Well no, actually. I had every intention of taking part in NaNoWriMo and writing 50,000 words of Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home in November, which would have meant having almost a first draft completed by yesterday. All I needed to do was write 1,675 words every day between the 1st and the 30th November and ta da! 50,000 words would have miraculously appeared. Easy right? Well, for the first five days it was – I nailed my daily quota of 1,675 words and saw my word count grow on my NaNo stats page. And then on day six, other stuff took over.
There was cleaning and sorting in our house to be done whilst both Nik and I were off; appointments to go to and friends to see (despite the fact that I’d tried to keep November as free as possible it didn’t work out that way). The other – and probably main issue – was not having a detailed enough plot written out before starting NaNo to enable me to keep the flow of writing going. Despite this being the second book of a trilogy and already knowing the characters, plus having an idea of what would happen next, I’d only really plotted the beginning of the novel. I usually write like this and just have a vague idea of certain scenes and where the story is going to go but for NaNo this approach certainly slowed the word count progress down.
My total word count in November was a not-too-shabby (in my mind anyway) 20,117 words. Okay, it’s a good way off 50,000 words but I have managed to kick-start book two, discovered new characters I wasn’t expecting, and am pretty much one-third of the way through the book. Not bad really for one month’s writing. If I carry on like this I could have a first draft written by the end of January. (Watch this space but please don’t hold your breath…)
Taking part in NaNo has also made me aware of the way in which I write. Usually when I write something whether it’s a paragraph, a whole chapter or a couple of thousand words in one go, the next day I’ll go back to it, read through and edit it before writing anything new. With NaNo that way of working isn’t really possible, you just have to keep writing. In many ways that was quite refreshing to lock away the editor in me and simply keep putting words down. Even if they’re the wrong words and will need to be edited at some point in the future, what taking part in NaNo has successfully achieved is the sense of a story and in which direction book two will go in – even if it is unbelievably rough.
Whether you took part in NaNo or not I hope you had a productive writing month.