6 Lessons from NaNoWriMo

Over the course of November, I wrote 50,012 words towards my novel, pieced together as:

  • Scenes for the first 5 turning points and first step of the 6th turning point of my WIP
  • A prologue
  • Off-shoot stories about some of the cast of characters who are part of my protagonist’s journey.
bar graph showing daily word count during NaNoWriMo 2016 for 10000hoursleft, finishing at 50012 words on November 30 2016
Source: screen grab from 10000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

In addition to NaNoWriMo, I completed a writing course, applied for 5 jobs, and fulfilled family, work and personal responsibilities. The writing milestones are personal highlights of the past 12 months. Funnily, when I co-wrote my first post of 2016 (on maintaining goals), I hadn’t set out on this path, conceiving these goals in the final half of the year (and working on them in the last quarter), giving me a more tangible target than my previously vague goal of progressing my WIP over the year (it is never too late to start a ‘new year resolution’!).

Here, I share lessons I learnt about myself, my writing, and the writing process. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Widget

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant widget with word count

This post is idea 101 out of 101 Ways to Procrastinate During NaNoWriMo. Look out for my eBook for the 100 other ways. It is a pretty cool widget though, being dynamic, meaning the word count updates and the image changes, including ‘PARTICIPANT’ changing to ‘WINNER’ once I reach 50,000 words. Right, those words won’t write themselves…

NaNoWriMo Week 3

NaNoWriMo 2016 week 3 update goals word count novel writing
Source: Screen grab from 10000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

Another week. I am holding on to that line with all my might. I found the tail end of week 3 particularly difficult, but am pleased that I persevered. The greatest challenge I am facing from now till the end of November is the curve ball that life has thrown, with my non-permanent role at work being advertised as permanent as of Thursday, along with many non-permanent roles in the branch of the organisation for which I work. The deadline for applications is December 1, coinciding a little too neatly with the remainder of NaNoWriMo. Just when I thought my main challenge was boredom with my story, having established that time wasn’t a barrier to hitting the daily target. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Week 1

stats from NaNoWriMo week 1 10000hoursleft migratory patterns magical realism
Source: Screen grab from 10,000hoursleft’s NaNoWriMo account

NaNoWriMo is going well! I am surprising myself even! A dip in performance yesterday due to shifting focus onto finishing up my writing course work (which is related to the novel I am working on). Words were placed on the page, but not counted- like when you do a good deed that nobody witnesses, but still leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. So far, I am just above the line in the bar graph above, meaning I am ahead of the daily average over 30 days to meet the 50,000 word target by November 30.

Being limited in time I can allow for comments, I have preempted some of your questions and thoughts on studying the stats above. Continue reading

Writers Write, Right?

NaNoWriMo shield logo for writing goal with november natinal novel writing month 2016
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

I have a goal! The title and accompanying image might give a hint as to what it is. I am working towards finishing my second draft novel writing course by the end of October (it has been on hold since April). At the end of the course I’ll have a solid synopsis, which will allow me to get real value out of NaNoWriMo 2016: tackling the feat of completing a novel (or at least 50,000 words of it) over the course of November.

To borrow from a tagline on Camp NaNoWriMo’s site, the event is:

An idyllic [writer’s] retreat smack dab in the middle of your crazy life.

Yes, if I can’t have a beautiful mountain top cabin with a view of a cascading waterfall, the accompaniment of bird song and fragrance of spring blossoms and a perfect coffee, I’ll take the virtual version. Continue reading

Tin Roof

Extract: Midpoint, Exploratory Scene

Black and white image of raindrops on a window with a blurred image of a house with a tin roof visible. Used to depict the story title 'tin roof', an exploratory scene from the midpoint of my work in progress novel

The steady rhythm of rain on the tin roof grew louder and louder until it was a palpable presence in the silent space where they stood. Thanh had his arms around his crying sister-in-law, widowed at the hands of VJ. Mildred couldn’t shake that thought from her mind. No matter how far removed he was from his crimes in his sanitised, comfortable estate, here, in this small shack were his very real victims- grieving the loss of a husband, brother, father, long after the transaction of a measly month’s wages in exchange for something infinitely more valuable, available to the highest bidder wanting to stall their own fate. Continue reading