NaNo 2019 starts tomorrow

Yes, I am joining NaNoWriMo this year. If you don’t know what that is, well, thousands of writers join up in November with the intention of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It is a great way to get the bare bones of a manuscript down on paper–or the start of one at least. The trick is to write, and not to edit as you go. This is the one thing I have a problem with, but I will try hard to conquer this little issue. 😀

But…

I am not doing the full NaNo. In other words, I am not aiming for 50,000 words. I want to write another Cat and Mouse adventure, which is a book for young readers. I am aiming for 15,000 words or there abouts.

NaNo starts tomorrow. I am ready and willing to get started. In four weeks, I WILL have the first draft of Ghost at the Cemetery completed.

Thinking about NaNoWriMo 2019

I have officially and unofficially participated in NoNoWriMo before, but had to go into the archives of my website to find out when the last time was. It is a shock to find out that it was in 2007–12 years ago! I am gob smacked by that discovery.

In the years including and preceding 2007 I had completed NaNo twice officially. The first time was a disaster and put me off doing it again. Looking back, even though I managed to write the 50,000 words in 30 days, I felt totally washed out and the manuscript I wrote was terrible. Now I know I was not sufficiently prepared and that put a lot of pressure on me. Totally my fault. 

Then I believe a writing colleague talked me into doing an unofficial challenge, which we called a mini-NaNo. I successfully completed two of those in different years. Both times I felt good about the result and I didn’t suffer mentally or physically.

Then, I completed the second official challenge successfully in 2007 and this time was happy with myself and my writing.

I never joined the challenge again. Didn’t even consider it, for reasons I cannot explain or remember.

Last week I saw a mention of the 2019 NaNo challenge and something sparked in me. I want to enter the challenge. Officially or unofficially, I’m not sure yet. My next writing project will not be 50,000 words in length so I know I cannot reach the goal. This makes me think I’ll need to bash out the words unofficially. But, I could attempt to write two chapter books in the official time frame. If I can do that, I could join the thousands of other writers officially. 

To do or not to do, that is the question.

To be honest, I have a hankering to go official. Bash out two manuscripts in 30 days. How sweet would that be?

However, being realistic, my head is saying “slow down, you don’t want to burn out now that you’re writing regularly again”. It’s true. I am writing most days and I’m loving it. I don’t want to lose that, not ever.

I think I just talked myself into doing an unofficial 2019 NaNoWriMo, with the added thought that I might start work on the second chapter book if it happens naturally. If not, no pressure, no problem.

It’s a shame the NaNoWriMo website didn’t cater for a mini-NaNo because I would love to join the offical buzz.

To Plan or Not to Plan

Life has been busy and I haven’t had time to do much of anything lately, especially do the internet rounds and check up on my fellow writers. Today, however, I decided to correct that and have been doing the rounds.

The first stop was Benjamin Solah’s website. He’s getting ready to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo which means he’s planning the 50,000 words he has to endeavour to write in the month of November. Because of this Benjamin has written some very interesting, and inspiring, posts which I’d like to link to here. First, there is NaNoWriMo: How I Plot My Novel and then there is NaNoWriMo: How I Create Characters. As I’m very much a visual person, I love the idea of using gaming facilities such as Simms to build a character. Anyway, both of these posts made me thinking about my own writing, so if you need something to help you along, go and give them a read.

When I landed on Struggling Writer’s website, I was pleased to find a post that is in contract to Benjamin’s. Whilst Benjamin is planning, planning, planning, Struggling Writer (also participating in NaNoWriMo) is set on not planning! If you are not much of a planner, then his post Novel Planning for Pantsers might be of interest to you. Struggling Writer admits that this year he’s going to remain a pantser writer by doing a bare minimal amount of what some would call planning. He has included some links to some interesting writing resources too.

For me, it’s been an interesting and informative hour or so. My fellow writers are planning and not planning for the upcoming NaNoWriMo (which I won’t be participating in this year), but the ideas they share (as well as the links) are all worthwhile and inspiring. Personally, I’m a planner from way back, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find inspiration from a non-planner, because I have.

Thanks guys and good luck in November.

50,000 Words Complete

nano-winner-07I proudly announce that I reached the 50,000 words I needed to become a “winner” over at NaNoWriMo. I must admit that when you are writing a story that means something to you, the words come easily. I had no problem this month with writing about 2,000 words a day (generally)…although I had a lot of other problems to contend with.

Although I’ve completed the 50,000 words, I haven’t finished the first draft. I’m hoping to have the first draft of the manuscript 100% complete by the end of next weekend. However, I won’t give myself an undercut if I don’t make that deadline. There are other priorities that I have to attend to – such as Christmas, the anthology, and personal things – so I’m going to be kind to myself if I don’t reach this goal.

I hope all the other NaNo participants are working hard and nearing their goal. Good luck.

My NaNo Progess:

Mirror Image – 100% Complete

52,174 / 50,000

NaNo Quick Update

I’ve had a busy and bad week (which has had nothing to do with writing). I have written every day, but my word counts have been a lot lower than the rest of the month. I’m well ahead, so it doesn’t matter.

The public goal I’m going to set for this weekend – and I hope I can reach it this time – is to go over the 50,000 words required for NaNoWriMo. An extension of this goal is to have the entire first draft of the novel completed by the end of the following weekend, which will be 2 December 2007.

[ Personal Content Removed ]

My NaNo Progess:

Mirror Image – 94% Complete

47,490 / 50,000

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

By Wm. Henry Davies.

My mother and I used to recite this poem when I was young. Every now and again, one of us would say something that reminded us of it and we’d say the words together. It’s the only poem I ever really knew. Having said that, we never knew the entire poem.

Today, I found myself saying the poem aloud as I rushed about…as I really don’t have time to stand and stare. And I don’t have time to write posts. Especially when every word I type should be towards my manuscript and has been lately.

My NaNo Progess:

Today’s Word Count: 2,011

Mirror Image – 83% Complete

41,798 / 50,000

Didn’t Get There

Not only did I not reach the personal goal I set myself this weekend, I didn’t even reach 40,000 words. True, I only had another 220 words to write, but sometimes you just have to stop and let go of a goal and that’s what I did.

Saturday, as I mentioned in my previous post, was extremely busy for me. I expected to be home, after a full day out and about, by 5pm, but in reality we didn’t walk through the door until 6.30pm. Not only was that an hour and a half more taken out of my writing plan, I also had another migraine. I could have pushed through it, but decided not to bother. The words just don’t feel important when your head weighs 100 tonne and the pain is more torturous than childbirth (for me anyway).

After a grand total of zero words for Saturday, which I might add is the only day this month I didn’t write a single word, I knew the goal was out of reach. I decided to change my goal for Sunday. I’d write no less than 3,500 words. That goal I did manage to reach, but only just.

My NaNo Progess:

Yesterday’s Word Count: 0
Today’s Word Count: 3,635

Mirror Image – 79% Complete

39,787 / 50,000

My Weekend Goal

It’s the weekend and it’s always good to stretch yourself on the weekend. I’m going to make a public goal. This one is to write 5,000 words over Saturday and Sunday. This will ensure I am over the 40K mark by Monday morning, which will be excellent incentive to reach the overall 50K goal well before time. I have no doubt that I’ll complete the NaNo challenge. I do wonder where I’ll be in the story though by the time I stop writing on 30 November.

Having set this goal, I do admit that I have a slight problem which may stop me from reaching it. Tomorrow will be an extremely busy day for me. I won’t be able to start writing until after 5pm and usually by then I’ve already got most of my words written. Whatever I don’t write on Saturday will have to be written on Sunday, so that will be my incentive to do as much as possible on Saturday night.

Mirror Image is told from several view points and explores several emotional angles. The sub-plot, although planned, has taken on a new twist which is exciting for me to write about. I’ve had to leave myself notes in the manuscripts because I’ve changed direction at a certain point and I will need to go back and edit the beginning to suit.

My NaNo Progess:

Today’s Word Count: 1,946

Mirror Image – 72% Complete

36,152 / 50,000