Yeah, all I can say is phew! I made it, scraping home at just over the 50,000. I slammed the 20,000 words in the last five days, but feel a bit burned out. Also, some of those later pages are going to need a hatchet attack in editing. Hmmm, apparently the competitive side of me trumped the artistic/perfectionist side of me. There’ll be time enough for editing when the draft is done (sing that to the tune of The Gambler)(totally going to make a writer’s version of that song now, but later, when rested).
Today’s my critique group Christmas party so I need to start getting stuff ready, just thought I’d fix the suspense if you were on tenterhooks as to my NaNo completion.
So. After such a killer start my NaNo unraveled pretty severely. Cars broke down, children got sick, more days at work and much longer shifts (which were added to even more by having to bus it to work instead of just taking the car), and an epic amount of effort was put into finding a daycare for Xander to attend for two days because no one else could work those shifts at work (oh the joys of console launches) but our current daycare didn’t have those days available.
I barely touched my computer for two weeks. You don’t even want to imagine what my two email accounts look like. No really. You’d think I’d been spam bombed, but that’s just what an inbox looks like when you haven’t opened it for twelve days.
So after a killer start to NaNo, I’m now 20,000 words behind. And yet, still not gonna give up.
I’ll be channeling this guy (and yes I know I’ve used this image five time before, that’s just how awesome it is)
I have five days. Sure I’m working three of them, but to hell with that. 4,000 words a day will see me win. I’ve already done 2,000 of today’s quota this morning so lets see if I can win this thing.
Cheerleaders totally wanted (ie/ fluff my ego, tell me I can totally do this)
You might laugh at me for this, but I’m less confident I can win NaNoWriMo this year despite my stunning victory last year. This year Xander has shorter naps and wakes earlier, but that’s not it.
As a few of you know my day job is selling video games, so between COD Ghosts, the Xbox One and Playstation 4 November is a busy month at work, and I’m going from 2-3 small shifts a week to 4 nearly full day shifts per week. Much less time between work and the hurricane, but still there’s more.
I’m trying to get my writing there. I’ve been pummeling my hard drive with new short stories for the last year. Some have been published (Short Circuit and Stolen Hearts), some are polished and under consideration at various magazines and anthologies, but a lot are still rough. The latter stories need work, and I want to work on them. I want to get them up to snuff and send them out too, particularly with my recent successes I want to get more out there and fast (but without compromising quality).
And yet that still isn’t all of what makes me think NaNo is cursed this year. Like a good little prepper I picked my story well in advance and plotted it thoroughly. I liked it so much I decided to use it for my application for the Breakout Novelist Scholarships. Before submitting my application I had some good friends from my critique group give it a once over, and one of them mentioned my plot had some passing similarities to an already published series. Agh! They only have similarities, nothing that would see anyone involving lawyers, but that instantly took the shine off the story for me.
I feel deflated because of all of these things, but I don’t intend to let that get me down. I’m still going to take the challenge and I’m still going to go at it head on, I just hope I can keep everything together for this massive month.
To finish on a positive note here’s a picture of my first home made jack-o-lantern – a lot harder than I thought but also a lot of fun. Like NaNo perhaps?
NaNoWriMo is a lot of fun, but winning isn’t easy, it takes a competitive spirit (oh, look, I’m a gamer – it’s in my BLOOD), good planning and real determination. However getting into the spirit of NaNo is nowhere near as hard as winning. NaNoWriMo just wants you to write, to take that dream of completing a novel and do it instead of fantasising about rolling in your money with JK Rowling and George RR Martin(good for the imagination, but not for actual productivity). As long as you start you are still a winner because you finally started that novel at long, long last.
That being said, I’m gonna win again this year!
Philosoraptor pontificates NaNoWriMo
With NaNo on the rapid approach I’ve been working hard on my prep again this year. Last year taught me that good prep significantly boosts your chances of winning. I’ve also been reminiscing about my obsession with memegenerator last year, so enjoy all my NaNo themed memes from last year(click to read posts they originated from).
I’ve picked my story: Between Blinks, and finished the chapter by chapter plotting. I haven’t broken it all down into scene cards in Scrivener yet, but have started. I know from experience as soon as I run out of those scene cards I run out of steam – or at least that’s what happened last year.
not ‘simply’ anyway
I’ve prewarned most people that I will not be very social (I think I might be anti-social in general though ;p ) and T-J knows from experience that I’m going to slack-out on the housework again.
This year I’m excited because I’m going to the local NaNo retreat on Stradbroke island. I’ll be rooming with the awesome Talitha Kalago so I expect lots of laughs and a big boost for my word count.
Now the hard part, waiting until November 1st to start.
Kirstie Olley is an award-winning speculative fiction author and the full-time wrangler of her children Xander and Harlequin.
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