NaNoWriMo progress report 2

My progress with this novel hasn’t been quite what I’d hoped. Certainly not at the rate I need to win the challenge, but I am getting there. After a fantastic day in Leicester last Sunday, joining my former region for some coffee, chat and word warring, I’ve had a few zero days this last week.

Today I determined to at least make up for a dud Friday and Saturday (though in my defence I had a nasty headache all Saturday that left me unable to do anything), and with some word wars with the lovely people over at Mythic Scribes I have managed 5,013 words today, bringing me far closer to where I should be, though I’m still a few thousand behind. I should be at 28,334 words by the end of today, I’m actually at 21,356. So getting there, but still some way to go before I catch up.

Thankfully, I have accounted for this – I’ve booked two days off work near the end of November when I can try to catch up. I’ve also got plans to prevent myself falling further behind. No more zero days, for a start, but I also think I can fit in a 15 minute session in the mornings before work, so I’m going to try that this week.

I have attempted to write this novel without a concrete plan in advance. Previous attempts in which I have planned in detail left me feeling little passion for the story and as a result unmotivated. For this one, I looked at some of the characters and worked out a few of the storylines based around those characters, but the detail has been left for the writing. That hasn’t quite worked either, though, and so I’ve taken to planning a scene or two ahead before starting to write each day, so I know where I am going next in more detail, while the vaguer plan remains in place in my head. This seems to work okay for me.

I know that I can do this. I’ve done it twice before, though I’ve failed a few times too. This story, though, it’s been calling to me for a very long time. Previous attempts at making the story work, different scenarios and so on, haven’t worked. This one is working, better than previous attempts anyway. The others had a lot of complicating factors that got in the way, and perhaps when I was writing previous versions I didn’t quite understand what the true core of the story I was trying to tell was. Now I do, it’s going pretty well indeed.

So what’s actually happened? Well, Fiarra and her friends Siko and Deego began the story enslaved in a copper mine, or rather escaping from it. After the escape, they found themselves pursued by evaded the soldiers, then circled around to another location where they thought Teyt and Corun might be enslaved, the quarry. In trying to determine if Teyt and Corun really were there, Fiarra was caught and shortly afterwards the other two were as well. Now I’ve got to the point where Fiarra meets Laik, the Governor’s second in command. Here begins the core relationship of the story – the rivalry and clash of ideals and outlooks.

That it’s taken me 20,000 words to introduce Laik might be a problem, as it’s quite a lot happening before the story really begins. In fact I think I might have been overly verbose throughout the story so far, as at the rate I’m going it’ll be quite a long book indeed, certainly over 100,000 words. But I can fix that in the rewrites, for now it’s about getting the story down and working out the finer details of plot and character. And in that goal, I am happy with how things are going.

I just need to pick up the pace a bit if I want to succeed with the NaNoWriMo challenge.

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