We have reached the half-way mark in the month of November and I have also reached half-way through my target for Nanowrimo. The idea behind National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words in a month towards the goal of a completed novel. Well, I expect to fall well short of that word count, but I have set myself my own personal target of 30,000 words to add to the 50,000 I had written before Nanowrimo started. I am pleased to report that I have managed around 16,000 words so far this month, so the signs are positive.
It’s a strange thing, but having a virtual ‘carrot’ really does seem to have spurred me on. Within Nanowrimo it is also possible to team up with ‘writing buddies’. I have been lucky enough to team up with Chris Paton, who has been great at inspiring me and egging me on to keep writing. My other writing buddy is Faye, who is also taking this writing journey for the first time. Watching someone else’s word count grow is encouraging and as writing can be a fairly isolated pursuit then it’s a way of feeling part of a group of like-minded individuals who are all struggling!
While I have been writing each day this month I have found a delight in the words really starting to flow. It has confirmed a couple of things for me. Firstly that the best way to get my creative juices flowing I need to write in pencil in a notebook. As soon as I sit at a computer screen my critical brain starts kicking in and I find I’m more worried about punctuation and spacing than I am with the storyline. The second thing that I have discovered is that when I sit down to write with a scene in mind, my characters really come to life and take me off in a direction that I hadn’t thought of. It’s a good feeling when the pencil is just bobbing along, almost as though it is creating on my behalf, and I’m just along for the ride.
So, in the next couple of weeks I hope to be able to report that I have reached my target. The next stage is the redrafting and editing, the honing of the story, moving scenes around and working steadily towards my final draft. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. I will keep you posted.