this novel will be worth a damn. The premise as imagined is a good one, or so I think, but I’m having trouble moving it along. I’m writing chapter 5, and I’m just getting to the part where the action begins. This is moving glacially slow, or so I fear. I want the story to start. I want some action. Nay, I demand it.

I’m setting up the trigger, and by the end of this chapter I’ll have my main character on the run, fearing for her life. At the same time, she’s going to have to deal with her feeling towards her ex, her feelings of betrayal and abandonment, and her own fears. She’s spent years going from one abusive relationship to another, until fearing for her life, she shut out all hope of a romantic attachment.

I hope I get it right soon. This is harder than I had expected, but I suppose it always is. Writing is less a sprint than a long distance run. You don’t always see where your going, and there are a ton of obstacles waiting to trip you up, but everyday it gets a little closer, and the story may take unexpected turns, but you have some notion of what the finish line will look like, and you direct your story accordingly.

NaNoWrimo 2015: Day 1

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareNational Novel Writing Month is now going strong, how are you doing? Day one is winding down, and though many are still writing furiously, I’m done for the day. I surpassed my goal for the day at a cool 3017. I’m almost a day ahead! Remind me not to get cocky. I could easily lose it like I have every year.

I just stated the second chapter, and I’m working to steer the story correctly, to introduce my main character’s source of friction, her ex-boyfriend, the one that abandoned her without warning close to twenty years before. The first chapter just dealt with setting up his introduction, and I probably won’t write him in until the third. Right now I’m creating Shelby’s story, from her point of view. I hope first person pans out. I’m a little concerned that it might not be.

Right now, I’m heading to bed. I’m tired and tomorrow is a big day. On top of writing my nanonovel, tomorrow will be my first day in a new position at my job. I was promoted last Monday, and now I get to be a supervisor. I’m a little excited, apprehensive, and just a ball of nerves.

My Halo

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareI earned my halo today. I’m an angel! Okay, not really. I donated to NaNoWriMo earlier this evening and now I have my halo on my avatar. Cool, huh? I think so. Though it’s free to participate, NaNo depends on writers, like you and me, to help keep them going. I’m sure there are a few big time sponsors, but when you think about what we can do en masse, just by donating a few dollars, why wouldn’t you donate?

Of course, I didn’t donate my first few years. Last year may have been the first year I donated, and it wasn’t a heck of a lot either. But again, when you think about the sheer size of NaNo, and the number of us that do, we help fund this very awesome organization!

In case you don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal for participants is to write fifty-thousand words in one month. It was a bit daunting that first year, but I managed it, and I have every year since. It’s not easy. It takes a certain dedication to getting words down and ignoring that inner editor that begs to obsess over every small detail. It’s only about getting the story down. Editing comes later.

I had always wanted to write a book. I wanted to tell a story, and there were several false starts over several years. The result was always the same. I gave up. It was too hard. I didn’t know how to plan or to outline so I would write a few paragraphs and decided I wasn’t cut out for it.

That changed in 2011. I saw a funny word when I logged onto my computer at work that November 1st morning. On the Trending Now section of Yahoo, I caught sight of Nanowrimo. Curious as to what it could possibly be, I looked it up and I discovered their website. I immediately signed up, though I had no idea what I would write about, and then I got to work.

It took me a week before I figured out what to do and how to write. Slowly the story took shape and I progressed slowly but with a purpose of hitting that 50K mark. By the end of the month, I hit 52,395 words. I was hooked, and I’ve been writing ever since.

That first year, NaNo helped me get through a hard period in my life. It kept me sane and I found that I could write. It’s never easy but the end is well worth the effort. I keep promising that I’m going to publish one of my works, but I’ve yet to get there, but I will.

So I feel a certain gratitude toward the organization and the fevered energy they help inspire. I’ve got a new story in mind, and though I know there’s no guarantee that I’ll cross the goal line for the fifth time, it’s very much what I intend to do. The pace is frantic, but there’s a joy in knowing you’re joining countless others in the mad endeavor.

I urge you to consider joining in if you’ve ever wanted to write a book. The best thing that’s come out of it is that I’ve met a lot of interesting people over the years, people I know I never would have met otherwise. I a blast to participate, and in the end you will have at least the beginning of a first draft of the book you’ve dreamed about writing.

The fun begins at midnight on November 1st and ends on the 30th at 11:59 p.m. Check out the NaNoWriMo website for more details.