OH HI THERE. How are you? I’m fine. Just sitting over here, ya know, SCREAMING BECAUSE IT’S NANOWRIMO AND HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN???
Ahem. Yep. Perfectly calm.
But seriously, guys, IT’S NANO. And just WUT? I think I’m still in shock that it’s actually here and we’re a few days in and nearing the end of the first week. It came fast and hard!
Screaming aside, it is in fact Monday, which means I should be posting a blog post, but during NaNo I usually just explode my blog with totally incoherent writing updates (we’re gonna pretend that’s not what I do the rest of the year eventhoughitkindofis). So if you nosy dragons are curious how my 2018 NaNo has been thus far (and what on earth the title of this post means bwahaha), buckle in!
NANO ‘18 WEEK ONE
THE WEEK BEFORE
I’m gonna be honest, this was one of the first years I was terrified I was not going to get everything done before NaNo. My outline was being a monster, my inbox had exploded, I was really exhausted the week leading up to NaNo, things just weren’t looking great. But, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s nothing like a deadline to kick me into super ultra hyper drive. I sat myself down and kicked my brain until it finally figured out my story’s ending. I attacked my inbox with full force. I caught up on social media, I did some cleaning, I even threw together a mock cover for my book which I always love to do for my NaNo novels but this year just did not think I’d get the time. BUT I DID IT.
And so, by Wednesday evening, I found myself, miracle of miracles, READY. It was such a relieving feeling! Now that I had gotten things more in order and finally had all of my novel mapped out, I knew I could just relax and enjoy the writing process. I WAS READY TO GO. …Sorta.
Every single NaNo (except for last year due to work getting in the way), I’ve stayed up on October 31st to midnight to start writing. It’s such a thrilling moment when that clock strikes twelve and you jump into that story you’ve been anticipating, plus get a good start for the month at the literal first second. Buuut this time I was tired. I had gotten up a little early Wednesday because I had work that day and, really, I wanted nothing more than to collapse in bed and sleep, but I also reeeally wanted to stay up to midnight and write some. Finally, I caved and decided forget good health and common sense! IT’S NANO. Let’s do this thing! (Read: I’m a terrible influence and you should probably never follow my example.)
THURSDAY: DAY #1
This year I was going to be a little itty bitty NaNo rebel (which is what it’s called when you don’t start a brand new fictional novel for NaNo) because technically I already had 1k words of this story written. Buuuut after completely outlining it and actually figuring out what’s going on, I decided to scrap those 1k words and fully rewrite the beginning. So I’m not a rebel this year after all!
It was ten minutes before midnight, and the rush of excitement woke me up a little bit. I made some tea, grabbed my laptop, opened Kings Bleed Gold’s Scrivener file, stuck my headphones in, and…WROTE. And guys. GUYS. IT WAS SO FUN.
I don’t know if it’s because I had written the beginning before (I did change the scene a lot, but it was still more or less the same scene I had scrapped) or…what. But the writing went so smoothly. Because, see, story beginnings are the bane of my existence. It always takes me a bit to get into the story and figure out the characters’ voices and grasp the right feel of the novel and just get into that groove of writing, you know? So, pretty much always, the first couple of days or so of NaNo are pretty rough and grueling. And it’s funny because every year I think, “Well, maybe the beginning will go better this year!” and then every year the beginning does not go better at all. So this year, I struck down that optimistic thinking (lololol so positive) and was all set for a hard couple of days of writing. I just knew if I could get past the first days, then I’d start really enjoying the story and having fun.
Well har har. I guess I did reverse psychology on myself? Because the first days of writing were a joy. When I started writing at midnight, the words just flowed. Since I was so tired, I had decided I’d just write 500 words and then go to bed. But I ended up writing 1k and had to force myself to stop and sleep, but I really didn’t want to! I went to bed so happy and encouraged and raring to go.
The following day was a gloriously free day and it was cold and rainy—optimum writing weather. And so I did. And wrote and wrote and wrote. It continued to go well, not perfect of course, but far better than most beginnings. Now, that’s not to say the writing isn’t a disastrous mess. I’m pretty sure it is, but that’s what editing is for, yeah?
I think my favorite part of writing this day was the setting. The beginning starts in Midas’ kingdom which is based off Ancient Greece, a setting I’ve never written before, and I found it such a fun place to build and explore. Writing is awesome, guys! I’m just sayin’.
WORDS WRITTEN: 7,031
(Ehehehe…yeah. But 1k of that was the night before technically, and I always try to get as much in as I can on the first day.)
FRIDAY: DAY #2
The success of the first day was boosting me on, and I started this day with a goal to end it with 5k words (because, pffft, who even needs a life and sanity and sleep?). I honestly barely even remember anything that happened Friday except writing????
By this point the story was really moving, and I got to write some high action scenes and drama which is always a good time bwahahaha! I was also getting to know Midas much better.
While day one of writing did go well and I was loving the setting, I was not feeling as emotionally connected to my protagonist as I’d like. Midas was just kind of….there, and I feel like the writing was a bit too distant and not as deep into his point-of-view as I like. (I’m alllll about those deep POV stories.) But I wasn’t stressing it too hard. I knew it’d come, I just needed a bit more time with him.
But by the second day I was definitely getting a grasp of his voice. And he’s surprised me. Like a lot. Because…he’s nice. See, the first idea of this story was to make an extremely jerkish main character and then torture and break him into a good person. I’msonice. Things of course evolved, but that idea is still the core of the story. I was a bit worried Midas was going to be unlikable though. Who wants a jerk of a protagonist??? But it doesn’t matter how over-the-top-detailed I make my character bios, I never really get to know them until I start actually writing them. My characters just kinda…do what they want. I never force their personalities, they just come. So, though I do have a huge bio for Midas, I knew I’d have to write him to fully see how he’d come out. And, like, he’s way, way nicer than I originally thought…
I mean, yes, he still has a ton of issues, can be a huge brat, has plenty of jerk-ish moments, and is selfish beyond belief, buuuut he’s also charismatic and (hopefully) rather likable. And this is a good thing! Because now I think I can continue my plan of utterly breaking him in two, while also having a protagonist that’s not totally detestable. Win-win! He’s also proving to be a bit of a sass-master, which I’m not complaining about… Except he keeps sassing off the big, scary, murderous dragons and eheheheh good luck with that, boy.
But really, I’m having a blast figuring him out. He feels a lot different from the protagonists I’m used to writing, and I like that!
WORDS WRITTEN: 5,005
SATURDAY: DAY #3
Writing has honestly just gotten more and more fun with each day, which is usually what happens in the first week. Now I was really getting a grasp of Midas’ voice and finally delved into that deep POV I felt like I was missing at the start. I was at last not just writing words on a page, I was living them, which is my absolute favorite feeling.
This day of writing was particularly fun because we got our first glimpse of SYRAM. Midas met the crazy boy for the first time, and I may or may not have been grinning through the whole scene (because fangirling over your own characters is normal???). Then, at the end of that day’s writing session, Korinna entered the picture, which was a scene I was quite looking forward to. I didn’t get very far into it though, but leaving in the middle of a scene I was excited about helped me jump right into writing the next day (which is something I should remember…).
WORDS WRITTEN: 5,556
SUNDAY: DAY #4
This is the day the true adventures began.
As I said, I had left on a scene I was enjoying, and jumping back into it took no time. This was Midas’ and Korinna’s first meeting, and I was curious to see how they interacted. Which…to non-writers (and probably even some writers) may sound weird but, as I said earlier, my characters just do what they want. I really NEVER know exactly what they’re going to be like until I start writing them, and then it’s even more so when they’re first interacting. Like…will they like each other? Hate one another? Be super awkward? WHO CAN KNOW.
I feel like first character meetings are like being a parent trying to set up playdates with new friends for your kids and hoping to goodness they get along.
Except…oftentimes the goal is for the characters to not get along in order to create conflict, and we writers spend like 96% of our time figuring out ways to makes our characters lives worse so, um, maybe comparing us to parents is a bad thing. Ahem.
I’m pleased to say the first meeting between Midas and Korinna went super well, and now I’m really excited to write more scenes between them. I think the dynamics between them and Syram are going to be SO FUN. (I just love characters, guys!)
So most of this day’s writing was their conversation, and I was having a lovely time. I had to cut the writing a little short though, becaaause I was going to see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms!!!
I have been screaming in excitement over this movie since the day the teaser trailer came out last December. I’ve always, always adored watching ballet and I really like the story of The Nutcracker and go to see pretty much anything Disney produces so yeah. I WAS EXCITED.
And…it was good. But it didn’t blow me away. *ALL THE TEARS* Really, it had all the right elements. Clara was a good heroine, everything was GORGEOUS, I adored all the things being run on clockwork, the fantasy world was awesome, there were some fun scenes and lovely music. But…it just didn’t enthrall me. I think the problem was they had this big, awesome, fantasy world and didn’t really use it. The plot was way too simplistic and straightforward, and honestly just kind of lame. And I have this weird pet peeve about simple plots being set in huge, intricate, epic worlds. Like…no. If you’re going to promise me an epic world, I want a big, epic story to go with it. But I think that’s just a weird Christine thing SO. I still totally recommend going to see the movie! It was definitely worth the watch, and actually had me tearing up a time or two. I just expected more. (I think after the pure perfection of Maleficent, my expectations have been too high for these new Disney movies. Because Maleficent was EVERYTHING and I want more like that!)
But yeah, it was definitely a great break to go see the movie, especially since movies are one of the biggest things that refills my creativity tank, but after looking forward to it for almost a year I do wish it had enraptured me more.
So that happened. And then, later, my sis and I were in the car with my dad. It was dark and rainy, and we were at a red light, minding our own business and discussing supper plans, when, right in front of us, a car smashed into another one, spun out, hit a pole, and bumped into the front of Dad’s truck. O____O Um. Yeah. Cue the panicking.
Dad called 911, everyone scrambled out of their cars, and, praise God, no one was hurt. Which, really, was a miracle of God. The front of the first car was destroyed, and the one that spun out was pretty much totaled. Yet still, somehow, the person inside was unscathed. Still thanking God for that! My dad’s truck just got a dent in the front, nothing major.
But yeah, that was quite the adventure. I’m just so, so grateful everyone was fine. Definitely an unexpected way to end our Sunday evening.
Needless to say, this was a much slower day of writing than the previous ones. But I did get in that good bit of writing at the start of the day, so I’ll take it! And I guess now I have an interesting experience to remember this NaNo by??? We’ll look at the positives. Eheheh.
WORDS WRITTEN: 1,714
Total Word Count: 19,306
I had really hoped to hit 20k, buuut obviously I was a smidge preoccupied yesterday.
Other than yesterday’s little hiccup, it has been an AWESOME start to NaNo ‘18. And I feel like the farther I get into my novel, the more I’m going to love it.
But don’t get me wrong. It has not been perfectly smooth sailing. I know there are going to be plenty of hard days ahead as the holidays get closer and life piles up and burnout takes root. And don’t think every word has come easy for me! I’ve been agonizing over how to word things like every other sentence, and literally keep thesaurus.com permanently opened because apparently coming up with a different word for something like dropped is too much for my tired brain??? I also suspect every word of this novel is a monstrous mess of grossness (I haven’t dared read back over any of it). BUT. I have been enjoying the story immensely and am getting words down, and that’s what counts! Just have fun and make a mess, guys!
Also, I know I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating: The only reason I’m able to get a high wordcount in each day is because I do not have a full-time job, go to school, or have children and such like that, and, due to health problems, I live a pretty quiet life in general. I honestly don’t know how so many of you manage to keep up with NaNo amidst school or work or raising children and just all the things you do. YOU’RE ALL AMAZING.
Just remember, we all have our own pace and a certain amount of craziness in our lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that one tiny bit. So write when you can, don’t stress it when you can’t, and just enjoy the journey! Because writing is seriously a magical thing, you guys!
Week two is near approaching, which can often be the hardest one as the excitement of week one has worn down but there’s still such a long road ahead. But let’s face that road with our adventure boots on (or am I the only one who feels like adventuring whenever I wear boots?) and race across it with enthusiasm. WE’VE GOT THIS!
TALK WITH ME!
To all my fellow Wrimos: HOW’S IT GOING??? Have you survived the first stretch of the journey? What are some victories you’ve faced these past few days? And to my non-NaNo-ing readers: How was your first week of November? I do hope these cool, crisp days are treating you well (and that we NaNo-ers haven’t driven you totally up the wall with all our NaNo talk eheh). TELL ME EVERYTHING!