NaNoWriMo – The journey so far

LAST YEAR

Last year I attempted NaNo for the first time. I only got 25k. I managed to finish the novel a few months later and have recently just finished editing.

THIS YEAR

The plan…

This year I had four story ideas I was throwing around, I finally decided on the one I had the most ideas for since I figured it would make it easier to write. I planned it all out, I had an outline, I had character bios, I even knew what I wanted to happen chapter by chapter (I’m a real planner when I write, I like to know what’s going to happen before I start.)

November starts…

I started out slow. Really slow. In the first week I got a total of 3000 words. I had the ideas, I knew what I wanted to happen, I even had the time (since I’m not working at the moment). I just wasn’t feeling motivated. By the end of the week I knew it just wasn’t working and it was a choice between giving up completely or starting something new.

Second attempt…

I thought I might switch to the sequel for my last year’s NaNo, since I already had a few ideas for it and I was already in my characters’ heads from all the editing. I wrote 100 words and realised I needed the month break from that universe I’d promised myself (after all I’d been working on that story non stop for a year already).

Finding the right story…

I thought about the remaining two stories I had on my back up list and decided I didn’t feel the pull for either of them. There was only one thing left I could pursue. What had been my major distraction during that first week? A new book series I’d discovered a few months ago and which I’d just recently finished reading. Every time I didn’t feel motivated on my story I would read fanfic pertaining to this series. I’d written fanfic in the past (as I mentioned in my guest post on Harry Potter for Writers last week), why not try my hand at a new fandom?

Motivation finally…

The first day I started writing my fanfic novel I wrote 7851 words in one day! That’s more than double my word count from the entire week before. I’d found my motivation. The following days I wrote 5k a day. By day 9 I’d surpassed the daily word count goal and kept ahead. I couldn’t believe I was writing so much by the seat of my pants with no real plan and only the vaguest of ideas of where I wanted the story to go. It’s scary in a way, I’ve never written anything this long without a plan before.

Motivation dwindling…

Last week my motivation started dwindling. It was a combination of a couple of reasons. Firstly I hit a spot in my story where I’d written a really climatic scene and found I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to happen next (the downfall of writing with no plan). Secondly morning sickness kicked in. It probably wasn’t the smartest idea planning to get pregnant when NaNo was about to start and I knew morning sickness would kick in sometime in November. I planned to power through. Not so easy when my stomach is churning and I’m feeling tired on top of that and I just want to go to sleep. We’ve also been hit with some really hot days here the past few days, so that’s compounded my lack of motivation. Monday I wrote nothing at all.

Where I am now…

My total word count at the moment is just over 38k, I’m sitting right where I should be for my daily word goal, but have lost the lead I built up earlier. I need to hit 40k by the end of today to keep on track. I’ll have to keep fighting through the morning sickness, fatigue and heat if I want to hit 50k by the end of the week. Wish me luck!

NaNoWriMo this year has been a real rollercoaster ride so far, full of highs and lows. I know in the end I won’t have a publishable novel, since I’m writing a fanfic, but it’s a nice break from the editing I’ve been doing on my original novel. Perhaps I’ll find a fanfic site to post it on.

I hope wherever you are on your NaNo journey you just keep writing. There’s still a week to go, anything could happen! And no matter what our word counts are by the end, whether we get 50k or not, every single word is an accomplishment. Every word makes us better writers (and so will all the editing when we’re finished). Good luck to all my fellow NaNoers as you partake in the final week!

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10 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo – The journey so far”

  1. I am amazed that you can write anything at all while you have morning sickness. I was such a wimp. All I could manage was to lay on the couch.

    It sounds like you’re going to make it. Maybe give it a hard push here at the end. Ha. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I’m anxious to learn if you make your word count. Keep us posted. And have a great Turkey Day.

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  2. You’re definitely doing better than me! I’ve fallen about 4k behind over the last couple days and my motivation is lagging. Hopefully, I’ll get a burst of energy soon!

    Great job!

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  3. V.V. – There have definitely been a few times where I’ve opted for the couch over writing. Managed my word goal yesterday, hopefully I can keep it up until the 30th. I’m in Australia, so no turkey for me, but Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    Meika – I hope you get a burst of energy soon too! Think of it like a running race and give that extra burst of energy at the end to pass the finish line ahead. Whether you hit 50k or not, you’ve still done a fantastic job writing as much as you have. I know I’ll be happy with what I’ve accomplished even if I don’t get over the 50k mark.

    Beth – Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. That is so exciting that you have written something so passionately with no plan, although it sounds like you won’t be doing that again. Good luck with the morning sickness, I hope the writing takes your mind off it. I’ve never heard of fanfic before, maybe you could d a blog post on that one day after NaNo. Good Luck Jo and congrats 🙂

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  5. I do much prefer writing with a plan, but I suppose if inspiration strikes me I wouldn’t rule out taking this path again. Fanfic is short for fan fiction and involves writing a piece of fiction based on the characters/world from an already published book/series/tv show/etc. Both Star Trek and Harry Potter are popular for fan fiction. I actually wrote a little bit about fan fiction and how I started writing it in my guest post last week (if you go to my last blog post there is a link to the guest post).

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  6. Just read it, sounds very interesting. I loved Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair. So original to come up with that chair with wings. I still remember so much of the story even the bits in the shed.

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