The Final 2016 NaNoWriMo Update

I meant to do this post a while ago, and never got around to it, but I did want to wrap it up somehow!

It went really well this year, and I finished with 55,000 words!  I finished early, which I was glad about.  Partly because I’ve found that validating as early as possible is a good thing, but also because the last few days were Monday through Wednesday, and those were the days that I had almost no motivation to write.

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I did keep writing once I reached 50,000, but the pace slowed down a lot after that.  I do want to go back to this story, which is a little strange because once November is over, I’m pretty much done noveling until the next NaNo comes.  I’m definitely taking a break for a while, partially because November is always sort of intense, but I have a crochet project I’m trying to finish before Christmas, and I want to get some reading in, since I barely read anything last month.

I had originally planned for the story to be finished by the end of the November, but my story had other ideas in mind.  As it turns out, it’s only about halfway there, and I really want to re-do the middle portion to match up with some of the things that happen later on.  Plus, that part was really repetitive, to the point that I didn’t want to write it, so that needs more work.

Assuming that I actually go back to it in January, because I feel like I say I’m going to go back to it a lot, and then I never do.

There are a couple of things to check out: why you SHOULD participate in NaNoWriMo and why you SHOULDN’T participate.  Random, I know, but both are worth checking out.

I do love it- this was my 11th year, and I keep coming back to it because I really like the community, and it’s a way to challenge myself and do something different.  It’s a reminder that I can accomplish a big goal, if I dedicate myself to it, and if I make the time for it.  But it’s also not for everyone, but maybe it’ll inspire someone to challenge themselves in another way, even if you’re not writing a novel.  It’s definitely something I look forward to, and I have a lot of ideas that I ended up not going with, plus a couple of others that are floating around in my head, so I’ll have a lot of ideas for next year.

Speaking of next year, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do next year- it involves Little Red Riding Hood and Norse mythology, but I don’t know how it all fits because I don’t know anything about Norse mythology. Maybe it won’t work, but I won’t know until I start doing some research.  If it doesn’t work out, I still have a bunch of other ideas I can go with, and that’s assuming I don’t get any other random ideas, which is entirely possible.  In general, I’d rather have too many ideas that I can narrow down than scrambling for an idea at the last minute.  I’ve done two novels enough times that if I can get it down to two, I’ll be fine.  I learned that three is one too many.

I think that might be all, because I don’t know what else to say about how it went this year!

NaNoWriMo 2016: Update #2

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It’s been a busy week!  NaNo is going pretty well so far.  I think last time I mentioned having really bad back pain, and I am really glad to report that it went away.  Writing is a lot easier when you can actually sit long enough to do it.

Last Sunday was a really good day for writing, and I ended up being really glad I had a buffer.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn’t have a lot of motivation to write.  The results of the election really got to me (more than any other year) and as much as I wanted and hoped writing would be a good distraction, it wasn’t.  By Thursday, though, I was starting to feel more motivated to write, and now my writing is back to normal.

I did go to a few fun write-ins that I really want to talk about.  My co-ML and I hosted one at the Ghiradelli store we have in downtown San Diego because chocolate and ice cream and writing go together.  I was on a little bit of a sugar high, since I had an eclair for breakfast and then the sundae and root beer float.  I was glad I arrived late to a friend’s birthday thing at Extraordinary Desserts and didn’t order anything because as it was, I went to bed at, like, 8:30 which is insanely early for me.  The sugar crash was not fun.

That worked out well, though, since a bunch of us took the train up to L.A. and I had to be up early.  I did look out the window for a while, looking at the ocean, but then I settled into writing.  A few of us ate at the train station at this really good crepe place, and I took a writing break.  I did crochet, just because I needed to clear my mind and do something creative that I didn’t have to think about.  It turned out to be a pretty good idea, because I was super-focused on the way home and got a lot of writing done.

We also did this cafe hop last week, and went to four different coffee shops.  That was a pretty productive day too, but I had a massive caffeine crash when I got home because I had like, 4 cups of coffee.  I could barely stay awake during Once Upon A Time, and I ended up not watching Walking Dead because I was too tired.  But I know they have re-runs, so I know I’ll catch the episode another time.

As for the actual writing (since I’m talking more about the stuff going on around the writing), I’ve definitely hit the middle part of the story where I just feel very blah about writing quite a few chapters.  I mean, Hermione and Charlie are wandering around, the way Hermione, Ron and Harry wandered around the Forests Of Dean for months, and I’m just bored writing it.  I normally write out of order anyway, because sometimes I don’t want to write certain scenes or chapters, but I’m jumping around a lot more than normal.

I did want to include Hermione and Charlie hiding out in Romania on the dragon reserve, but I wasn’t sure how to work it in.  I still don’t, but for now, I’m just writing it.  I can always fit it in later- assuming I actually go back to the story at some point, and that’s not likely.

*But it is possible.  At least writing random scenes are helping, and it’s a nice change from what I was writing for the story.

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As for my actual word count: I’m currently at 30,021 words!  Which is really good, and I have a pretty good buffer. I’m a good 5 days or so ahead of where I’m supposed to be, and I’m really proud of that, considering some of the things going on this month.  Writing wasn’t always the distraction I was hoping it would be, but I’m glad that I’m still writing something every day.

Hopefully I’ll have another update next week!

NaNoWriMo 2016: An Update From The Trenches

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I can’t believe I’m 5 days into November!  I thought I’d give an update today so everyone knows how it’s going so far.

I went to the midnight write-in/kick-off party in my region (which is good, considering I am one of the ML’s and help plan events).  It was super-fun, and I got a bunch of writing done.

I also took the 1st off, since I knew I was going to be up late, and I figured sleep was more important than going to work exhausted because I either got no sleep or very little sleep.  I also figured I’d get some more writing done, and try to write ahead as much as I could.  I didn’t write as much as I hoped, in terms of the novel, but I was able to get a couple of blog posts done.  If I can manage to get the day off again next year, I definitely plan on doing it again.

I know I mentioned not being sure what I was going to write- I was deciding between an alternate 7th year fic where Hermione gets separated from Harry and Ron but ends up with Charlie Weasley instead and a post-Deathly Hallows but before the epilogue Marriage Law fic.

I literally decided what I was going to write an hour before midnight by rolling dice.  True story.  It’s easily the most interesting way I’ve picked what to write.

So what am I writing?  The alternate 7th year!

It helped that I was okay with writing either idea and that both ideas were vaguely outlined.  I was definitely prepared no matter what I decided to write.

I’ve been writing during my lunch break, and it’s been working really well so far.  I’m sort of surprised by how much I can get done, but it’s a good thing because it means I have less to write when I get home.  I think that’s part of why I’m ahead of where I should be- I end up writing more than I plan to, and even though I could probably take a day or two off of writing completely, I’ve decided to keep the momentum going.

I’m particularly glad that I’ve been writing during lunch because I’ve had horrible lower back pain the last few days, to the point where sitting has been super-uncomfortable at home.  I know it’s going to resolve in a few days (because PMS, not that anyone wanted to know or cares, and I’m sorry if it’s TMI), but it’s sort of something that’s going on right now.

MOVING ON: I was still able to write (even though I did have to write standing one night), but at least I’m enough ahead that if I only write at work, I’m still in pretty good shape.

It’s why I like having some sort of buffer- it’s great for when the unexpected happens, or when I can’t write as much.

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I am currently at 12,833 words!

It’s a really good start, considering I’m only writing one novel this year.  If I keep up this pace, I’m supposed to hit 50k on November 20…at which point I will stop writing, keep going or start one of the other ideas I have.  Assuming I finish early, of course, but I’ll figure it out if/when that happens.

I’ve also had some really funny/interesting sentences, and I’m going to have to share those.  When you’re writing and not paying attention to your inner editor, you end up with really random things. At least I got a laugh out of it!

That’s all I have for an update, but I’ll definitely be back with another update!

NaNoWriMo 2015 Update #2: Winner!

I think it’s time for another NaNoWriMo update!

NaNo Winner 2015

I have written 50,237 words this month!  Well, a little bit more than that, because I always try to write a little bit more than the 50k, but I reached my goal, and I did it a few days early.  I’m still going to be writing, but I won’t be writing the way I was for most of the month.  This story I’ve been working on is nowhere close to being finished-I have two books outlined, and a couple of ideas for a next book, but other than that, I have nothing.

I’m not sure where to go next: I’m not sure if I want to finish writing what I have outlined, if I want to work on the characters and the world, if I want to take a break before doing anything else, or if I want to try to outline the rest of the story.  Or some combination of those things.

A break would be nice, because it would give me some distance before starting up again.  But I’m also worried that the momentum I’m had for the entire month will vanish if I stop, and that I won’t go back to it if I take a break. We’ll see, I suppose.  It’s not like I have to decide right this instant.

It really has been an easy year- of the now 10 times I’ve done NaNo, this one has been the EASIEST year by far, and I think a lot of it has to do with having an outline and using Scrivener.  I knew where it was going, and that made it a lot easier to write, especially since I had quite a few days where I didn’t want to write whatever scene I was supposed to be writing.  It was really easy to jump to something I did want to write, and it was just as easy to go back and write the scenes I skipped over.  It was also really easy to move things around and combine scenes or add more scenes or even get rid of scenes if I needed to.

It’s also really nice to have this entire story (and everything relating to it) in one place.  It’s been nice having in one place and having it really easy to find, and having it fairly organized.  It’s a little weird, because I’m so used to using Word, but having used Scrivener for about a month, I don’t think I could go back to Word.

Overall, NaNo has gone really well this year, and I’m really excited about this story in particular.  I definitely can’t wait to keep working on it!

A NaNoWriMo 2015 Update

I haven’t done much blogging lately, except for the odd review round-up or a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I did want to talk about NaNoWriMo since I have yet to talk about it this month.

I’m a huge supporter of NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been a fan for years.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, where writers from all over the world write their own 50,000 word novel in one month.

NaNo 2015 Participant Badge

This is my tenth year doing NaNo, and my blog actually started out as me blogging my way through NaNo.  It was the year I decided to do three 50k novels in one month, and I have never done 3 in one month again.  You can click here to read about my previous NaNo novels, or here to see all of my NaNo posts.

Last year, I wrote a YA paranormal book about an amulet that needs to be destroyed, other humanity will be wiped out.  You can read more about the original idea here.  I had the hardest time with world-building and I wasn’t sure where I wanted it go, but I decided to write it anyway, and found that once I reached my 50k, it was a book I really wanted to re-write.  I’m still not sure how I want it to end, but I have a slightly better idea of what I want to do with it than I did last year.

I think, of all the years I’ve been doing NaNo, this has been the easiest year by far.  I’ve never been one for planning my novels out, because I’m much more of a pantser but I’m actually surprised at how much easier writing is when I have an outline.  There have been 2 or 3 days where I didn’t want to write.  Even though I knew what I was writing, I just didn’t have the motivation to write very much, so I have a few days where I struggled. I’ve been consistently ahead of the 1667 pace, so I felt okay not writing as much because I’ve had a buffer.  If my lowest day is 1000 words, I’m doing pretty good, and I am trying really hard to maintain that buffer, because I don’t want to lose that momentum.  I’m currently at 21,373, so I’m doing really good.  It’s sort of surprising, considering I was sick the first week (waking up sick on November 1st was horrible) and with how much Daylight Savings is really messing with me this year.

It’s vague enough that I feel like I have flexibility in where things go and what I’m writing, but it’s also specific enough that I know where things are going.  I can move things around as needed, and since I have an outline, it’s a lot easier to jump around if writing a particular scene or chapter isn’t working.

I’m using Scrivener this year, and I absolutely love it!  It makes it easier to jump around when I can’t focus on a particular scene, and the split screen feature is completely awesome and super-helpful.  I have the scene I’m writing on one side, and the chapter outline on the other side, which makes it easier to write each scene when I can see how it fits in with the rest of the chapter.

Unfortunately, I didn’t work on any character sketches or world building, and I still need to go through last year’s novel to see if I want to keep any of the world-building or character stuff from last year’s novel.  But this year, as I’m writing, I am adding that information to Scrivener, for when I have the time to properly focus on it. It’s daunting because I have to go through Word, and I don’t even know what I’m looking for, or where to find it.  With Scrivener, even if I’m not completely sure where to find a particular scene, I at least have a general idea of where to find it, and it’ll be easier to stay organized once I’ve worked on characters and the world more, particularly with a series.

I don’t know how much I’ll be talking about NaNo this year- at the very least, I’ll be doing a post at the end of the month, and maybe something in between, but I’m not sure.

If anyone else is participating, you can always add me as a buddy!  I’m wingedcreature (or click here to see my NaNo profile and my progress).

Happy almost mid-November!

The Insanity Of NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Every year, I participate in NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month, where tons of people all over the world try to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days.

Participant-2014-Twitter-Profile

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to write about it!  Originally, my blog started out as my way of chronicling NaNo back in 2010, when I was crazy enough to write 3 50,000 word novels in one month.  Be sure to check out the October and November archives for those posts, plus my Writing Projects pages.

Random Tangent: I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 4 years!  That seems like forever ago, it really does…and my blog has changed so much since then too.  It’s bizarre but also really cool.

Back to NaNo:

I have only a vague idea of what I’m writing.  This year, I’m writing a YA paranormal book, in which there’s this amulet that needs to be destroyed in a particular way or else the world as we know it will end, and a darker world emerge.

I have some notes and ideas, but I’ve had such a hard time coming up with more concrete details in terms of abilities and this world, so for now, I’m just going to write and see what happens.  Part of me wants to have more of an idea of this world and the characters, because I feel like it’s going to make it so much easier to write, but at the same time, I have no idea how to go about it.  I’ve struggled with fleshing out the details, so I guess I just need to come up with ideas and stick with them, but I kind of want to just write and see what happens too.  For some reason, just writing seems to work better to help me figure things out.

I’ll definitely be posting about NaNo throughout the month.  Maybe once a week, but I haven’t really settled on a set schedule.

I actually see it as a trilogy, but who knows if I’ll actually get to writing the other books?  For sure, I’ll wait to see how this one goes to see if I even want to continue with this story, because I want to write something I’m interested in.

I’m currently at 2,347 words, so as of now, I’m fairly ahead, and close to where I need to be at the end of Day 2.  I’m actually glad NaNo starts off on weekend (and November has an astounding 5 weekends!) because I’m aiming to get a little bit ahead (at least a day ahead) and to stay ahead.  Having a cushion is good, and I really want to start off with that cushion, because it makes things so much easier when I know that have some extra words.  But I’m definitely hoping to write as much as I can this weekend.  I just really want to get off to a good start, you know?

As far as writing goes, my plan is to write what I can during the week, and write a ton on the weekends.  Which is something that works really well for me, because I obviously have more time on weekends.  And it’s also why I like having a buffer of some sort, even if it’s not that much of a buffer.

If anyone else is doing NaNo, you find me here!  Good luck to anyone who’s writing like crazy this month!

I’m So Behind!

Since it’s been a while since I’ve talked about NaNo, I thought I’d share my progress.

The problem is that I haven’t really written.  Only two days this month, and I know I have around 896 words typed up.  I have yet to finish typing everything I have written down, and once I do that, I’ll be able to get going with the story.  I’d say I have around 1,200 words, but I’m not completely sure.  That’s my best guess though.

I’m not worried about being so behind.  One, I’m only writing one novel, so catching up will be really easy.  Two, I’ve been behind in previous years, and caught up.  Three… I can’t come up with three, so two it is.  But I’m totally okay with being behind for now.  It’s still early, and it’s still possible to catch up.

It’s too bad I don’t have more of an update on NaNo.  The first few pages are absolutely hysterical, because I’m trying to get used to a different keyboard , and everything is horribly misspelled.  Re-reading it will be funny, I’m sure, and I doubt it will make a lot of sense.  Then again, it’s not like they make a lot of sense to begin with…

I really do think that’s it for today.  It’s time to get some writing done!