#NaNoWriMo – Week 4

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I did it! I actually went and bloody did it. Here are my stats now that I’ve completed NaNoWriMo2016.

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As you can see from the graph, I finished on November 28th and officially wrote 50,000 words. It was touch and go as to whether I made it to the word count because, not only was I really busy in my private life, but I also developed a chest infection in the last few days, which really hindered my ability to write. I’m thankful I pushed on through though, because now I can say I’ve won NaNoWriMo two years running.

I didn’t actually complete my story, which is the weird thing. I never think about my stories or novels to be particularly long. Even last year when I wrote The Last Four Years, my story finished, quite appropriately around 50,000 words. So when I realised I had only written half of my story at 50k, I knew that with the finished product, I was going to be in for some serious editing! That being said, I really enjoyed the idea that I was writing, but for now I’m going to put it aside and mull it over rather than push myself at the same pace.

I have started thinking about another project that I ideally want to work on this coming April for CampNaNoWriMo, but that is five months away! I’ve realised just how important it is to have a plan, but sometimes, even if you have an outline or a structure, sometimes it’s not enough. I’ve learned to write where my heart takes me and worry about filling in the blanks later, because those blanks might just end up filling themselves over time.

I can happily say that this NaNoWriMo was very educational and productive indeed. I would like to thank NaNoWriMo and the whole team behind the event and also my writing buddies who kept me going. You are the unsung heroes of a writer’s life!

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#NaNoWriMo – Week 3

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Apologies for being slightly late with week three’s update. Life seems to have run away with me at the moment, but despite this I’m still making good progress. Let’s see how I’ve been doing.

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I’m yet to complete my words for today (23rd) but I’m confident that I will by midnight at the latest. I have passed the 30k mark, and even the 35k mark as well, and I am ever nearing the 40k mark with each day. As I said last week, I wanted to have 40k by the end of week three and I’m almost there, so only over 10k left to write in the last week. I’m confident that I can win NaNoWriMo again this year.

I’ve been continuing to jump around with scenes which has really freed me up and helped me get the words down. It’s also helped me flesh out the other scenes that I haven’t had at the forefront of my mind just yet. I’m still not even half way through my story and so I’m thinking my final product is going to be much longer than 50k. It will be the longest story I’ve every written, as the most I’ve ever achieved is 50k, which was last year’s effort titled The Last Four Years.

So we’re coming into the fourth and final week, and I’m hoping to just continue writing as much as possible each day. I don’t want to worry about writing loads and loads each day, as long as I can get the daily word count done, I’ll be happy. So 50k is the goal regardless of whether my story is finished or not. I’ll have plenty of time to finish it over Christmas.

Here’s to the last week!

#NaNoWriMo – Week 2

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We are officially half way through NaNoWriMo2016 which is a crazy, crazy thought. Let’s see if I’m on track to win by the end of the month. week2

I’m a day late in posting this update because I was consumed by writing last night. I have still been struggling with some scenes, and although I wanted to write the story in it’s linear timeline, I’ve decided it would be best if I jumped to the scenes that were burning at the forefront of my mind.

Whilst I’ve been mulling over this story, there have been scenes that I’ve had ready to be written, so I think it’s the best for my progress to write those scenes down first and then fill in the blanks. It certainly helps with my word count and it stops me from feeling blocked when trying to write other scenes.

I successfully reached 25,000 words on the 15th day which means I’m on target to win by the 30th. I’m not half way through my story yet, probably a third, so I’m expecting the finished product to be at least 60,000 words, which will be the most I’ve ever written for a manuscript. I don’t think I’ll complete 60k by the end of November, but I’m sure the story won’t be 100% finished by the 30th.

By the end of week three, I’d ideally like to have achieved 40,000 words, leaving a leisurely 10,000 words for the last week, but I’m not sure whether that will happen. I’ll strive for it though. That’s all I can do.

#NaNoWriMo – Week 1

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It’s that time of year again where we all hunch over our computers and try to bash out a novel in a month! Does it sound mad? Yes. But there’s method in our madness. Have a look and see how I did in my first week of NaNoWriMo2016.

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When I realised NaNoWriMo was coming around again, I knew for definite that I was going to be participating. I’d been mulling over an idea in my head for a few months and after developing it in a notebook, it was finally time to unleash it in a word document. I wasn’t at all apprehensive because I knew I had completed a 50k NaNo Project twice already, and so knew I could do it again.

The story I have decided to write this year is a futuristic novel set in a regressive society that mirrors Elizabethan England. World War three has destroyed the earth and the humans left over are rebuilding society from the World’s previous blueprint. Beatrice, the rightful Queen of the Republic of Karelia returns to her Kingdom to reclaim her throne since she has come of age, and must neutralise a threat of invasion from her neighbouring Kingdom.

My aim was primarily to keep to the word count for everyday and get ahead on words if possible so that on the days where I’m feeling less inspired I don’t have to torture myself into completing the required amount. I did hit a few issues especially during the middle of the week. For me the problem wasn’t finding time to write, it was typing the standard “housekeeping” scenes and and trying to push through to get to more exciting scenes where the action rose. I also have never written a story that involved world building before. It was a lot of fun building my own world in the preparation stage, but putting it into a story and making it work was entirely different altogether. I struggled not “info dumping” or leaving out the world building all together (and so thus confuse the reader), and have tried to keep it in a healthy balance.

This first week I completed nearly the first quarter of my book, which is brilliant progress! By the end of next week I hope to have achieved the half way point at twenty five thousand words.

#NaNoWriMo – Week 4

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I am so happy to say: I WON!

Yes, last night at approximately 11:50pm I reached fifty thousand words and won this year’s November writing challenge. Here’s the graph to see my progress:

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My aim was the use the last week and the ten thousand remaining words that I had to flesh out areas of part three of my story that I had glossed over in the linear writing process. This included clarifying extra description, dialogue, ironing our any errors or lump sentences, which I achieved. I also added a prologue and epilogue, just to amp up the mystery element to my story which I felt was lacking as I re-read through.

I found this last week incredibly difficult because I felt as though I had really run out of steam, and pushing myself to write every day when I had little mental energy was incredibly challenging, but I’m so glad I persevered because I can now say I’ve got a first draft of a novel and I won my first ever NaNoWriMo year. Cheers to that!

#NaNoWriMo – Week 3

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We are on the home stretch, WriMos! And what a week it’s been. Let’s look at the stats to see how we did:

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My goal was to reach forty thousand words by the end of this week which I’m happy to say that I achieved. At the end of last week, I got through to the end of part two of my story, and so this week I embarked on writing part three which I also finished.

Although I’ve come to the end of my story, linear speaking, I’ve been aiming to write the bare bones of my story for far, and so have spent the last two or three days going back through my story and fleshing out areas with extra description and characterisation that I skimmed over in my first draft. Once again, this took me up to the end of part two once again, and so for the last week of NaNoWriMo, I’ll look at polishing off part three.

I’m so proud of everyone who has reached their winning stage of NaNoWriMo. Everyone who has been taking part has done so well, but even if you haven’t reached your personal writing goals, know that you wrote more this month than you would have, had you not been participating. In my eyes, everyone is a winner!

#NaNoWriMo – Week 1

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As a NaNoWriMo newbie, the fact I have survived my first week and lived to tell the tale is an accomplishment in itself! But just to give you an idea of what my progress has been like, here are the stats.

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My personal goal has been to try to write two thousand words per day, just because overall I would like to have sixty thousand words at the end of the month than fifty. The reason for this being that my novel is clearly split into three parts and I would like each part to be roughly twenty thousand each. At the moment, my first week took me to the end of part one, which as you can see is around fourteen thousand words, so it’s likely my first draft will take me up to around fifty, with another ten thousand left to elaborate on areas that have not been explored.

I’ve really enjoyed engaging with everyone on twitter using the hashtags and watching YouTube videos on the progress of other participants. Being able to write along with everyone else has been such a positive aspect of NaNoWriMo and I would definitely give this as a reason to take part again.

As for the next coming week, if I can write roughly another fifteen thousand then I would be halfway through my sixty thousand word goal, and halfway through NaNoWriMo itself.