When I started Nanowrimo this year, I felt super prepared for it. I’d done a couple months of prep writing to practice getting back into the habit of writing every day, I spent a month making a new outline for the novel I was working on, updating bits of the story here and there and strengthening the theme I wanted the novel to have, and I blocked out my calendar for the month to make sure I had time to write every day.
So of course it all fell apart. But I already wrote about that. This is the post where I talk about what I can do to make it better in the future.
In non-writing related things: First off, I’m going to make sure that my husband is, in fact, not going to be out of the country when I’m intending to do crazy things. Second, I’m going to make myself and everyone around me use more hand sanitizer. Third, I’m going to write ahead each day so I’m caught up with the words from Thanksgiving week so that I don’t stress so much that last week because I am so far behind. Fourth, I’m going choose easier meals to make if the husband is, in fact, gone while I’m trying to write a ridiculous number of words. Fifth, I’m going to make my kids start doing their own laundry.
Writing-wise: Numero uno, I am going to make sure that that spiffy new outline is completely fleshed out before I start. I had several days where I looked at my outline this time around and realized that a chapter only had one scene or that I hadn’t figured out how a character was getting from here to there from one scene to the next. Two, I’m going to make sure I have done all the research on the things I need to know more about before I start writing. I have a bunch of places where I have “insert data on that here” or “insert something more specific here” in my novel right now. Tres, make sure I really love character names instead of putting in place-holder names that I can’t remember how to spell from one scene to the next. Quatre, I’m going to figure out my magical system before I start writing so I stop making plot holes.
That’s about it. I’m looking forward to writing another 50,000 or so words again this next month now that I know I can do it under some pretty insane conditions. 🙂
Me earlier tonight at the Tyler Christmas Parade.
So because I have a ridiculously busy life, I still have 7,000 words to go tomorrow. Will I make it? I don’t know. I have done more than 5,000 words a day every day this week so far. We shall see. So tired.
Last night I visited the local writing group. I have been very confused about which group is the most local to me, as one is Association and one is Guild and one is in a town 45 minutes from me and one is here, but both are listed as “local.” In any case, personal confusion aside, I finally made my way to one of these meetings after several times of not being able to make it when I planned due to tornadoes and other random mishaps.
This was the monthly business meeting. The people there were very nice, there was a guest speaker who talked about her local magazine, and there were snacks. I saw a few people who had come to another local writing event earlier in the month. We were told that if we chose to join, we could get added to a critique group, should we wish. Being the spontaneous sort, I paid my dues and joined on the spot. There’s another meeting next week that I won’t be able to attend due to scheduling issues, but I’m putting all the meetings from here on out on the calendar so I don’t miss any more. 🙂
This year’s Nano has been a little bit rough so far. My lovely spouse is in Spain for the first three weeks of November, the kids have been sick, and I have been sick. I managed to soldier through the first few days, even while sick, and got my word count in, but yesterday and today I have really struggled. I know what I want to write, I have a really detailed (for me) outline that I’m following, but all the words feel clunky and all my scenes yesterday and today seem weak on detail and execution. Hoping that tomorrow goes better.
I think earlier I mentioned the changes I was making to my novel, but I never mentioned which one. I am re-working my novel which is tentatively titled The Dreaming. It is the fantasy story of a magical family who must rescue a beloved family member who has been kidnapped by a jealous ex-friend. Of course, the story starts off in a dark place, with the children’s parents having recently died, their aunt and uncle having taken them in, and then the uncle being kidnapped, but then they start an adventure in a magical world they previously knew nothing about, learn about the world of magic, and eventually rescue their uncle and his former friend from an even bigger enemy than any of them could imagine.
This story has been going on in my head for nearly a decade now. I’m ready for it to be all out on paper so everyone else can go on this adventure, too. 🙂
From a tweet about Nano:
NaNoWriMo is a month-long creative adventure that takes you deep into your imagination every November.
NaNoWriMo is your chance to finally write the first draft of that novel you’ve always meant to write.
NaNoWriMo is waiting for you.http://nanowrimo.org
I am so excited that Nanowrimo is starting tomorrow. I feel extremely well prepared this year, which is far and away better than I’ve done in years past. I think I will make my goal this year. I am doing somewhat of a Rebel Nano, in that I am re-working a novel that I worked on in a previous Nano, but I am changing it so completely that only a few hundred words are being kept. My viewpoint characters are no longer several children. I’m writing it third person omniscient, mainly from the viewpoint of the children’s aunt, uncle, and the person they think is the main villain. It’s a tie-in novel to another Nano novel from a few years ago now, which is another change I’ve made, so some of the world is different and there’s actually a bigger Big Bad out there that this family will eventually learn about at the end of the novel… it won’t quite affect their ending, as I’d originally envisioned it, but it does change where the characters are heading post-novel -one is heading to yet a third Nano novel from year’s past. I hadn’t realized that I was writing one of my side-characters there to be this character at the time, but when I came back to this piece, there he was waiting for me, tapping his foot and saying “See, you really have wanted to write me for a long, long time.”
Somewhere in one of my last writing posts I mentioned that I’d been having trouble when I came to the climax areas of novels. So this week I am working on beefing up my outlines, all the way down to scene synopsis, themes I’m trying to add in, and symbolism I’d like to use to add more depth to my writing. I’m working out of Lazette Gifford’s 2YN books and mainly using her outlining methods at the moment. That is where this particular novel actually started, oh, eight years ago. I did about 6 months of her classes (out of the 24 months she teaches; she covers from first ideas to finding an agent and sending query letters, and finally selling your novel) and then life just kept getting in the way. So for the rest of this month, I’m doing all the rest of the prep work I never finished before and I’m spending a couple hours a day on it for every “week” of the 2YN book (which was all I’d end up spending during the course of the week way back when I first started, so I think I’m good). I should end up writing at the point of actual writing just as Nanowrimo starts up, and when you condense down several of the “weeks” where she just shows you various ways of opening books across different genres you actually come out to thirty “weeks” of writing. November has 30 days and BAM, I’m doing a chapter a day. 🙂 That’s my plan, anyways.
So the kids in my story need dragon’s drool for a spell to help find their missing uncle, who has been kidnapped by his ex-best friend. It’s always the ex-best friend, says Greg. Always. So they need to a) find a dragon that drools, and b) sneak up on it and steal the drool. Does anyone else think this is a terrible idea or is it just me? Matilda was way less trouble, former hippo or not.
I almost died laughing when I saw today’s prompt. I never looked at the whole list before; I’ve been doing mine after I see someone else post theirs each day. So when I drew roast chicken the other day, I didn’t know “chicken” was coming up. Hahahaha. So, meet Matilda the chicken. She lives in the village, talks to the children about how she used to be a hippopotamus, and is generally quite delightful.