NaNoWriMo – Day 21

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Day 21, and it’s been a good third week of NaNoWriMo.

Week two was a bit of a grind, to be honest, but week three has been much better. I’ve kept to my daily personal target of 2,000 words and have managed to churn out 42,484 words. The end goal of 50,000 words is well and truly in sight!

I should end up with a first draft and this will give me a good manuscript to work with during the revision process. There will be detail to add, delete and revise I am sure, but I am more confident now that I can turn this particular writing project into a finished article.

The synopsis I will redraft to iron out minor flaws and inconsistencies I have come across whilst I have been writing. I also need to work out individual chapter contents and structure. Finally, I’ll revise the character profiles as I have developed some of the characters as I have written the draft. This will help the revision process to ensure they stay within character and not go AWOL!

Hopefully, all downhill from here! Wish me luck.

Horace
A draft cover for NaNoWriMo, but not the final one.
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NaNoWriMo – Day 14

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Two weeks into NaNOWriMo and I’m still here writing! These last few days have been tough, though.

I’ve kept on track with my 2,000 word daily target and have reached the grand total of 28,236 words! It was a big incentive to pass the halfway mark (so I kept telling myself!) but it’s a long downhill stretch from here.

The book I’m writing is a fiction title. It’s about a man called Horace. He’s just retired and has all these plans for retirement. A structured plan, but all that changes on the morning of his retirement party. There … that’s  the teaser!

I wasn’t sure about this story, hence the reason the synopsis has been sitting around on my laptop for some time. I didn’t really know whether I had the enthusiasm for the characters and the storyline to finish it. Anyway, I decided I’d give it a go for this year’s NanNoWriMo. The more I’ve written, the more enthusiastic I have become about the storyline and the characters.

What I thought was a fairly detailed synopsis, probably isn’t. I am finding some flaws in the plot line which I’ll need to address, but my focus is in completing a first draft of all the scenes. After that I can focus on tightening the synopsis and being comfortable that the characters’ actions are consistent with how they should behave. And then comes the revision process …

But first I need to see out this month and get this draft finished!

NaNoWriMo – Day 10

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Well I’ve reached Day 10 of this year’s NaNoWriMo. A third of the way through and I’m still writing! What’s more I’ve managed to keep to my ambitious daily schedule of 2,000 words taking me to the grand total of 20,212 words to date.

I thought I had a fairly robust plot outline but I am finding a few holes in it as I write my story. I’m not too worried at this stage. I suppose if I wasn’t taking part in this initiative I’d go back and rethink some aspects of the outline before continuing. But I can do that later as I still have plenty of scenes to write. I’d rather focus on competing the first draft and look at any revision to the manuscript when I start that particular process.

This is my first fiction attempt and I have been quietly entertained and amused by the way some of the characters seem to have a mind of their own. The storyline has changed as a consequence.

I kow it’s going to get harder as the month progresses but it’s certainly given this particular writing project of mine a kickstart and the incentive to get it finished!

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo Preparations

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Just under a week until the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and, being a planner as opposed to someone who can just write with little or no plan (a pantser), I have just about completed my planning process. So what preparations have I made to assist in completing the heady task of writing those 50,000 words during November? Here goes :

  • I have my novel planned out chapter-by-chapter. This enables me to just focus on writing the first draft without too much scratching of the head trying to decide what to write next. I am sure, however, there will be some flex in the plan as I progress with the story. I am using Scrivener to organise my writing which is a software definitely worth investing in for anyone serious about writing.
  •  I have registered on the NaNoWriMo website and introduced myself on one of the regional forums. This puts added pressure on me to actually make a decent effort in adhering to the word count. As does this blog, of course!
  • There are some days during the month I will not be able to do any writing due to diary commitments I already have. So, in terms of a daily word count target, I have had to factor this into my plans to arrive at my daily target.
  • When will I write? On those days I will be writing I plan to make a start early morning as I usually wake up early. This should get me off to a good start. The evenings are where I should be most productive.
  • Where will I write? Away from any distractions ie definitely no television! I don’t like listening to music, as some people do, when writing. I find this a distraction as I usually end up listening to the music!
  • Other considerations? I do most of my writing either on my laptop or iPad. I need to be disciplined and close down my email program and Facebook page. Too distracting!

Hopefully the above should stand me in good stead. Roll on November!

Impossible Love

Here’s a flash fiction short story I wrote a while ago and a competition winner to boot!

trophy

I like the way she talks to me. She always says “please” and “thank you”. It shouldn’t really matter but it’s nice she does.

It was 12 months ago when I first came to work for Sarah and Tom. At first she ignored me. Maybe she felt threatened that I was taking over. That seems logical. Gradually she treated me better when she saw how efficient I was with the household chores and the free time it gave her.

It’s only recently that I’ve started taking more notice of Sarah. How she dresses and how she looks. Sarah goes to the gym and keeps her body well maintained. Lately I’ve felt different inside when I’m around her. She sees me looking at her sometimes. I can tell from the look in her eyes that she doesn’t mind. When she looks at me and smiles I feel good. I don’t know why.

Sarah is married to Tom. I don’t care for Tom at all. He’s always rude and arrogant to me and criticises most things I do around the house. He calls me “Robocop” and kicks me when Sarah’s not there. I don’t think he likes me being alone with her.

“Robbie can you come here please,” she calls. Tom’s at work.

I make my slow deliberate way to her room. I’m eager to get there but in my own time. The blinds are closed and a single corner lamp lights the room. I’m apprehensive. I shouldn’t be but I know what she’s going to ask.

“There you are Robbie. I just wondered which outfit I should wear for lunch out today. What do you think?”

She’s wearing the blue patterned floaty dress that I helped choose from the online store. It suits her just fine. Very well complemented by those long blonde flowing locks. I find it hard to describe what I’m thinking. Somewhere deep inside I have a strange warm feeling. I do care for Sarah. I stand there seemingly mesmerised and hesitant.

“Well Robbie?” She looks at me expectantly. I can see a mischievous expression on her face. “Come on you know I value your opinion.” She’s flirting I can tell from her exaggerated pose. I look her up and down again. I shouldn’t really. I don’t know what’s wrong with me… Or maybe I do.

I know there’s no hope for me and Sarah. Aside from our physical differences there is Tom to consider. I know she loves him despite his faults. I only wish I could get these thoughts of Sarah out of my head.

I’m sure I was given the wrong logic board on my last maintenance service at the workshop. I recall seeing a faulty board next to mine when the engineer was working on me. Maybe they’ll fix it on my next visit. I do hope not.

I turn my attention back to Sarah.

First Draft Complete – Now The Real Work Begins!

Finally I finished the first draft of Discovering My Suomi Roots on time (by a couple of days!). Now the real work begins!

The first draft I always find hard work. I’m more of a plotter than a pantser that’s for sure. But, despite all the  planning at the outset, I still find it hard working my way through to completion. Somehow I manage to plod along convincing myself it will all be worth it in the end.

My planned structure and content for a writing project always has to be flexible. As I am writing I find other detail I have overlooked for inclusion. Or ideas on how I might tell the story differently suddenly strike me. So there has to be some flex in your plan.

It is very tempting to look back and start rewriting parts of your writing that you know will have to be rewritten. Avoid this! Your focus needs to be aimed at completing the initial draft. Revision comes later!

Once completed, for me, the enjoyable part comes next. I find the revision process much easier. You have something tangible to work with even if you are working with a very rough first draft. My words and thoughts flow easier. I am much more relaxed as the story starts to come to life and take shape.

But without that first draft there can be no revision process!