Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Progress report: One Million Words, week 16

With NaNoWriMo starting today, and the prep work I’ve been doing this week, I’ve really picked up again this week. I’ve better than doubled last week’s total, having written 6,659 words over the last seven days – my best week since I began the challenge, by over nine hundred words.

My total stands at 56,702/1,000,000 (5.67%) and my NaNoWriMo total is 1,739/50,000 (3.48%).

Day by day summary

Monday:239 words (on the Kell start from 24th October)

Tuesday: 1,432 words (Kell meets Shen in the river – a background story)

Wednesday: 235 words (completing Tuesday’s story)

Thursday: 990 words (Kell in a sinking boat – another background story)

Friday: 883 words (completing Thursday’s story)

Saturday: 1,141 words (twitter horror stories and a background story involving Sorient and Turriac, and the source grudge I said I wanted to add to the group dynamics for chapter 2)

Sunday: 1,739 words (NaNoWriMo story – Kell’s adventures)

Continue reading Progress report: One Million Words, week 16

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Almost ready for NaNoWriMo

Earlier this month I considered attempting NaNoWriMo. As the month has progressed I have become more and more certain I would try it. This post is therefore to declare my intentions: I am definitely attempting it. After hitting the 50,000 words mark in my writing since July on Sunday last week, it seems apt to try to double that at the time of the year when tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are making the commitment to write.

Over the last few days I have started to make preparations. I’ve put the main Kell story aside for the time being in favour of background stories to help me get a better grasp of the characters. So far I have not, as I had planned, gone into the other characters in Ekan’s crew, but I have gotten a better grasp on Kell’s history over the last ten years. I’ve also been busy making notes and filling out the world. Characters have new names and basic descriptions, regions are better defined, I’ve got a few more locations, and I’ve sorted out a linguistic framework (which is partly why some character names have been changed).

There are now two days remaining until NaNoWriMo begins, and though I’ve covered a lot of ground in preparation, I’ve still got more work to do.

  • I feel that the first chapter lacks a hook and an early conflict, so I’m hoping a prompt or dare (from the Fantasy Dares thread in the NaNo forums) might give me some ideas for that.
  • My outline for the second chapter remains very vague. There will be a storm, and character relationships and interactions will play a part in the arc, but aside from that I’m unsure. Again, I might need to add another element, perhaps an old grudge between two of the characters that comes to the fore as a result of the circumstances. Maybe I’ll write the story of the source of that old grudge today or tomorrow.
  • While the third chapter is pretty much decided at this point, after that I have nothing. Again, dares and prompts may be what I need to get things moving there, but it does worry me. The first three chapters won’t get me past 20,000 words tops, probably more like 15,000, so I will definitely need some more ideas. I’ll go hunting for them over the next two days, and on into November, and keep a record of what they are in my NaNo Resources spreadsheet (where I’ve also listed possible character names).
  • Linked to my chapter 2 problem, besides Kell and Ekan, and to a certain extent Meyri (who has been renamed Merdrig), my knowledge of the characters is quite limited. Writing background stories in the last two days of this month (and perhaps ongoing into November) will help, so I’m going to push in that direction.
  • Locations. I’ve done a bit on the places certain characters are from, but beyond Waytown (which appears in chapter 1, and is where Merdrig is from) and an as-yet unnamed village a few days south of Waytown (which features in chapter 3) I’ve got nothing. Googling the bronze age and stone age landscapes of various regions – Brittany, perhaps, since it’s the inspiration for the names and culture for the region around Waytown – might give me some ideas beyond just a string of villages and towns. Hopefully those locations can help with further ideas for chapters 4 and onwards.

To get all that done, I’ve got a few hours this evening after work, and a few hours tomorrow. I can of course continue working through those issues into November, until such time as they become critical, and I will do that, but I will want to focus on meeting the 1,667 words per day target as a priority.

I’ve read advice that aiming for a higher target, such as 2,000 words a day, is a good idea. It gives a buffer in case of bad days, and can help towards not just meeting the 50,000 word goal but flying on right past it. So I’ll see if I can manage that, at least for the first week. Background stories might just help me towards that.

All going well, I should end up with between six and ten chapters of this story completed in first draft by the end of the month. My intent for December will then be to tidy up the earlier chapters and continue writing more. Hopefully come January I will be ready to start posting them here on my blog for you to read.

Progress report: One Million Words, week 15

This week I have written a total of 2,467 words. This includes 13 haiku written across six days – I didn’t manage one on Friday.

That’s 352 words a day on average.

In the last 15 weeks I have written just over a NaNo novel’s worth of words – my total is now 50,043/1,000,000, or 5.0% I am now one twentieth of the way to my overall goal. Hopefully it’ll take me a lot less time to double that, as I will be attempting NaNo next month, starting next Sunday.

Continue reading Progress report: One Million Words, week 15

It’s time to start thinking about NaNoWriMo

With only just over six weeks until National Novel Writing Month begins, I’m starting to see forum topics about it. I’m already doing my One Million Words challenge, and I’m already writing every single day. I’ve even had a day over NaNo’s daily average requirement of 1,667 words last week. So am I going to sign up this year? Am I going to write 50,000 words in 30 days?

The short answer is “I don’t know”. And I don’t need to make a decision just yet. But it is something to consider, and the time to start planning for it is now. Even if I continue my current approach of discovery writing rather than working to an outline, planning is still needed. Planning my strategy, working on worldbuilding and characters even if the plot remains To Be Determined, and ramping up my daily output towards that magic number, 1,667, so that when November starts I’ve already got the discipline in place.

Continue reading It’s time to start thinking about NaNoWriMo

The end of NaNoWriMo

November is over. My NaNoWriMo total ended up not much improved from my mid-month progress report – 23,295. I just stopped a little over a week ago and didn’t write another word. There are, I think, two major reasons for that – I got stuck on a scene that lacked conflict and wasn’t happy with a previously written scene that fed into the later scene, and I picked up a new hobby which consumed a lot of my time, crochet, by which I am crafting Christmas presents for my family.

The manner in which I was writing throughout November was to have word wars, ten or fifteen minute stints where I was in competition to produce words with other writers. It proved productive, but I’m not sure it was the right thing for me. Yes, I wrote a lot, but this approach produced the problems that ultimately caused me to stop.

Continue reading The end of NaNoWriMo

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.

Continue reading NaNoWriMo progress report 2

Progress report: NaNoWriMo

My progress on NaNoWriMo has been less than I’d hoped. On Tuesday I didn’t write a word. I knew I should have tried, but I didn’t want to. I wasn’t happy with what I’d already written, and yesterday I ended up rewriting everything I’d written on Monday and half of what I’d written on Sunday. I’ll still count those words for NaNo, but they’re wrong and I’ve discarded them as far as the story is concerned.

I know I’m not meant to be going back and fixing things at this point. It’s a first draft, and I’ve just got to get it done, which means moving forwards and not backwards. But what I’d written had major problems. My character went from one mood to another too quickly, and didn’t find enough opposing her for there to be any tension, so I struck it out and had another shot. I’m happier with what I’ve got, but now I need to find a way to make the scene go the way I want it to.

Continue reading Progress report: NaNoWriMo

So it begins: NaNoWriMo

So here I am, a little over 37 hours into November. The month didn’t begin quite as planned, as I had a big deadline at work and had to stay a little late to get things finished – such is bidding. This meant I was working for the first four hours of yesterday and sleeping much of the rest, but after a late afternoon false start I wasn’t happy with, I did manage to make a real start some time after 11pm last night, and got 770 words done before midnight and another 696 before I went to bed at 1am.

Continue reading So it begins: NaNoWriMo

My NaNoWriMo: the antagonist group

Last time I looked at the characters who are Fiarra’s friends at the start of the story. Today I’m looking at her enemies.

The Antagonist

Known as the Governor (and not to be confused with the pre-plague official governor, who I refer to with a lower case g), the antagonist’s real (but rarely used) name is Entis. She was sent to the island innocent of the crimes she was accused of, following a grossly unfair trial even by her society’s standards. She therefore has a major grudge against the established government. Her goal is to set up an independent nation on the island, which will require the ability to repel the official governor and his soldiers when (or indeed if) they return. After failing to persuade the rest of the island to help with this goal, she decided to use force to achieve it.

Continue reading My NaNoWriMo: the antagonist group