NaNoWriMARRRRGH


Ever since I became aware of Nanowrimo I’ve wanted to participate, but I was always held back by (or allowed myself to be held back by) the British academic year. November is when exams happen, and when (theoretically) the final crunch for all my coursework should take place.

And 2009 looked to be no different – although I’d finished uni I started a new job on October 26th, which I had to relocate for – I finally moved in on the 2nd of November, and I’m now trying to sort out my electricity and council tax and all that fun stuff that comes with the joy of being an independent adult.

But towards the end of October I was the the Writer’s Block chatroom with lots of people planning novels. I’d just finished editing Magocracy and was getting ready to re-read Apostate when I thought ‘hey, why not?’. I threw together an outline based as a kind of psuedo-sequel to Titanomachy, wrote up some simple world notes, and started writing.

My thinking was ‘oh, hey, I wrote a 100k novel in two months, that’s like two Nanowrimo’s in a row, so 50k in a month should be easy, right? Right?’

The problem is the outline – it’s very sparse, and I’m flying through it a bit too quickly. Also, I didn’t spend much time with the characters before I started, meaning they’re… well, kind of boring. I’m getting the hang of one (a pacifist monk), but my overall impression of the novel is… eh.

It’s also running short, at just under 10,000 words for the first act. So.

My next plan is to start writing another story once I’ve finished this one (because I WILL finish it, dammit). Probably something a little lighter, and little simpler, with few (if any) zombies. Current working title for the next story is Titanbone.

I wrote 2,000 words yesterday, taking me up to roughly 12k. Still well behind, though.

I might go for some hourly sprints instead – just put some words down, regardless of outline or whether I’m at my times of peak creativity (7-9am and 9-11pm) – after all, it’s only a first draft…



Journalling


I’ve been journalling for a while now, but only started doing it regularly fairly recently after reading “The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self” (Julia Cameron), particularly the bit on Morning Pages, bits of splurge that you’re supposed to write every morning. I have been doing them on my Mac, writing in Journler, but I find workingon my mac a little too distracting, at least for my early morning self – even with something like WriteRoom.

In an moment of Serendipity, I saw this article over at paper journals. Specifically this quote interested me:

Make sure there are no distractions while you write. That means no television, no people talking to you, zero interruptions while writing. If you can’t find a quiet place, put some headphones on and drown out conversations around you. It’s so important to eliminate distractions if you really want your journal to be a big help.

So I’m reminded of my interest in paper. Form tomorrow, I’ll go back to my paper Moleskine journal and start in that again. It’s not like a generally need to go back to previous journal entries anyway, although re-reading them is often fun.