NaNoWriMo 2017 Conclusion

Day 25: 2186

Day 26: 301

Day 27: 765

Day 28: 2343

Day 29: 194

Day 30: 1685

Someone stop the ride… I want to get off…

I intended on posting my wrap-up for NaNo over a week ago, but it seems like life has been a never ending spin-cycle. The entirety of November was kinda like that and it hasn’t really stopped yet. Had a lot of issues: personal health, financial, vehicular, and weather-related. Had some good times, too, with a visit from my mom, baking Christmas cookies, and seeing my sister perform in a local production of Annie, but overall, it’s been a whirlwind.

The Tinctists is not done, though I’m planning on finishing it and my posts for Redwall Survivor before the turn of the year… if everything else slows down enough that I can focus. My Muse tried to hop a plane to Bermuda again, but I caught her and dragged her back before she got too far.

NaNoWriMo 2017 was one of the most challenging for me and just solidified in my mind two things:

  1. Writing two stories is hard — almost impossible for me right now.
  2. Pantsing is not an efficient, effective, or fun way for me to write.

I’ve continued my winning streak with NaNo, and I did write every day (with my record low for the month being 16 words), but I’m more glad it’s over than I normally am.

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Lack of Soundtrack – NaNo2017 – Day 25

Day 21: 2384

Day 22: 1717

Day 23: 1841

Day 24:  1778

Day 25: 1332 (so far)

Normally, when I write, I have a small soundtrack selected early on. Often, it’s because a song helped inspire a scene idea. Last year’s NaNo was initially inspired by a song. My character for Redwall Survivor this year was born from a couple songs (and has continued to be inspired by them). Every year has had a soundtrack.

This year has been more a case of “Eh, this is close and it’s good to write to, but it doesn’t inspire anything.” I’ve got my Spotify playlist, but nothing has really called to me well.

Until the other day, when I was listening to an album by a new group I discovered (who did a Redwall-themed song!). One song came up and suddenly, pieces of The Tinctists began to click together. Though it’s not something that’s going to be all that relevant in this first book, it’s given me a target to shoot for and, more importantly, the big bad guy of the series!

Hunting Plot Bunnies – NaNo2017 – Day 21

Day 17: 1597

Day 18: 1781

Day 19: 2503

Day 20: 1741

Yesterday morning, I sat down with the worksheets and Lesson 1 of Holly Lisle’s How To Write a Series course. I purchased the course earlier this year, but haven’t really had a chance to go through it. This year’s NaNo wants to be a trilogy when all is said and done, and I have an idea of how I’d want to end the thing. A way to end the first book was still elusive, though. I still didn’t have much of a plot.

So I sat down to do what Holly calls a Sweet Spot Map. I kinda skipped over the personal one and went straight to doing a series specific map, sitting in the head of Sian, my main character. I pulled out my pens, and started working through the map, drawing my arrows and connections.

And the same few phrases kept coming up. Making myself safe. Being useful. Feeling safe. Safety. Secure protection. To help me feel safe. Free and Safe. Make myself safe. Fearing being out of control. Hating being out of control. Fearing being alone. Fearing being not needed.

I caught some of the connections halfway through doing the map, so when I was done, out came the pens and I drew long lines between all these phrases which I knew were interconnected, reaching a conclusion with my main character about how much she needed Control and Security in her life. I also found a connection for the main villain in the series and found a good connection between a prop (the glass ball that I mentioned a while back), Sian, and the main conflict in the story.

I learned a lot in the hour or so I spent on the Sweet Spot Map. I also did some work on the Story Core.

There’s a path and a plot here somewhere. I’m starting to get an idea of where I need to go and what I need to do to make this story tie up nicely at the end.

Ten days of NaNo remain. I’m still on track, and I think the fog is lifting enough so I can see where the track is going from here.

Sleep Writing – NaNo2017 – Day 16

I was falling asleep last night while trying to write. Like, legitimately dozing at the keyboard. There were several times where the text was “a T J k” and that was it. Then I had strange rambles like this….

No, there was no time for place. Studdyin was to be done and the faster Ora knew her work, the sooner she could get out of the school and out of her Mathematids class, the sooner she could become a proper memeber of the society that governed their lands. 

Not sure what Mathematids class is… I think my brain was trying to say “Mathematics” but even that doesn’t make sense in context, because this particular school doesn’t have Math…

Plus, what on earth did I mean by “there was no time for place”?

Word Progress –

Day 10: 2361

Day 11: 1743

Day 12: 3798

Day 13: 16

Day 14: 120

Day 15: 1126

Day 16: 1491

In other news, I’m really struggling with hitting my word count this week. Lack of plot coupled with not feeling well has made the progress very, very slow.

NaNo2017 – Day 10 – Still no sign of plot

Day 4: 2493

Day 5: 1809

Day 6: 2336

Day 7: 2280

Day 8: 2066

Day 9: 2164

Day 10 (so far): 659

It’s official. I do not like pantsing*.

I’m at 20,000 words of sludge that I’m pretty sure will get mostly thrown out during revision. I’ve done a lot of world building in those 20,000 words, but there’s a decided lack of plot and all my characters are getting along so well.

Where’s the conflict, people!?!?

I’m trying to do some rapid fire plotting in between writing sessions, because I’m quickly running out of plan. I really could have used 2 extra months to build this story before writing it…

I do have some idea of the overarching plot that will drive a 3 book series, which is kind of what I want this to eventually be. Threes are proving pivotal to this world I’ve developed. But I’ll need to do a lot more plotting to figure that out as well. I’ve built myself a 2 day word buffer, but I’d rather have that in store in case I have a day or two where I’m struggling in Redwall Survivor.

Enough procrastinating. Back to the fray!

*Pantsing – a term that means doing something without a plan. Derived from the saying “fly by the seat of your pants”.

Day 3 – NaNo 2017

Day 2:  1725

Day 3: 2870

Total written: 6278

Finally feel like I had a productive day. I got a couple of good writing sessions in this morning, including some sprints with #NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. I love word sprints to encourage me to stuff the Inner Editor deep in a box and just write as fast as I can. It’s a challenging game to me and I love it. My favorites are the #1K30min sprints, which means you have to try to write 1000 words in 30 minutes. It’s a pretty intense challenge, but it’s a great way to beef up the word count.

Take today for instance. I did a few word sprints in the late morning while my twins were watching a movie. I hit about 1700 words and was intending on calling it quits for the day, when they announced next sprint was the #1K30min. Well, since I hadn’t done one of those yet (and I knew there was at least half an hour of movie left for my girls), I decided to jump on board. I think I got 1,130-ish in that half hour.

Overall, a good day!

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Day 1

Day 1 Word Count: 1683

I have a world.

I have a magic system.

I’ve got the skeleton of an economics systems.

I’ve got my list of special resources that tie in with the magic.

I have a map.

When the clock ticked over from October 31 to November 1, I had one scene idea and 3 unnamed characters.

Eep!

I’m doing this completely backwards of how I normally do it!

Even so, I sat down yesterday morning and started to set up my Scrivener document. It couldn’t figure out how to get one of the windows I wanted open and in my desperate clicking around (while crying, “I should be writing!!!”), I accidentally opened a window I didn’t know how to close, then found out it was incredibly useful, so it got to stay open. I used the name generator in Scrivener to come up with a list of names to jump start things, and started writing that one scene I had in mind.

I’m 2600 words in now and still writing that scene.

2017-11-02

I don’t usually get that sort of distance out of my scenes. My average seems to be around 1000 to 1500, so I’m pretty pleased with 2600, even though I’m really pantsing it at this point of the story. It think I’ve got a few info dumps in there that will need to be pulled out later, but since I’m so clueless about this story I’m writing, they’re helpful to me for now. Plus, I’ve had a few other scenes come to mind while writing, so I’ve added them to note cards in Scrivener.

Downside to having no plan yesterday and having to spend some time finding names and getting things set up is that I didn’t make my personal goal of 2000 words. I got just above the 1667 word recommendation, but I did make it. This is the first NaNo where I haven’t written over 2000 on Day 1.

Well, it can’t be helped. I do need a buffer, because I’ve still got Redwall Survivor going on as well. I’ve got a draft for a post written for the next round, but I hate it at the moment, so I’ll need some serious revision time before it goes up. 😛 Let the November juggling act commence!

Who else is a part of the literary madness this month? Anyone have any advice for doing NaNo as well as another project?