Sunday, November 30, 2014

National Novel Writing Month - I finished.

My latest novel manuscript is off to a flying start thanks to National Novel Writing Month. I am 50,963 words in, about halfway through. Really enjoying the story I am writing, although my characters are not. The five of them are in a precarious situation with absolutely no idea what is going on. They have theories, but none of them is close. I am looking forward to springing the big revelation on them.

This was the third time I have done NaNoWriMo, and it was the hardest. There was no novelty thrill. This time I did not reach the 50,000 words until the final day. My long-term illness was up and about for just about the whole month, and the medication I take for it really tires me. The illness also made it uncomfortable to sit for extended periods. I wrote in blocks of 300-500 words and then had a break and did something else for half an hour or so. I wrote well into the evening on most days to pass the daily average of 1667 words.

I did this NaNoWriMo primarily to increase my output and dedication to writing. This it has done. I now spend a lot more time thinking about my writing, often stopping what I am doing to write down notes. This morning I even thought up some ideas while swimming that I had to remember until I finally finished my laps, so I could write them down. I, up until this morning, had been very good at avoiding thinking about writing while swimming for fear of forgetting killer ideas by the time I had finished. 

It will be interesting to see how much I write this month. I have a new article for Divine to write this week which requires a lot of research, and I now have nearly three months of newspapers stacked up to read. Lots of ideas for Divine articles come out of the newspapers, and I believe it is a duty of writers to keep themselves informed, so there is no way I am throwing them out until they have been thoroughly scoured. But while catching up on reading them and writing more articles for Divine, I hope to write at least 15,000 words of my novel this month.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

National Novel Writing Month - Three Weeks In.

I have been too busy writing to blog lately. I am currently doing National Novel Writing Month. The aim is to write 50,000 words for the month. As of a few moments ago I have written 1826 words for the day, which betters the daily target of 1667 words. My best daily total is 2430 words. All up I have written 37345 words, so I am currently 2345 words ahead of schedule. But I need to get further ahead as next week I have a few days where my writing time is reduced, and I won’t be writing at all on Saturday week because of an all day and late into the night job as a polling assistant.

I am very much enjoying the science fiction young adult story I am writing. The novel can easily be divided into five parts, and I am just at the end of part two, which suggests it will be about 90,000 words. A bit shorter than my other drafts of novels.

I do worry about a few things though. Do I have too much dialogue? Recently I have begun to include short past tense (the novel is written in present tense) summaries of what the four main characters said and decided to do.

I also worry about the amount of swearing I have included. When I was a kid we swore out heads off, but I have a feeling I will be cutting down on the swearing when I edit it.

Another worry comes from the novel being in first person and from the one character’s POV. Everything is described from an 18-year-old’s limited knowledge of the world and the people in it. So sometimes his descriptions and conclusions are dead wrong. I worry readers might say that is wrong, and think the author should have checked his facts, rather than the reader knowing that it is just the character who is wrong.

The last point makes the writing easier in some ways because I don’t have to fact check everything my character says. If he thinks the moon might be bigger in the northern hemisphere, then that is what he thinks. I don’t need to bother to check whether he is right.

Anyway, I must get back to writing and see if I can beat my best daily total so far.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

National Novel Writing Month: The First Twelve Days.

This is my first blog post in over two weeks. I have been too busy writing fiction to blog. I am doing National Novel Writing Month and I have written 18,544 words of a new novel over the past 12 days. The aim is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month, an average of 1667 words a day. So far, I have made that average on ten of the twelve days, with my daily totals varying between 1303 to 1887 words.

I have done NaNoWriMo twice before. This time it is a lot harder due to tiredness caused by the medication I am taking for my ulcerative colitis. The crappy disease became active again about six weeks ago, appeared to go away for about a week, but then it came back.

So I am tired. And I need to get ahead with my writing because there are things happening at the end of the month that will eat into writing time (that’s assuming my UC disappears). I am only 111 words ahead of schedule.

But the tiredness has not wrecked my reawakened enthusiasm for writing, my main reason for doing NaNoWriMo. I find myself thinking about the novel all the time, while watching the news, while walking, while people are talking to me. It’s a half hour walk to town and I have been spending much of that time scribbling notes on a pad. Many days I go for a walk before writing, so when I get home and turn on the computer my characters thoughts and actions are raring to flow.

So it's a battle between enthusiasm and tiredness, hopefully the former wins.