Tag Archives: novel writing

NaNoWriMo Update: Word Wars and the Durham Write-In

5 Nov

I went to my first write-in today! I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive, more about what the weight of my humongous laptop would do to my shoulder on the walk down than anything else (cannot justify buying netbook just for NaNoWriMo, cannot justify buying netbook just for NaNoWriMo), but I’m really glad that I bit the bullet and went. The write-in was held at The Bishop’s Mill, a branch of Lloyds Bar, so a lot of self-bribery with chips and pudding was going on, which only added to the excitement. I got to meet some real NaNo vets too, including too who are publishing their own novels this year, and one who wrote 500,000 words in last year’s NaNo – if that doesn’t inspire/terrify you, I don’t know what will!

But for me, the best part of the afternoon was the word wars. I discovered yesterday with the Let The Words Flow contest that the best way to motivate myself is by having a challenge (as if NaNoWriMo weren’t challenge enough), and this proved true today as well. To illustrate this, here are some figures:

  • I stayed at the write-in for around two hours, in that time I wrote 1,733 words.
  • During my time at the write-in, I participated in two word wars.
  • The first was for 15 minutes, and I wrote 536 words.
  • The second was for 30 minutes, and I wrote 983 words.
  • Overall, therefore, I wrote 1,519 words in word wars, and 214 on my own.
So if anyone fancies a word war, then feel free to get in touch! Best inspiration ever!

My (Possibly) Epic NaNoWriMo Live Blog

4 Nov

(NB: If you don’t know what the premise of this is, then scroll down the my last post or visit the challenge post on Let The Words Flow)

4th November

00:05: Midnight, yay! Time to start writing!

00:06: …or possibly to finish doing my seminar reading for tomorrow. Back in a bit!

00:14: Back to the internet to tweet about this challenge. MUST.DO.BETTER.

00:15: On the plus side, I only have ten pages to read, then I can dedicate my life to NaNo for a while.

00:42: Seminar reading done, time to start writing. I only hope that trade unions and the class system don’t start creeping into my novel!

00:44: I guess closing Facebook would be helpful…

00:51: Realise that someone has commented on this post. Squeal with delight. Writing abandoned once again.

00:57: 100 words in, I appear to have made up a word. Joy.

01:16: 600 words, I’m on a roll! Getting sleepy though…

01:34: 1000 words and fading fast. I think I’ll try to hit 1667 and then call it a night.

01:40: Start thinking about time-zones and the concept of today and tomorrow. Very interesting, but not helpful for my word count!

01:59: Just finished a major scene with 1400 words. Do I go on and try to hit 1667?

02:01: The parade of drunken students coming home from the clubs has just started passing my window. Guess that answers my question: if I’m not sleeping, then I may as well be writing!

02:03: Typing the words ‘Chapter 2’ into my Word document is genuinely the most exciting thing to have happened to me for a while!

02:09: What’s this? Kate Walsh has a new vlog up? Farewell, productivity!

02:32: Got a bit carried away with my last scene and am now at 1,938. Time to call it a night! *yawn*

11:30: Writing? Academic work? Writing? Academic work?

12:47: Ooooh, new episode of Private Practice?? MUST. WATCH.

16:03: I’m BACK!! One hour of procrastination and two of lectures down, and it’s time to tackle the word count!

16:04: Might just check out what the other LFTW bloggers are doing first though…

16:18: Holy crap, there are people in the US with higher word counts than me! *panics*

16:27: Hit 2000 words. Squeal with delight.

16:28: Realise that everyone in the computer room is now staring at me. Attempt to hide under the desk.

16:29: Note to self: Hiding under the desk is not a good way to stop people staring at you!

16:35: Think I might be overdoing the description in this particular scene. Fighting urge to delete…

16:55: The words are coming more slowly now than they were last night. Got up to 2269 though!

17:16: Time off from writing to discuss satanic parakeets with my friend on Facebook Chat. Wonder if I could get away with writing them into the novel…

17:34: Up to 2694 words now, and starting to wish that I’d set my target at 3000 so that I’d be closer to it!

17:36: Time for dinner now, will return to the word count later!

18:56: Eating pizza and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch with my friend. Word count, what word count?

23:14: Pizza and Sabrina have turned into a night playing Articulate with friends. Unfortunately, this has had a detrimental effect on the live blogging. Have a NaNo meet-up tomorrow, so may be live blogging through that.

5th November

02:12: I know I’ve failed the challenge, but am going to try to hit 4000 before I go to bed, and will live blog while I’m doing it. Here goes…

02:27: Hit 3000 (actually nearly 3100). I really should have set my target lower…

02:28: Oooh, straw wrapper!

02:29: Playing with the straw wrapper has given me an idea for my next scene. Inspiration really does come from the strangest places!

02:46: 500 words to go, and shamelessly stealing ideas from Outnumbered. I have a feeling that this will become a running theme. (If anyone else knows of any shows with amusing children in, please let me know!)

03:04: Done! *victory dance* And, amazingly, I managed to finish a scene and a chapter at the same time as meeting my word count!

Challenge Set: 4,000 words

Final Word Count: 4,008 words

Overal NaNoWriMo Word Count: 7,755 words


My Latest Crazy Idea

3 Nov

Someday, I will stop looking at challenges on the internet and thinking “hmm, that sounds like fun, why don’t I do that?” Someday, I will realise that my degree/work/life outside of the internet are more important. Someday, in short, I will stop being an over-achieving lunatic. That day is not today. So when I saw this post via a WordPress search for NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t resist.

The blog it come from is called Let The Words Flow, and the challenge is simple. Tomorrow, a few particularly crazy NaNoWriMo writers will be attempting to reach a word count which they have set for themselves (mine is 4,000 words) and live blogging while they do it. This might be a great way to churn out the words (nothing like a bit of healthy competition after all), but it is also yet another method of procrastination which will make getting those words onto paper an even slower process than usual. Possibly this is not how it will work for everyone else, but personally I will almost certainly write 200 words, then do something inane just so that I can blog about it. One thing’s for certain though, it will be fun (or at least warped NaNo-style fun)!

(I will be setting up a post for my live blog on here at about midnight GMT and editing it gradually throughout the day. I dread to think how it may turn out…)

NaNoWriMo…er…what was that I was saying?

2 Nov

OK, so I’m a fool. After deciding yesterday that I was absolutely definitely, in no way whatsoever going to be able to do NaNoWriMo this year, I sat down last night and wrote 1,667 words (which, for those not in the know, is the daily word count necessary to complete NaNoWriMo). It was easy, it was fluid, and it took me little more than an hour. Better yet, I could think of ways to continue the story, possibly even to novel-length (which, given that most of my stories fade into the ether after about 1,000 words, was nothing short of astounding). It would have been churlish to refuse such an opportunity.

So it looks like I’m doing it. Embarking on this strange, stressful, wonderful journey of sleep deprivation, repetitive strain injury and potential madness. I keep telling myself that I’ll stop if it all gets too much, but even I know that I’m kidding myself. I’m going to carry on with NaBloPoMo as well, because I’m too stubborn to give up on a challenge once I’ve started it, but the posts here will probably be fairly light on creative writing: I’m not sure if I can cope with any more that 1,667 words a day.

I’m writing my second day’s block of words right now (or I was before I started procrastinating), on the train from Reading to Durham. Sitting in my first class seat (courtesy of the parents – clearly I should get tonsillitis more often), taking advantage of the free power supply, drinking cold (but free) coffee, and wondering how the next month will pan out. Will it kill me? Will it destroy my degree? Will I ever stop writing everything in lists of three? Only time will tell.