Day Six

I made it to 10,000 words!

Yesterday, after I bemoaned the fact that I wouldn’t reach my word goal, I wrote a little more – and ended up less than 100 words shy of the par. Just goes to show you. I managed to make that up and instead of falling further and further behind, I’ve managed to keep on track.

To mark the 10,000th word, I decided to put in a wordle. How have I been doing?

Wordle: 6th November

 

The largest word is of course the name of my protagonist, Marian. Following that seems to be a host of nouns that aren’t terribly interesting, though I suppose if the word obsequious or something similar were popping up all the time, I would have a whole host of different problems to be dealing with.

Another thing I noticed was that of the 10,000 words, I think around 300 are listed on there. If wordle really does chronicle and analyse every single word we use, I’m not using too many. Obviously conjunctions, articles and pronouns are not included.

Maybe I should try more variation in my novel. But if I’m spending all my time thinking about which words to use, I won’t get as many put down.

Mood: tired, mostly.
Word Count: 10035
Music: the dulcet tones of the election coverage – happy Election Tuesday, Americans!

Day Four

Today I wrote, “The streets were dark and without light.

Yes, that was an actual sentence in my actual Nanowrimo novel.

Fortunately, the inner editor kicked in and I removed it before continuing. Even though we’re not supposed to hit the backspace key, EVER (I remember someone saying that we should tape it over), I will never be sorry that I failed to hit it then. What a sentence. Eesh.

As I rather casually read over what I had written during the course of the evening, I noticed that I used the word dark  a lot. I am describing an evening scene in which my main character returns to her hometown. And even though night is falling, do I really have to use dark as many times as I do?

I guess that’s the lesson for Day number four. I need to broaden my vocabulary.

I never thought I had a particularly small vocabulary. I know a lot of synonyms and almost-synonyms, and a lot of words that are long and complicated and impossible to spell. But the problem is that I don’t necessarily use them.

When it comes to writing, I believe that the right word should be used. Not the most complicated word, not the least complicated word. The right word. I want to use the right words in my writing, and I’m pretty sure that of the ten or so darks that I use in my 400 word paragraph, I could find at least eight other ‘right’ words.

I know that’s not the point right now. The point is to get all those words down and fix it up later. But I couldn’t help noticing it, and wishing that I could think of something better at the time.

Mood: pretty positive – I’m still above the daily word count goal!
Word Count: 6,765
MusicSlow, Love Slow by Nightwish (the instrumental version)

Happy writing!

Day Three

Today’s lesson was a little bit of a difficult one. I learned (again) how tedious it is to write when I just don’t feel like it.

Three times I fell asleep while writing. It was only 10 PM. The scenes that I wanted to put out were laid out nicely in my head, but didn’t come out the right way on paper. Since I’m attempting to quash my inner editor, I didn’t go back and erase everything and spend the next six hours staring at the blank screen. But I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to.

I don’t feel like the writing I did today was particularly good. But I know what’s going to happen fairly soon – a nice, tense action scene – and I’m looking forward to it. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go above my recommended word count.

But, for now, I need to go to bed and prepare for a long day tomorrow.

Is there anybody out there who’s got more than 5000 words? If so, I’d love to know how you do it.

Mood: slightly less optimistic than yesterday. But hey, I’m still on track, and that’s something.
Word Count: 5024
Music: The Moon by Dark Moor.

Day One

Okay, it’s not day one anymore. I wrote and wrote yesterday, then went to a goodbye party for my boss and didn’t get back in time to post my initial reactions to Nanowrimo. Here they are:

 

We have a loooong way to go. But I’m ecstatic to have started. I wrote over the word goal today, mainly because I was stuck at Immigration Services and all you really do there is wait. Plot bunnies are hopping about, nibbling at the grass and eyeing at each other with suspicion. I’m having trouble remembering everyone’s name, but that will soon sort itself out.

I can already tell that I’ll be having battles with my inner editor. I like to edit as I write, and then go back and edit again. In Nanowrimo, if you keep doing that, you’ll never finish.

Title: not chosen
Word Count: 2151
Initial Feelings: positive.

Other wrimos, how did your first day go?

A Typical Day in My November Life

Here is a breakdown of my morning during Nanowrimo last year:

  • 09.15: Arrive at coffee shop – late, of course. Put bike away, go stand in the coffee line.
  • 09.20: Juggle hot coffee glass from hand to hand. Why do they always have to serve it in a glass? Haven’t they heard of mugs? With handles? Find writing nook, with already-present writing buddy. Hug writing buddy, exchange pleasantries.
  • 09.30: Turn on computer during casual chatting with writing buddy. Gossip about work, university, bosses, and so on.
  • 09.35: Fellow wrimo has found picture of adorable cat. Awwww! See writing buddy’s pictures of her actual cats. Norwegian forest cats are the best! Watch video of cats playing.
  • 9.45: open Scrivener. Stare at empty slot.
  • 9.50: open previous Scrivener chapter for inspiration. Complain to fellow wrimo about the difficulties of finding inspiration. Agree to a 30-minute challenge.
  • 10.00: Finally settle on a good song to listen to on repeat.
  • 10.20: compare notes. Both of you have around 500 words. Compare more cat photos.
  • 10.30: with regrets, head down to university. Swear that more writing will be done tomorrow.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to win last year. I’m going to have to be way more disciplined this year – not because I won’t win if I don’t follow a tight schedule, but because I’ll stop working on my thesis to finish Nanowrimo, And that will essentially doom my master’s degree.

The biggest reason I do Nanowrimo is because I get to hang out with other writers a lot. It helps me to hear their problems and look over and see that they’re being productive, and I should be too. If I didn’t have my writing group, I could pick any month to write a novel. March is looking pretty good – I’ll be out of a job, finished with university studies – why not write a book in March? Because it just wouldn’t be the same.

At the same time, seeing these people ends in less of a word count than I want. And probably need. I always end up with at least one day during Nanowrimo when I have to write at least 10,000 words. One memorable Thanksgiving with my American family, I got up at 6 AM, wrote 20,000 words before Thanksgiving dinner, and 10,000 after we rolled home. Kids, don’t try that at home. Seriously. I already did, and it was disastrous.

So. My biggest distraction, when I get down to it, is the presence of people who are supposed to be focused and writing, like me. Any other wrimos – are you meeting up with fellow wrimos in your region? What sorts of distractions do you dread during our great writing blitz? And for people not doing Nanowrimo this year, do you meet up regularly with writing groups? What distractions kill your word count most?

Nano cat distracts, yet simultaneously calls attention to the fact that we should probably be attempting to lessen our mediocrity.