Winner

So my NaNo widget is officially stamped with the word WINNER. Very exciting! And I still have a whole four days left in the process. I’m going to use this time to rewrite a couple of scenes from the beginning of my novel which I know need to be changed for continuity. It will be the first draft of them in this iteration so I think that’s fair game.

I have been thinking, though, how very sad I’ll be once NaNoWriMo is over for the year. This was my first year participating although I had been thinking about it for a long time. I remember back in February and March wishing that it was time because I really wanted to write with purpose. I did it alone back then and made a mess and started over and then in August ditched everything to write a whole new novel. It was great, fun, creative, wonderful, difficult, tiresome, horrid, and all those other things.

This was so much better though. I really felt the community spirit while NaNoing. Having published authors, from the genre I’m interested in, take time out of their busy days to talk with me, encourage me, write with me, was an amazing experience. I have gained and learned so much from that experience.

I was always worried that I maybe only had one book in me. The thought of finishing one manuscript and revisions was so daunting I thought that I could never have enough creativity to do it again. But, although I have just finished my NaNo novel draft, and although I have a separate first draft which I finished just before NaNo waiting for revisions, I’m itching to write another story.

A character I had never thought about has sprung up in my mind and I don’t know her story yet but she wants me to tell it. That is by far the most exciting thing. That when 2012 began I didn’t have any characters or worlds or stories of my own — now I have more than I know what to do with. I’m going to take the time to mull over her and write notes while I revise the draft that was finished before NaNo, and maybe mull her over a little more while I revise the NaNo novel draft, and then, when we’re ready (hopefully with some kind of outline!!) I’ll start writing about her.

Having more stories, more characters — who are becoming more and more real to me as they develop — than I have time to deal with is the best thing to have come out of this year. NaNoWriMo has only been the icing on the cake.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the process for me. Although plenty of people think I’m insane for doing it, writing is actually the thing that has kept me sane this year. I’m finally doing something I’ve always wanted to, and it feels amazing.

Day Twenty

So I’ve had four days of terrible, terrible procrastination. I tried to plan out some of the remaining scenes that I have left to write and I find that as I’m so close to my NaNo win already I’m becoming pickier with what I write. Which isn’t the point!

So today I went back to writing, writing, writing. What’s crazy is that I wrote over 3000 words today. 3111 to be precise. And they were all in one scene. Usually I write a thousand or so and get distracted without actually finishing my scenes. It’s good because when I go back to rewrite I’ve got lots of stuff to work from, but today the muse was with me! Hurrah!

Final word count for this evening is 43,524 words! So exciting! Can’t wait to hopefully break 45,000 words tomorrow.

Day Sixteen (and a Snippet)

I’ve really struggled to write anything today. I’m just so tired! My total word count is 40,018. I’ve added a whopping six words! Instead here’s a snippet from this week.


She swallowed, taking a step closer to Bright. Her hands shook. Her palms were slick. Carrington felt like a rabbit staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, waiting for the inevitable shot. “What ritual?”

His voice wasn’t even a whisper. “A sacrifice.”

“Sacrifice?” Her voice cracked on the word. Tears clogged Carrington’s throat.

He reached out for her. “I’m so sorry, Carrie. They’ve been planning this forever. You’re the only Harvester I’ve ever heard of.”

Thick, silent tears broke through the barrier of her lashes and streaked down her face. She sniffed, trying to clear her throat. “They’re going to kill me?”

“Carrie–” Bright took another step forward but Carrington retreated by the same measure, jerking away from his outstretched hand.

“Don’t touch me!” She wiped under her nose with the back of her hand, never taking her eyes off Bright. “They’re going to kill me, just so they can can do some stupid magic tricks?”

Bright’s face was stricken. His eyes were glassy and though no tears fell she could hear them in his voice. “It’s not like that. You know the Cordates–”

“There were no Cordates! There was no Umbra! You said they’ve been planning for years…” She wrapped her arms tightly around her ribs, as though she could hold herself together. “How long have you known?” she asked.

Bright stopped. His lips pressed into a tight, bloodless line.

“How long have you known, Bright?” she asked.

He dropped his gaze to the floor. Carrington grabbed the lamp from the side table and threw it at him. Bright only just dodged it, looking behind him to see the glass shatter against the wall.

“I knew you hated me but–”

“I don’t hate you. God, Carrington, you’re the only thing–”

She slumped, the fight draining from her. “Then why?” Her face crumpled as she spoke. Bright didn’t have an answer for her. He tried to move closer but Carrington evaded him again. “Well,” she said. “Thanks for changing your mind about killing me.”

She spun on her heel, running out of the room.

Day Fifteen

The victory dances continue! The half-way word count stands at 40,012 words. THAT’S HOW WE DO IT!

If I can manage to write at least the NaNo daily word goal, of 1667, then I’ll have a first draft manuscript of around 65,000 words. I do have a confession though… I still don’t really know who my antagonist is. This is a problem. A big problem. In fact if I don’t decide ASAP I pretty much can’t write anything more. I know what they do, I just don’t know who they are or why they’re doing it!

ANTAGONIST, I MUST UNMASK THEE!

Day Fourteen

I’m pretty much kicking NaNo’s ass and never want it to end! 37,068 is my new total. I forced myself to make some decisions about the novel as a whole today and I think if I keep plugging I’ll definitely have not just a NaNoWriMo win under my belt, but a final first draft.

And what could be more satisfying than writing a fully-fledged first draft in 30 days? If I stick to a similar rate for the rest of the month (and I really hope I do!) I’m looking at a final MS of around 65,000 to 70,000. Yay!

Day Thirteen

I broke 30,000 words! DANCE PARTY!

My Nano total stands at 31,079 right now. I can barely believe it. I never thought I’d do this well and I’m not even slogging through yet. I do have some pretty major plot decisions to make IMMEDIATELY though or I’m going to have trouble writing much more. And of course, this first draft will require so much revision it hurts my head to think about it.

But the good part about NaNoWriMo is that I don’t need to think about it until December!

Day Nine (and a Snippet)

Woot! Finally broke 20,000! The total word count so far is: 20,285 words. And just because I can, here’s a snippet from today (totally first drafty):


It looked like the kind of place tourists died of carbon monoxide poisoning, or coughed up a lung because of mould spores in their pillow. It looked like somewhere a serial killer would hide out for awhile.

Bright swung the steering wheel, flicked on the indicator, and sent them straight into the turn off for the Travelodge of Terror. Carrington’s lip curled and her eyebrows shot up her face. “You’re kidding me, right?”

His face was smug. “What’s wrong? Can’t rough it, Shadow Keeper?”

“Can’t and would-rather-die are totally different things,” she said.

“Feel free to take your chances in the car park. I bet you’ll make friends.”

Carrington looked out at the scenery around them. Most of it was motorway, but a little way down the road she could see lights that looked as though they might belong to an Esso station or a Little Chef. Neither inspired much hope for the type of people who would be frequenting them in the middle of the night. Anyone loitering here had to be bad news.

Bright parked the car easily, there were only two other cars in the lot, which Carrington was pretty sure belonged to staff in the… hotel. “It’s not even dark,” she said. “Why don’t we look for somewhere else?”

“Because, princess, we’re meeting someone here tonight.”

She shuddered. “Who the hell wants to meet us in Serial Killer Valley?”

Bright shrugged knowingly. His expression made it clear that Carrington’s assessment of their character wasn’t that far off.

She sighed. “I hate this job.”

He smirked at her discomfort. “Some days aren’t so bad.” Bright shut down the engine and climbed out to retrieve his bag from the back seat, leaving Carrington in the car.

Day Eight

Got some terrible news today but decided to write on. Total is 18,232 now. I’m hoping to break 20,000 tomorrow and hit 25,000 on day 10? Fingers crossed.

Day Seven

Sprints and cranking up the Taylor Swift seems to be the way to success! My word count is now at 15,685 after writing 2362 words today in an hour. I can barely even believe it.

I haven’t even written out a list of scenes that could potentially happen to help me with the sprints. Right now I’m running on pure enthusiasm and the desperate need not to be totally shamed on Twitter! Hah.