I'd like to be able say I'm going to hit the magical 50K that is the ultimate goal of NaNoWriMo. I'd like to be able say that the novel I am writing makes sense.
Neither of them would be true.
However, that doesn't mean the month is a wash. I still have all the words I've written and the beginnings to a story. I started NaNo (my first I might add) with the attitude of "if I write 50K that will be awesome, but I don't expect to". This freed me up to not stress about the whole thing and just enjoy the moment.
NaNoWriMo is 30 days and nights of literary abandon. 50K is the goal, but that doesn't mean you have to stress about it.
While most people were:
OMG! WHAT AM I GOING TO WRITE! I'LL NEVER FINISH IN TIME! THE WORLD WILL END AND THEY WILL ALL LAUGH AT ME!
Relax...it's all good.
Currently, I am at 25K. That means I would have to write 5K a day to hit 50K by Friday. Yeah. I could theoretically still make it. However, I'm not going to push myself. For one, I didn't do enough pre-planning. I don't even have a skeleton of an outline done and I barely know how a scene is going to end. I'm just writing.
So, lessons learned:
I need to pre-plan some for next year. This year, it snuck up on me and I was completely unprepared. I need to choose one of my existing ideas and start some basic outlining/character design. That way, I'm not spending half the month trying to figure out what my characters look like much less how they would act. I figure I have a year. I'm not going to stress.
Time manage better. This is a result of not being prepared for NaNo. Instead of writing, I goofed off too much. Breaks are important, but not to the extent that I did them.
I could, with the right preparation, write 50K in a month. If you look at my stats, I wasn't too far off there for a while, then I got bogged down and stumbled.
I might have to choose something goofy to do next year. I generally write very serious things, so it might be fun to try something different. After all, that is what NaNo is about. Stretching your imagination beyond where you thought it would be.
So, as we say about my local football team, there is always next year. :D
#writemotivation got overshadowed by NaNo this month. I'm guessing that happens. NaNo has a tendency to overshadow everything. However, I do believe I made my goals (despite being very amorphous).
Survive NaNo. Yup.
Work on HJ. No, but I wasn't expecting to be able to. I just had it here in case I was up to it. I wasn't.
Blog once a week. Technically "yes". However, last weeks blog was VERY late and was part of a Blog Tour. I did not do my weekly #writemotivation post. I was too tired.
Cheer on my #writemotivation tweeps. YUP! I didn't get as much in as I usually do, but there was some dino zombie cheeleader cookie slinging going on.
So, there you have it. Once November is done, I'm setting aside Troubleshooter so I can finish Hate Jacket.
First off a HUGE apology to S.M. for not getting this setup right away. So very sorry. I love this series and have no excuse for not getting it ready in time.
That being said here it is. An excerpt from her second book in the Lichgates series. If you haven't picked up the first one, you should. It's a beautifully crafted book.
Treason, Book two of the Grimoire Trilogy by S. M. Boyce
Excerpt from chapter one
In the hidden world of Ourea, there are too many beautiful places to name: rose-covered cliffs tower miles over the valleys and forests below, cities thrive in submerged ecosystems beneath the sea, and the dragons that once ruled volcanoes are now but fossils in a cave. The creatures of human myth flourish in Ourea. Trees are this world’s skyscrapers. Magic is its currency. And while the rest of Earth forgot what it means to dream big, Ourea kept alive its wonder.
At least, that’s how Kara saw it.
She sat on a ledge in a cave, a dozen feet or so above an indoor river littered with rapids. Green sunlight poured through a crack in the ceiling, its rays tainted green from the branches which blocked her view of the sun. The light danced across the river, illuminating the white foam that splattered into the air as the water rushed by below.
Kara dangled her legs over the edge, listening to the chorus of water roaring through the cave. The ledge on which she sat served as a catwalk through the cavern. Several more ledges lined both sides of the cave, but she hadn’t yet figured out how to get to them. She stared up at the ledge ten feet above her, her eyes following the natural walkway until she came across a missing chunk a few yards off. Maybe she could climb that someday, but all she wanted now was to relax.
Her ledge wound around a bend in the cavern wall and toward a waterfall that fed the river. Behind the waterfall was a flight of stone stairs that led to a dirt trail, which curved through a forest for about a mile before it opened out into the Vagabond’s village—her village. And there, somewhere in the myriad of empty houses and vacant rooms, Braeden was probably starting to realize she’d ditched their sparring practice for the day.
Kara eyed her satchel, which lay empty against the cave wall. Flick—the red, teleporting ball of fur that he was—was out and about exploring the cave. The Xlijnughl (Zyl-LEYN-guhl ) could find trouble anywhere, so she hoped he would stay close. She would just have to keep an eye out for him.
Her stomach growled. She glanced through the tree branches above to take a guess at the time, but she couldn’t even see the sun through the leaves. As much as she wanted to believe Braeden wouldn’t find her little haven, she knew better. Braeden could track anything. That prince could track a month-old trail if he wanted. There was no escaping him, not that she would ever really want such a thing. Not after all he’d done for her.
She sighed and leaned her head against the cave wall. Pebbles broke off as she pushed against it, so she grabbed one as it fell and chucked it over the edge.
Braeden had guarded her while she visited the yakona kingdoms. He’d helped her bring them together in a loose sense of the word. He’d saved her life when she fled Hillside. She shuddered—her brush with Gavin had been too close. He’d tried to trick her into wearing a poisoned tiara that would have made her his slave.
She scoffed. None of this even sounded real. This world couldn’t be real. She would wake up from her coma any day now. That had to be it. A secret world hidden beneath the human race’s collective nose couldn’t be real.
“You scrunch your eyebrows when you’re lost in thought.”
She blinked her eyes back into focus. Braeden sat next to her, even though she hadn’t even heard him on his way across the ledge.
He watched her with that half-cocked grin of his. Black hair framed his face, longer now than when she’d first met him a couple months ago. A few beads of sweat rolled down his temple, tracing his olive skin in a pattern she wanted to mimic with her finger. His dark eyes caught her in their gaze, and she forgot how to breathe for a moment.
“No, don’t stop. It’s cute,” he said.
She laughed and punched his shoulder. He teetered and reached for her, grinning as if he was about to pull her over with him, only to scoot a little closer once he righted himself. Though he would never throw her off a cliff, Kara pulled her feet onto the platform all the same once he started laughing, too.
“You shouldn’t push people who are sitting on ledges, you know,” he said with a wink.
Kara smiled. “You’d heal instantly.”
He nudged her shoulder. “Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt.”
“Well, I’m sorry then.”
“Ungracious apology accepted.”
She laughed. She couldn’t help it. Even if her mind had created Ourea as some elaborate defense mechanism, she would stay just to be near him.
But Ourea was real. She’d escaped armies, decapitated shadow demons, and had too many scars for it to not be real—and the gravity of her dangerous new life sent bile into the back of her throat. The people vagabonds loved died. Every time. Thus, why she couldn’t have Braeden.
“You all right, Kara?”
She caught his eye and forced a smile. “Yep.”
He narrowed his eyes as if waiting for her to crack under the pressure. She wouldn’t. She wanted what she couldn’t have. It was as simple as that.
S.M. Boyce is a fantasy and paranormal fiction novelist who also dabbles in contemporary fiction and comedy. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries, and she updates her blog a few times each week to keep you entertained.
I think the title sums it up pretty nicely. I mean, really, is there anything else that need be said? I know, I could make a list of all of the things that I'm putting on hold to do NaNoWriMo.
Here it goes:
My pre-NaNo novel, Hate Jacket, much to the chagrin of my betas and my main character. Did I mention that I left him hanging in the middle of a chapter? Yeah, he's pissed.
Sleeping. Yeah, who needs it. Sleep is for the weak.
Social life. Ok, I didn't have one before, so I guess this doesn't really count...but still.
Reading. Yeah, not reading much. Managed to squeeze in a couple chapters of an ARC of Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs. I really want to read more. It's well written and the world is well designed. Also, characters are so fun. Sigh. All things are secondary to NaNo. Notice the monotone robot voice? Yeah, I'm fully assimilated. Resistance is futile.
Family. Ok, not really. I'm sure they'd like me a little more focused on them, but I have been paying some attention to them...I think...what were their names again?
My internal editor. He hates it. I had to duct tape his mouth shut and bury him in the back yard. He's haunting me from beyond the grave. It isn't pretty. I've also done my best to stuff Self-Doubt in there but he keeps oozing out between the cracks. May need to invest in a flamethrower.
My #writemotivation cheering. Yeah, um sorry about that. I try.
Anything else I can't remember that I've forgotten.
So there you have it. Currently, I'm about 6K behind in my quest for the elusive 50K. At the pace I'm writing, I'll hit 50K sometime on the 8th of December. However, there are several days off coming up and I should get some decent writing in.
So, I'm making my very vague #writemotivation goals of surviving NaNoWriMo, but not doing so well in my encouragement of my fellow #writemotivation tweeps. Hell, I haven't even updated my twitter list and for that I'm sorry.
For all the writers out there who are struggling with self-doubt, here's a little picture that might help. Wow...that rhymed unintentionally. :D
While trying to save her brother from the witch three years ago, Greta was thrown into the fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon. To survive, 17-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil being knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the boys she finds stranded in the woods will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back . . .
Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.
So, we're five days into the month of November. NaNoWriMo is in full swing. As of this post almost 600 million words have been written. Some people have already hit their 50K. Some people are half way done. Some people haven't written a word. I'm averaging close to their suggested number of words a day. I should have hit 6K yesterday, I didn't. A lot of people would stress about this. I'm not. If I stress, I stop writing. It's that simple. Also, I'm doing this for fun and to get myself back into a consistent writing regimen. So far, it's working.
I'm not doing NaNoWriMo by myself. In addition to the 260,000 participates world wide, I am joined by my two children (ages 6 and 11). Both of them wanted to do it. Both of them set goals and are working toward them. The 6yo is wanting to write 250 words (he's just over 50 now). Oldest is shooting for 8K. Both of them should reach their goals. I think it is awesome.
Last night it occurred to me that I may not play catch with my children, we do word-sprints. Last night, my oldest and I wrote for 15 minutes without stopping. I would have included the younger kid, but he had to go to bed. Maybe today we'll get another word-sprint in.
No matter what, the important thing is that we are having fun and expanding our creative minds. That is what NaNoWriMo is all about. Writing creatively for 30 days.
As for the novel I'm working on, I decided on the SciFi action-y story, Troubleshooter. It's been in my head for 20 years. It's time I got it out. I decided to do it for a couple of reasons.
I have had it in my head for 20 years
Most of the world has been built (see point 1)
I needed something less emotionally intense than HJ to work on.
If I get stuck, I can always blow up a building (or 3!).
SciFi is fun!
The nice thing about NaNo (besides all the above), is that I can experiment with things and not worry about it. Editing comes later.
If you are doing NaNo and want to be a writing buddy, my username is: DrewPy42. Add me, and I'll add you back.