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NaNoWriMo 2012

NanoWin 73x73-2A blog (in English) about my adventures in novel writing, as a first time participant in the worldwide NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) endeavour. Will I manage to write 50,000 words in one month? We'll see. I'll report on progress and musings here. Comments are welcome, preferably through Twitter or Facebook! (See top frame for the direct link buttons).

 

First edit: complete. Or not?

Editing my book took me much longer than I thought it would. Sure, I had a little bout of flu that killed my workflow for five entire days, but even if I forget about that, it's taking me longer than I thought. My novel has also grown quite a bit. I had 76,760 words when I finished writing my NaNo project, and now it's grown to 89,171 words.

And even though I've reached the end, I now have a few things I want to try and do. I'm just not sure when, since I must must must get back to my translation of Back to Blackbrick first. Want to know what I was happy or unhappy with? I'll tell you...

Lees meer: First edit: complete. Or not?

Editing, round one

I've finally managed to pick myself up and face the music called 'editing'. Which means I'm reading through my "book", my NaNoWriMo project from last November. After all those authors complaining about editing on social media, I was getting cold feet, but it's surprisingly okay. It's not annoying at all, I just make changes wherever I find they are necessary, as I walk through the same halls and talk to the same people I met (and created) last November. I would almost call it a fun thing to do.

The problem is keeping my eyes open after a night of four hours sleep with a ten minute break in between and only a bit of dozing before and after. There's only so much coffee anyone should drink in one day. And Senseo just isn't cut out for this situation - three gulps and it's gone.

Lees meer: Editing, round one

Slightly scared (staring at my laptop)

A strange title for a post perhaps, but I've managed to postpone (a nicer word than procrastinate) looking at my NaNo efforts for at least a week now. I even happily sat down to do my income taxes first. Priorities and all that. The real truth is: I'm a little bit scared.

The thing is, apart from picking up the wonderful book I truly am reading, there's no reason for me not to open my small laptop and go over my "book" (quotation marks fully intentional). And yet, every time I think of actually doing just that, I feel a fluttering of butterflies in my stomach and my mind produces some other odd job I could also take care of first. What's up with that?

Lees meer: Slightly scared (staring at my laptop)

Three months later

The end of February is near and that makes it three months after I've typed the final few words of my NaNo project. I haven't looked at it since. Not because I didn't want to, but because I've been busy with three translations. And because I figured it might be a good idea to let the story rest. Completely. 

By now I'm running out of excuses not to pick up my computer and settle down on the couch with my NaNo story. I already know a few things that I want to or should change - the only question being: how? What can I do to change the story to make it more exciting, give it more suspense and a better build-up to the final showdown (which also needs work), without rewriting the entire thing?

Lees meer: Three months later

My supernatural vibe... just vanished

When I started to formulate an idea I could use for NaNoWriMo, I decided to go with a sixteen or seventeen year old heroine. Her name came to me out of nowhere: Feather Everett. And for a week or two, I wondered if I could name a girl Feather (and what it would do to her), and why on earth I'd come up with that name. I tried thinking of her as Faith for a while, but I decided that a different name would add to her personality.

Slowly, Feather's family situation started to come together. She lived with her mom, they had just moved from the big city to a small village... and after a few days I gave mom a boyfriend who had a daugther of his own. Her name had to be Paige. Because no matter what other names I came up with, Paige was the one that kept overriding them all.

Lees meer: My supernatural vibe... just vanished

Day 18 - And... The End

When I hit my 50K I knew I wasn't anywhere near the end of the 'book' yet. I had plotted out the remaining chapters, worried about their contents and whether it would be an exciting read, scratched a subplot altogether and gave a character I pegged as bad, devious and in the first round actually pure evil a new role as suddenly-nice-guy. Don't know how that happened.

I also gave myself all of the rest of the week to complete the story in its draft version. Because... there were deadlines looming (one translation by the end of November, another by the end of December and a third by the end of... take a wild guess: January!). Still, I'd managed to come this far and I knew I wouldn't be able to start editing, polishing or rewriting anything until at least March, so I needed to finish my story. And I did.

Lees meer: Day 18 - And... The End

Day 14 - Mission Completed, But Not Done

It's November 14 and I've reached the 50,000 words marker in my NaNo project. I'm incredibly proud to have made it, and so quickly too. And yes, just as I predicted, my story isn't finished yet. Which means, neither am I.

If I have one #writetip, it would be the one that is part and parcel of the NaNo experience: don't overthink it, just write. Plan ahead, build a skeleton from head to toe, and then start dressing it up. Underwear, socks, shirt, jeans, sweater, coat and shoes. Worry about all the accessories and the hairdo later.

Lees meer: Day 14 - Mission Completed, But Not Done

Days 10 and 11 - Birthday Weekend

I noticed the NaNo calendar just now - it has Monday on red (it's only 10:30 A.M.), Sunday is yellow (so between 'yes' and 'no' that must mean 'maybe') and Saturday nicely green. What rubbish. Yesterday my word count was 31,490, and I missed the 1667 words per day target by only two hundred words. The day before that, I wrote something like 5000 words, working ahead, as it were. My daily target-to-make-it has dropped to below 1000 words. But the calendar doesn't agree. Just like it doesn't seem to get that it's still Monday morning. Why does that bug me?

Lees meer: Days 10 and 11 - Birthday Weekend

Day 9 - Halfway and more

In the article on my front page, I've already said that I feel very proud of myself for my discipline and stamina that have gotten me past 25,000 words yesterday. It makes me believe I can do this - I can 'win' this NaNoWriMo and get to 50K and it won't even take me the entire month. Which is good news, trust me, because I have deadlines to keep and a child to pay attention to. Which is, once more, why I'm so darn proud of myself already. (Someone's gotta be.)

What begins to dawn on me, however, is that making the 50K within a decent number of days doesn't seem to be much of a problem anymore right now. I can totally make that and then continue with my current translation (which needs to be handed in at the end of the month). The thing is... I'm beginning to doubt that 50,000 words will be enough for this tale. And right now I find it difficult to estimate whether it's a matter of 60K, closer to 80K, slightly more or a lot more than that. Which makes it hard...

Lees meer: Day 9 - Halfway and more

Day 4 - 10K, Puzzle Pieces

Whatever happens to this story, I've already found my first attempt at NaNoWriMo very enlightening. It's a method. It's learning a new skill. It's looking at the writing process in a wholly different manner. It's not only staying with one story for a while, thinking about it while you do the dishes, brush your teeth and before you fall asleep, but also letting it take over, providing you with clues, thoughts and ideas, spurred on by just about anything. I love it!

Lees meer: Day 4 - 10K, Puzzle Pieces

Day 2 - Bogged Down By Names

Procrastination isn't procrastination when it's purposeful - right? I spent my son's afternoon nap not writing, but Googling. Names. Last names, to be more precise. I suddenly discovered that everyone except my heroine lacked a last name. I figured I'd shake those out of my sleeve no problem, since it didn't matter and you could think of hundreds of last names in five minutes, right? Wrong.

Lees meer: Day 2 - Bogged Down By Names

Day 1 - A Good Start

Day one of the NaNoWriMo has begun and is almost over. In exactly two minutes as I am typing this. For a first day, I didn't do so bad, scoring 2338 words and what I believe is a decend draft first chapter. I have a few ideas of where I might be headed - note the doubt in my voice - but I've already learnt two important lessons...

Lees meer: Day 1 - A Good Start

T Minus Two

It's October 30th, the day before Halloween. I've managed to reach my goal of finishing a book translation within one month, typing nearly 123,000 words. So the typing isn't the biggest concern for November's NaNoWriMo. (Although my wrists and hands kind of are...)

The past week or so I've been trying to develop the story that's sprung up a few weeks earlier. I'm settled on my main character, although at first she was a sixteen-year-old and a week later I wondered if I shouldn't make her twentysomething or even early thirties. Right now she's back to being a teenager again. But now that that's settled...

Lees meer: T Minus Two

Tabula Rasa

NaNoWriMo sounds like a great big challenge. And I like a good challenge. Although I prefer those that I know I can actually win. Starting out with a blank page on November 1st is something I can already envision. Stretching my arms and fingers, cracking a few knuckles without meaning to... And yet, my worst fear is ending November 1st with an equally blank page.

I've stared tossing ideas around in my head. So far, I think I may have a protagonist. I think I know her age and her family circumstances - although some details aren't fixed yet - and I think I know what her 'thing' is. I don't want to call it a problem, because it isn't, and I don't want to call it a gift, because I don't want to splash any paranormal or supernatural stardust over anything that I haven't decided to be paranormal or supernatural yet.

Lees meer: Tabula Rasa

In Translation