NaNo – No no…

Head Desk Day 13 of NaNoWriMo and I’m really not doing very well… Four weeks ago, when I was finishing RMT I was bubbling over with enthusiasm and ideas for another book: scenes kept springing into my head, one-shots were pretty much writing themselves, cover design was done in a single sitting….

Then 1st November rolls around and pfft – nothing, nada, zilch. I tried the next day and the next – I tried the prologue, and skipped forward to chapter 1, because I wasn’t really feeling good about the writing. I tried jumping ahead to some of the ‘action scenes’ thinking they might spur me on (yeah – I’m not even going to bother letting you see those). By 4th November, I had a grand total of 462 words:


“How can there be this much friggin’ rain?”

Corinne Smith was muttering to herself as ran for the shelter of the tram station platform. Her feet squelched inside soggy boots as she stomped down the stairs, annoyed that no one had thought to enclose them to protect passengers from the elements. Twenty seconds later, she stepped into a dark, damp recess on the platform and out of the storm.

She shook her head, which made ringlets of wet hair stick to her face and the inside of her hooded coat. I hate being damp.

(Note: Insert major action scene to draw in reader and bump off this lovely lady in a pretty gruesome fashion).

The creature pulled himself up into a tree, his long finger nails sinking into the wet bark. It was an easy climb for him up to a low branch, which gave a good view of the platform and his recent handiwork. He didn’t miss being human, not one bit, but that didn’t stop him being fascinated by them.

hapter 1

“Beth! Psst – Beth!”

I turned in the direction of the voice. As did half of the people on the tables surrounding me – they obviously didn’t appreciate being interrupted either. My fellow students looked at the whispering girl and then glared around the library workspace until they identified the other guilty party. Perfect, it was me.

Please don’t come over, please don’t come over…

“Hey!” Kerry greeted me, at full, normal ‘non-library’ volume, as she plopped into the chair opposite.

“Hey,” I whispered back, closing my books and piling them together as quickly and quietly as possible.

“Are you finished?” Kerry continued, still on full volume.

“I am now!” I hissed back, getting out of my seat and grabbing the book tower I’d just made. There was no point trying to continue working and I was eager to get away from the death-stares we were receiving from the people studying around us.

With my books in my arms, I hurried through the library stacks, passing dozens of bookcases with shelves crammed full of every type of book and document you could imagine. Kerry trotted along behind, close at my heels until we passed through the glass doors into the main library entrance hall.

As soon as we moved into the hall, we broke out of the bubble of silence that existed inside the main library and re-entered the normal world,

“Who the hell says psst, anyway? You sounded like a character from a bad spy film or something.”

“Whatever – I stand by my method of extraction.” Kerry shrugged. “I had to get you out of there: you were turning into one of those brainiac zombies who devours books and craves silence.”

I nodded, in mock-agreement. “Yeah – those guys are crazy. You’d think they were there to learn or something, who’d want to do that when you’re a student?”


So, for the last nine days I’ve been stuck – I really like this story (the one in my head, not the one I’ve managed to get down on paper), but my mojo has definitely gone. I’ve 17 days left in November – and I actually think I could still complete the challenge – but I don’t think it will be with this book: there’s too much planning and prep to put into it, to write something I’m not sure I’m ready to write.

Maybe if I want a break from Ambrosia but can’t get into gear on this piece, I should try something else… ?

Your thoughts (and any additional word count you can offer!) would be gratefully received!


7 thoughts on “NaNo – No no…

    1. mel Post author

      It’s 50k in the month – so only 49.5k to go 🙂

      When I’m on a roll, I can definitely churn through a good 5000-7000 words in a day, to then end up editing half out later! I think I’m just feeling a bit tired and not overly creative at the moment – that’s half the problem in getting things to flow.

  1. TonyT

    Oh dear. 😦

    I suggest going with a brain-storming mind map thing and see how that goes. Instead of doing the prologue scene in full, just do the kill, or the approach, or just one sentence of it – the fangs (or whatever) going into the back of her neck (or where ever). Start with the last sentence of the book and work your way backwards. Do only the dialogue. Interview your characters.

    My favourite piece of advice from Raymond Chandler: “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.” So do something wild: Have an earthquake or aliens land.

    >>“Who the hell says psst, anyway? You sounded like a character from a bad spy film or something.”

    I loved that bit.

    1. mel Post author

      🙂 thanks Author T – there’s some good ideas there to get me jump started – esp. like the Raymond Chandler thing.

      I think I’ll try the mind map too – I had lots going on in my head a few weeks ago, but the only thing in there now is dust and puppies!

  2. coffee2words

    Have you had a look at the forums on the NaNo site? The groups on there have local area meet ups and online sprints and whatnot that might be useful to get you going. If you enjoy a bit of competition on twitter the Wrimos do word battles or something. I’m not entirely sure how or how well that works though.

    Where I was going with the local area meet ups was get a sounding board – someone who is enthused with writing and spring ideas off them, feed off each others enthusiasm for those new ideas. A different perspective is usually all one needs to get that writing happening. Some of my best ideas have come from those types of conversations.

    Of course, that could work online too – provided it was fairly immediate.

    Hope you can dig in and get that creativity flowing. 🙂

    1. mel Post author

      Thanks for the ideas – I have been back into the NaNo site to try and get the creative juices going, but struggle with work and home life to actually get to the physical events they do. I think my biggest issue is still that I really like to have my head around something when I’m writing, so that I can just charge on, and I’m not in that place with this story.

      I have a cunning plan though 🙂


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