Monday 17 November 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 - Halfway There!

No, it's not halfway through the month, I realise we're already past that, but I am halfway through my NaNo 2014 effort. Today, I typed my 25,000th word. I've been consistently a couple of days behind since the start, but that's okay. I only need 1,786 per day to finish on time, not much over 1,667.

So, yeah, I'm just here to stick my head over the parapet and let you know how I'm doing this month. I've been typing furiously away, and certainly never written 25k in 17 days before, so I consider that a win already. If you've never tried NaNo, or are perhaps cynical about the value of writing just for the sake of obtaining a speed goal, try it! It's really not all about the word count. NaNo, for me, is about trying to instill good habits of writing, writing consistently, and writing around whatever hazards might fly into your path. I didn't really get started until Day 3 - I'm unused to writing on a weekend, and hadn't written for two months beforehand (tsk!), so I wasn't prepared for that first Saturday. Then, my laptop threw a major wobbler and wouldn't connect or open Word, so I scrawled on several sheets of good old-fashioned paper until Day 6, when I decided to hunt down my stepdaughter's forgotten laptop (she does everything on her iPad these days). I'm still using it and have just about got used to the smaller screen.

About those consistent habits - I really do think it's great that NaNo makes you write every day. I've made up for that first weekend and haven't missed a day since. I do a paper round seven days a week, and have been getting up at 4am on weekends to get my writing in first, up to 2000 words. I maybe wouldn't do so much in the future, but on the Mondays I've been able to easily pick up where I left off, whereas Mondays in the past I've been banging my groggy head on the desk trying to pull myself back into the "zone". So, thanks NaNo! I've learnt stuff I can apply going forward.

I'm carrying on my YA trilogy that I actually started during NaNo 2012, so it's quite fitting in a way. Except I'm not sure it will be a trilogy any more - when I finish Part 2, I'm really not sure what will come next, although that may yet reveal itself. I'll finish Part 2 before I finish 50,000 words, and I do have ideas for a prequel that will go into more depth about the events that led to the worlds we first encounter in Part 1. Maybe this will then be Part 1, or maybe 1 and 2 will become one longer work, plus a prequel - I'm open to all possibilities at the moment. Oh, and apparently, I'm not a rebel any more for carrying on a previous work. Hey ho, there's my image ruined!

And here's a little extract - it might be rough, but I've been learning to get over that. Everything needs editing anyway, and getting the story down should come first!


“Where am I?” he said, blinking and trying to make out any shapes in the darkness. But once his nostrils registered the overpowering odour of wet fish, he had his answer before Ez could give it to him.

“The cargo deck, hence the delightful scent. Don’t try to get up,” she said, her voice rising in alarm. “You need to rest that arm for tonight at least. Tomorrow you’ll have to try and walk, as we’ll arrive and Kriftey needs to take the boat back home. We made a makeshift splint.”

“Yeah, I... kind of remember,” said Welles. The pain in his arm was now a low ache that throbbed rhythmically every few seconds. “This’d better heal up quick, ‘cos once I get my hands on the bastard who did this...”

“Sshhh,” said Ez, as if soothing a baby. “Don’t think about that right now. That’s your problem, you get carried away thinking about what everything means instead of focussing on the here and now.”

With his head turned to the side, Welles could now discern the looming shape of the fish crates stacked all along the wall. At least the pungent smell gave him something to distract him from the pain.

“But that’s what you’re like too. That’s why I liked you, because you thought like me, which is why we’ve got to this point.”

Ez let out a heavy sigh. “Yes, I know, but... sometimes it’s better to just look at what we know for certain and deal with that. We don’t know any of the other stuff for certain.”

“Yeah, I guess. You’re really smart, Ez. Where’s Mal, by the way?”

“Right here.” His voice came from Welles’s other side.

“Strong and silent type , as usual,” said Ez.

“There’s something to be said for that,” said Welles. “Sometimes I wish I could just shut the hell up.”

They all fell into a silence after that, but it was a busy silence, each processing their own thoughts as the boat moved rhythmically through the water. At least the weather seemed to have calmed down.

“You know, things could be worse,” said Ez casually. “You could have broken your leg. Walking would have been a real challenge, then.”


If you're doing NaNo, how's it going? What else are you up to in November?