For those of you who might have been wondering what happened to the end of November and NaNoWriMo – I did manage to complete the 50k word target… As usual, I was running right up until the deadline date and over, if I’m honest – finally stopping on 30th November with a grand total of 52, 242 words.
I wrote this post and thought I’d put it out on 1st December, but just came across it in my drafts now – so obviously I’d got writing fatigue or something 🙂 So, here it is – two weeks after crossing the finish line!
After completing this, I went cold turkey for the last couple of weeks, returning to the normal world where everything isn’t measured in sentences and words counts; where people are real and not characters I can control with a few strokes of a keyboard… Unfortunately, when I went to input my final figures into the NaNo site itself, my attempt for this year has closed and I couldn’t add my final five days of stats – so they have me finishing at 46,109. Oh well, at least I know the words are written!
Looking at the length of the first two books in the series – which hover around 115k words – it looks like I’m well over halfway through Outlanders and with having a lot of the planning for it mapped out, continuing to write it will hopefully be less of a struggle than I’ve found so far.
I know everyone says there’s never enough time for things – perhaps I should try the disciplined ‘chip away at it’ style of writing a little every day…? The only problem is that I tend to have big writing spurts then nothing – any advice on how to keep going, or even get started on a sustainable plan?
I don’t know about the other writers out there, but I do find music helps me when I’m writing.
If I’m trundling along in the car, thinking about whatever I’m working on, certain songs will jump out at me (metaphorically speaking, obviously, otherwise it would be dangerous). Usually, I find myself day-dreaming, mini-montage style about a particular scene or piece of dialogue. Perhaps, because I was a teen of the nineties 80s power music has a tendency to get me thinking of action scenes or inspiring ‘progress’ moments for the characters…I tell you – film makers of the eighties have a lot to answer for in the strange world that is my brain.
When it comes to actually typing the stuff out, I struggle to have songs on, even in the background – they’re better for prompting ideas and scenes really. For actually writing, fingers to keyboard stuff, I have a couple of favourite soundtracks – both from films – whose scores cover a range of themes from battles to romance. If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself, why not check them out on You Tube clips here.
The Last of the Mohicans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42MAk4_DBFc
My other ‘go to’ is composer Craig Armstrong – he’s done a lot of film soundtracks and early on worked on several British movies (Love Actually, Plunket and MacLean). His piano compositions are beautiful and if you’re looking for background music to match your scene, or just in general, this could be right for you.
Anyway – after sharing some of my inspirations, it’s back to work – because NaNo waits for no one and I’ve only got a bit more to go now 🙂
*flicks to iTunes and presses PLAY*
A fellow NaNo author’s experience and getting out of a writing slump, if you fall into one this year.
He’s definitely not alone in the NaNo slump – I got myself ahead of word count in the first couple of weeks and had – dare I say it – three days off last week!
This author seems to write in a similar way to me – I like to write all the big, exciting, important bits (which flow nice and naturally) and then go back through to join them together. My main struggle this year has been when I got bogged down in the bridging stuff to get my main character from one part to another, when I just wanted to write the exciting action stuff. I also find, that if I’m getting stuck, I start to mini-edit which then affects the flow as well…
In the end, after my break early last week I’ve skipped writing in order, in favour of doing the big stuff again. I had quite a few one-shots drafted in my note books as well, which I’ve typed up and used as prompts to get me going into a scene – always helpful to have old notes, for when your writing mojo abandons you 🙂
Anyway – check out the post to see how NaNo is for someone else
I know I only posted yesterday, but I saw this and thought it was good and might help anyone else out there who is halfway through their own writing challenge 🙂
This is good advice at this point in time. I’m still fighting the urge to mess around with the structure of the novel and questioning if some of the things really need to be in there – most of the time I’m winning, but I definitely feel the temptation once I’ve got a lot of a book written to keep going back over things.
So, halfway through the month, with fifteen days of writing under my belt, I feel OK. But, there’s two weeks left to go and these are usually the tougher ones for me…just typing in itself can get quite grating over the course of the month with NaNo – especially if you use a computer for much of your ‘day job’ outside the hours that NaNo takes over. I’m hoping that my interest in the story will keep me going, and the fact that doing this is getting me closer to completion in a couple of weeks, than I’ve gotten all year.
(By the way – word count this morning was 32,899 and I’m going to get some more done tonight – hopefully!)
Anyone else struggle with the urge to go back and start editing / checking something you’ve recently written? When I open the document to begin writing again, I find that I have a tendancy to go back a few pages or so, re-reading to get myself into the flow…but then I find that I begin tweaking and changing and twiddling things whilst I’m there!
If you read any of the advice on the NaNo website, they advocate writing, writing and more writing -Editing is the enemy! 🙂 And I know that’s true, because my writing certainly flows differently if I’m not at all in the editing mode.
So, that is why today’s inspirational kick in the booty is this: “First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.” Now, all I have to do is actually listen the advice I’m giving myself.