NaNoWriMo progresses. At the moment, in story land, Kirsteen is having a reunion at Lodi Gardens in New Delhi (above). Although she has long anticipated this meeting, it isn’t going at all well for her.
In writing land, today I crossed the 10,000 word mark (a day late) on The Blackened Soul, so am about 20% of the way towards the 50,000 word target for November. The 10,000 word marker was crossed halfway through the following sentence.
“I am cold and tired, and I do not think my objectives would be hampered if you were to lose the use of an arm.”
The speaker is addressing Kirsteen MacDonald, who for reasons known to readers of the series has taken over the narration from Dexter Lomax. The speaker is…well, those readers have met the speaker before too (they turn up only briefly in The Flesh Remembers, but are much more visible in The Weighing Of The Heart).
Seven days in and the NaNo thing is going pretty well. For the first five days I wrote slightly beyond the minimum average word count I need to hit to finish by November 30th (the magic 1667 words), but yesterday I wrote nothing at all, because…well…usually there’s one dog, but yesterday there were two dogs, and one of the dogs was terrified of the leftover fireworks being set off down the road, and the other dog wouldn’t leave the terrified dog alone, and…look, it was a thing, and then I was tired, and no words happened.
Technically then I’ve dropped from slightly head of my curve to slightly behind. Hopefully by the end of today I’ll have recovered, and will be back on track.
Top tips for NaNo? Arse in chair. Hit keys. Stop when you’re done.
That’s going to work differently for you than it does me, but the fundamentals are the same. On most days I’ve tapped out my daily wordage in bits and pieces. Five hundred words when I get in from dayjobbery. A couple of hundred more after I’ve made dinner. A few hundred more before and after whatever I might want to watch on the tellybox (it’s Walking Dead and Leftovers season). It makes for some packed evenings, and until the end of the words are in sight I feel antsy and a little stressed, but in a useful way.
My other top tip? Don’t edit. Don’t even reread if you can help it. Just write. At a guess, half of what I’ve written will be cut. What’s left will be reworded until it’s unrecognisable, but not during November. November is first draft time. I’ll turn it all into something I actually like later on.
Your mileage may vary, but it’s SO easy to lose momentum by stopping to fix what you’ve done instead of filling those pages. Just accept that the first draft is going to be ropey as hell, but that you can shape it into something awesome later on. I know I’m pumping out raw material, not finished story.
Anyhow, here’s how I’m doing. This tracker thing is live, so if you only find this blog after the fact you’ll see a bigger word count than if you’re here soon after posting. I hope.