Archive | October 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 T Minus 6 Hours

NaNo 2011 starts in about 6 hours. That means it’s 726 hours until it’s over. That doesn’t sound all that much really!

This morning boyfriend suggested I wrote 1,000 words in preparation. Good idea, however I want to save all my energy for tomorrow. He he, any excuse eh!

I do have a plan for tonight – to plan the hell out of this novel. I was thinking about it earlier, and although I’ve done lots of planning, I don’t really know what’s going to happen when. That’s pretty scary! The first day or so of writing is going to be easy, it’s a really exciting scene that I can’t wait to write. But after that, I’m not 100% sure. I’m so unsure I don’t know if the novel is going to be from 1 POV or 2, or maybe even 3.

Lizzie, the MC, is going to have the main part. It’s her novel after all. I think maybe Ben should have one too, it might make it interesting (or hard?), but then if Ben (‘The Man of My Dreams’) has one, then surely Nathan should too? I’m thinking a chapter per person – or something like that. But I don’t know. Maybe it should just be Lizzie’s story? The only reason I think it shouldn’t be is that I’ve got one scene in mind for him, when Lizzie isn’t around. So he’d have to have his own bit.

Of course, I could do the novel 3rd person, which would make it easier, but I’m a really big fan of 1st person. I’ve said why so many times, so sorry if you’ve heard it before, but this is my reason: I think 1st person gets the reader more involved. You discover things as the character does, which I like more. Besides, NaNo year one I did 3rd person, Holiday is 1st person (present) so 1st past will give me a selection of them all.

For ‘Holiday’ a couple of months ago, I made a pretty pattern on my bedroom wall with post-it notes making up the time line. I really want to do this (need to do this!) for this novel. At the moment I have no idea about where anything is and I found the post-it notes helped. The problem is I only have boring yellow ones, I want fun ones. For ‘Holiday’ I used these funky pink lip shaped notes, I want something like that. So much so… I’m going to go shopping when I’ve finished this to see if I can find some. He he. Boyfriend’s going out tonight so who can say what wall will be decorated when he gets home? Top of my list is the floor to ceiling mirror in the bedroom, but I’m not sure how that will go down?

Right, I’m off home (shopping) and then home to get on with some plotting. I can’t believe the madness starts soon. 1,667 words a day. I’ve done it twice, lets hope I can do it again!!

NaNo Kick-Off Party London

Last night was the Kick-Off Party for NaNoWriMo which starts on Tuesday – eek!

I was a little apprehensive about going, I hate walking into things like that on my own. What I forgot was that I knew a load of people from NaNo last year, so walked in knowing people! Lots of people. I felt like someone walking into a room of friends I hadn’t seen for a while. Well a table or two of friends and a room of people I didn’t know.

The thing with it is that everyone is in the same position – most came alone and a lot didn’t know anyone else. We were saying how great it is that there is never an awkward silence at things like this, because there’s always something to talk about – how many times you’ve done NaNo, what you’re book is about, the events you’re going to be going to – it’s great.

Last year I went to the launch party. It was the first time ever I’d spoken to anyone about writing, well spoken to writers about writing, it was great, and it was still the same last night. There’s this energy among the writers (and maybe a little alcohol!) that gives off this buzz. I guess it’s also excitement – 50,000 words in 30 days – if that doesn’t get you excited, I wonder what would!

For the first time since I came up with the idea, I started discussing what my novel’s about. I think I’d run it by my boyfriend previously, but no one else. It had quite a positive reaction, people who I wasn’t expecting to be interested said it sounded good. Maybe they were just saying it, but maybe they actually meant it. It’s given me a little more faith in it!  

I found sleeping a bit of a struggle last night. Different ideas for my novel kept going through my head. I’ve got this main idea, that I need to write down cause it’s pretty good! But other ideas kept coming to me, and I was going over them. I’m pretty tired now because of it – probably nothing compared to how tired I’m going to be for the next month!

Oh nearly forgot (thanksLenafor reminding me), I’m pretty sure I’ve got the title of the novel. Or the ‘working title’ anyway. It’s going to be ‘The Man of My Dreams.’ I’m not sure if it’s a little corny, or if it needs a question mark or anything, but for now, it works. And it’s better than ‘Holiday,’ so that’s good!

Have a good weekend everyone. If you’re taking part in the NaNo mentalism enjoy your last ‘free’ weekend 🙂

Writing… Yep I’ve Done Some

For the first time in what seems like months, but is probably only just over a week, I did some writing last night. And, not just a little bit – I managed 580 something words. Woop! The best thing is they came pretty easy to me. Double woop!

I know 580 is nowhere near the NaNo daily word count of 1,667 words, but it’s given me a little more hope that I can do it (I know I can do it, I’ve got two years under my belt showing that I can do it – I’ve just been scared about it this year). Of course it’s also the pages of planning that I did the other day that are helping to remove the fear.

I’ve got the NaNo Kick Off Party to go to tonight. I’ve been really looking forward to it, but now it’s here, I’m not so much. It’s the walking into a room of people I don’t know (or hardly know) on my own thing. I know I’m being silly, the London WriMos are brilliant friendly people, but there’s still a little fear there. I’m going to make myself go regardless. Writing it here makes me HAVE to go, I can’t write about it today then admit tomorrow I didn’t. Plus, if I don’t I’ll kick myself afterwards.

Just in case I needed another reason to go (or not to…?) if I didn’t I’d probably end up going shopping and buying a new pair of shoes. So really I need to go to stop myself from doing that!!!

I’ve got an hour before I need to leave work for the Kick off Party (see I am going) and was planning to do some writing or plotting in this hour. Stupidly, I forgot to download (upload?) the scene I’m working on from the laptop, and can’t remember where I got to. I also left the notebook I’m working on plotting in at home. Bad morning.

I figure it’s easier to plot without seeing the previous page, so I’ll go with that one. A bit of characterisation I think. Or… I don’t know. I did have another idea for a twist in it today, so I’ll get that down – hopefully that will lead to more ideas.

I’m tempted to take this weekend off writing and plotting – I’ll be hard at it for the next four weeks with NaNo, but I don’t think I will – not officially. I think if I want to do some, I will, and if not, I won’t beat myself up about it (how often do I say that?!).

Totally off the subject of writing etc – I went to the gym last night. It’s the first time for about a year when I cancelled my membership because I was moving, and haven’t found a new one. It sounds a little crazy, but going reminded me how much I loved it. I really do. I’ve only got a 3 day pass, so it’s not the shape of things to come, but I think I’m going in the right direction.

When the 3 day pass is up, I’m going to get one for another gym – then decided which I like the most and join. I was loving the idea last night when I was there, but then when I left I started wondering what the hell I’m thinking.

I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to now – and I’m going to throw another activity at myself. One that will probably take up 4-5 hours a week. That’s 4-5 hours less of writing, or blogging, or reading, or whatever. But, it will be good for my health, and my weight loss, and my training for a 10 mile run, and all that, so I’m going to do it.

I kind of hope it will make me more productive. If I have less time hopefully I’ll be more productive with it. That’s the plan anyway! Besides, I used to walk home from work a couple of times a week, but now it’s too dark to. If I don’t start doing some exercise I’m going to start putting some weight on – not something I want to happen.

If I don’t get a blog in tomorrow (which is doubtful – I think I need to go shoe shopping at lunch, then am gyming it after work) have a great weekend all.

NaNo Plotting

After my blog on Monday about not writing, I went home to write. Wouldn’t you know it though, boyfriend was on the laptop watching old TV shows. Can’t complain it’s his laptop. When he (finally – after we’d had dinner, I’d done washing and cleaned the kitchen) gave it to me for writing, I decided I didn’t want to write ‘Holiday,’  I wanted to plan my NaNo novel.

I’m now the proud owner of 4 or 5 scribbled A4 pages of ideas. I moved a character name about (Nathan is so much more a boyfriend’s name than another man’s), found other ideas for plot and brainstormed titles. I’m quite happy with my progress.

I think I’m there with the title, but not 100% sure. I’m not very good at titles. It took me so long to come up with The Dating Project last year (in the end I loved the title, but it took me so long to get there). Italian Infatuation actually came to me before I even had too much of an idea about the book. That was easy, but it’s not been easy since. Jeez, I’m still using the working title of ‘Holiday’ for my other novel. 3 years in and I can’t think of anything better. And I have been trying!

Although I’ve not done any actual words this week, I feel happier that I’m making progress on NaNo novel planning. It’s helped me feel a little more relaxed about the daunting task ahead. 1,667 words a day? What am I doing? Surely doing it twice before is enough punishment for one person?

It’s the NaNo Kick-Off Party in London tomorrow. Woop! I actually thought it was tonight until this morning when I double checked where it was! Oops! Lucky I did check! It’s good that it’s tomorrow, it means I can go to the gym tonight (I got a 3 day free pass for one round the corner from work!), then go home and do some more plotting. Or maybe ‘Holiday’ writing.

By tomorrow I want to have decided on the novel’s name. I’ve made the decision that it’s going to be an adult novel (I was toying with the idea of YA – I think it’s going to be better as an adult one, more ideas for conflict in it) so the next goal is a title. Then I’ll think more about the content. And the ending. Maybe just the middle – I know how it’s going to end!

In other news, I’ve just started a new novel – Die for You by Lisa Unger. I’m at the beginning (well page 20) but already I’ve been sucked in. There are so many questions already! Brilliant.

I’d never heard of Lisa Unger before I went to the library last week and looked for a ‘U.’ This is why I’m loving this A to Z Reading Challenge – there is no way I would have found her without it, and from what I’m reading so far, she’s an author I want to know!

Right, I’m off to visit some more ROW80er’s blogs. Catch them here.

Check In Sunday 23rd #ROW80 OR What I’ve Not Done This Week

Another late check in. Sigh. Still not my fault though, we’ve still not got the internet. But, we’re going to be getting it soon, along with a nice shiny new TV and phone package (I hope). Of course we’ll probably get that in November during NaNo so I won’t have time to check in (or much less time to blog anyway).

There’s almost no point in this check in – I’ve not done anything. No, that’s not true, I’ve not done much. I think I did some writing on Thursday night. I believe (??) I did about 800 words. That is literally all I’ve done in the last week. I have been beating myself up about it, but had a realisation yesterday: I’m just about to start NaNo (in a week – WEEK?!!?) where I HAVE to write 1,667 words a day to keep up. Their rules, not like the 500 I’ve set myself in this challenge. I’m worried about NaNo – really worried. For the first time doing it, I’m not feeling too positive. So, because of that, and how stressed I’m going to be in November, I’ve decided to let myself off the last week.

I just don’t want to push myself to catch up the words I’ve missed and drain myself doing that when I’m about to start NaNo and need the energy for that.

I’m struggling to think when I’m going to write early this week. I’m out for dinner tonight, then I’ve got an ill boyfriend (pulled his back so can’t move kind of ill) at home so need to cook etc for him when I get in. Tomorrow I’m going out and then Wednesday I’m out too for the NaNo kick off party (woo!). And then we’re heading for the weekend, when I’m at a wedding (probably getting drunk so writing off Sunday). I’m getting a headache thinking about it!

And to increase the headache a little more – I’ve done pretty much no planning for my NaNo novel. Eek! I know the basic premise, but I don’t know how it’s going to end, what happens or anything. I don’t even know if it’s going to be chick lit, or YA. I think chick lit, but something makes me think it would be cute if it was YA! I need some serious planning time. But when?

I need a plan! I need a plan because past NaNos show I do. OK, so I’m only basing this on 2 years, but that’s enough for me.

NaNo 2009 I had a pretty good plan of what I was going to do, planned day by day, not as much as scene by scene, but broken down pretty well. And I knew how it was going to end, and all the twists in it.

NaNo 2010 I had a rough idea of what I was doing. I ‘won’ yeah, (I think I got to 53k) BUT that 50k was just the beginning of it. It’s a YA novel, so should only be about another 20k or something, and I was only just getting into it. Some day I may go back and rewrite it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Which is a shame because I think it’s quite a nice idea.

NaNo 2011 – I need to plan. See why.

So at some point in the next 7 days, I need to plan a novel. And try to write 500 words a day. Obviously the 500 words are taking a bit of a back burner.

I also need to totally face the fact that I’m not finishing ‘Holiday’ before NaNo starts. Damn. I’m quite upset about that. I really wanted to finish it before I start yet another project. My laptop dying was a sign that I couldn’t complete it though. About 20k words are saved on it, and nowhere else. My other half’s dad might be able to fix it, but we’re not going to be seeing him until next month (if not Christmas), and I couldn’t afford to get it fixed.

I have however done a lot more planning for it, and it feels like it’s coming more together than before, which is so good. I’m going to try to focus on that, rather than the dismay that I’ve failed another goal.

The National Day on Writing (US) – Why I Write?

Apparently today in the US is The National Day on Writing. Happy National Day on Writing to everyone over there!

The organisers (who’s website is here) want people to get involved by telling people ‘Why I Write.’ I may not be an American, but I thought it’s a great subject, so why shouldn’t I get involved?

Why do I write? I’m sure I’ve covered this many times over the last few blogging years, but I suspect each time the answer is slightly different – depending on what I’m doing at the time. Right now I’m really up and down with writing, doing well one day, then nothing the next. It’s Thursday and I’ve not done anything since Sunday, even with a goal of 500 words a day hanging over my head (even though I said I was aiming for 2k yesterday, and got so much lovely support. Thanks everyone for that, and sorry I let you down).

At times like this (these four days of no writing) I often question why I write. Like if it’s so hard for me to do, and it takes so much effort to do, why do I bother? Likewise when I’m actually writing, but it’s a struggle, and I check my word count every 50 odd words, I wonder the same. Luckily I have an amazing boyfriend who found this on Stephen Fry’s blog a few years ago:

It was many years later that Clive James quoted to me Thomas Mann’s superb crystallisation of this “A writer,” said Mann, “is a person for whom writing is more difficult than for other people.” How liberating that definition is. If any of you out there have ever been put off writing it might well be because you found it so insanely hard and therefore, like me, gave up and abandoned your masterworks early, regretfully assuming that you weren’t cut from the right cloth, that it must come more easily to true, natural-born writers. Perhaps you can start again now, in the knowledge that since the whole experience was so grindingly horrible you might be the real thing after all.

He he. That is so me. And pretty much every other writer I know or read about. It’s not very often you see on Twitter someone that consistently writes with no procrastination. Man that makes me feel good.

When I’m actually writing (a few weeks ago I wrote 1,733 words in a day – in November I’m going to write 1,667 words a day!) it’s almost like magic. Maybe magic isn’t the correct word, but it’s kind of magical. Especially when I don’t know what I’m going to write, and as I start typing it comes to me. On Sunday I was writing a scene in my novel ‘Holiday.’ I knew where they were, but didn’t know anything about what was going to happen when they were there. I was kind of dragging my heels a little with it, probably because I didn’t know what was going on, but then it came to me as I was typing, and it was brilliant. Those 600 words just flew. Granted, I’ve not read it back, so it might be pants, but it felt like it was good!

I think that’s why I write, because sometimes it can be brilliant. When I read back the first novel I finished (the first draft anyway) there were a few parts that I got really into, just reading along, and totally forgot it was my writing. The story just took me away. It was brilliant. (of course there were other bits that didn’t flow and were horrible, but I’m not thinking about them!).

I don’t remember having a realisation that I wanted to write, it’s just kind of always been there. When I was taking my GCSEs, my favourite time was English Language, when our teacher gave us a subject and we had to write a story, or about the subject for the lesson. Of course 15 years later, I don’t remember any of these except the feeling of loving them – that may have started my love of writing – or it may have been before? (I say I don’t remember any of them, I have a very clear memory of the telling off we all got from the topic ‘You’re not bringing that in here’ – apparently at 16 the whole class should have been able to think of something better than a lost puppy!)

I’ve always read. My mum says that from an early age I always had a book in my hand (proven by a scar on my forehead caused by falling on a book when I was in the garden at about 3). It just always interested me. I was going to say escaping into another world, but that would sound like I had something to escape from, I didn’t. But I loved going into this new, different world, getting into someone else’s head and living through adventures (and romance) with them. I loved it.

My favourite books are books that move me – usually ones that make me cry. If the words I’m reading can create that reaction in me, I’m amazed. They are made up words, about made up people and a made up situation. But good writing can get you like that. That’s what I want to do. I want people to read my writing and be moved by it – cry at it, and laugh at it. Some people want to write to be rich and famous. I’m not going to lie, rich would be nice, but I’m realistic, it’s probably not going to happen. I don’t know about famous, I’m quite a shy person. But the reason I write is so that some day (I hope) someone somewhere will read my story or novel, and be moved to tears (or laughter) by it.

#ROW80 Check-in 19th October – Another Bad Week

I am so up and down this round aren’t I? At first I was doing well, then last week I stopped writing completely, then caught up over the weekend, and now I’ve done nothing again this week. It’s a rollercoaster of fun!

My writing finished on Sunday with the end of a funny bit (I think) in the middle of a scene. I’m now having problems moving on from it. I don’t know what to write. On Tuesday I sat in front of the laptop for half an hour (yeah, playing Angry Birds too) and just couldn’t think of anything. This is a problem (I didn’t even try on Monday cause I was out too late, and was too drunk last night!).

So I need to catch up tonight then. 1,500 words tonight.

This scares me.

What scares me even more is NaNo. 1,667 words a day. I know I’ve completed it a couple of times (both times I’ve done it actually) but right now it seems incredibly daunting. Scarily daunting! I’m actually scared. I’ve heard a rumour that the 3rd year is a fail year – quite a few people who have ‘won’ their 1st and 2nd years ‘lose’ their 3rd. I don’t want to be one of those people!!!

Tonight then I’m going to crack on with it. I’m going to go for 1,500 words. Another NaNo day of 1,667 would be awesome. 2k would be perfect. But we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll get over this hard bit and will fly for the rest of the week, the weekend and the rest of the month!