Tag Archive | NaNoRilla

NaNoWriMo 2011 – WINNER – And Lots of Thanks

2009 – Italian Infatuation – WINNER

2010 – The Dating Project – WINNER

2011 – The Man of My Dreams – WINNER

This is such a sweet post to be writing. Because I’m a WINNER again! AGAIN! Woop! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a consistent record of finishing something.

As I said in my last blog, at 6pm on Monday I had just over 7K to write to get to 50,000 words. At 9pm on Monday, I STILL had that many. A few sprints with some of the NaNoLondon guys (no ROW80ers were available) got me 4k in 2.5 hours. I couldn’t believe I’d got so many (although I had aimed for 5k, but that was for the whole day, not when I was starting after 9pm).

That left me with just over 3,200 for Tuesday and today. So manageable. However, I wanted to finish early. I’d planned to finish on Monday, so I COULDN’T finish today, it had to be yesterday.

I went to a write in last night at 6. The plan is write for 45 mins, chat for 15, then another 45 min sprint, then get chucked out the cafe cause they were closing. I figured I’d write most in that time, then go home and finish the last few words.

Did that happen though? Not exactly.

In the first sprint I wrote 1,400. That meant, in the last one, I had to write 1,800. That was NEVER going to happen in 45 minutes. Would the people at the write in believe me though? No. Hannah and Claire were adamant that I was going to finish.

So I started.

And wrote…

And wrote…

I cut out speech marks. I ignored the red lines of incorrect spellings. I ignored bad grammar.

With 5 or so minutes left I think I had 500 words. NOOOO! I wasn’t going to do it.

With 1 minute left, I checked my word count… 50,027.


I have a feeling it’s going to have to be edited A LOT (rewrite of the whole scene maybe?), but that doesn’t matter. I did it. Woop! I couldn’t help a little yelp of excitement (obviously) which got me a round of applause from everyone else. Woo! That is the way to win NaNo!

Oh, no. That wasn’t quite the way to win. Going for cocktails afterwards – THAT’S the way to win!

I’m now going to sound like I’ve won an award – I’ve some people to thank, because I’m not sure I’d be sat here a winner without a little help. (In no particular order)

The ROW80 sprinting people. Em and Lauren, this is mainly you, but everyone else too (I don’t have Twitter access to chase it back to see who, but if I sprinted with you – I mean YOU!). Although I couldn’t always join in, the ones I did, were so helpful. I liked the accoutability too – having to tell people how many I wrote in half an hour stopped me from messing about in that time.

The NaNoLondoners – Jenn and Claire, you are amazing MLs. You organised some great events (still gutted I missed the night long write in! I calculated if you keep doing that on the last Saturday of the month, I should be able to come in 3 years – when boyf celebrates his birthday the weekend before!) – Hannah – you got me through those last words, thanks. And everyone else I met at write ins, NaNoRilla and the kick off party. Can’t wait to celebrate with you all tomorrow and Saturday!

Laura – technically you fit in with the ROW80ers, but you need a special shout out for being my buddy and helping me through. especially a very well-timed text urging me through. Here’s for keeping each other on track for the next month.

@McPete – my other half. Thanks for talking me into doing it again this year, for lending me your laptop (and sometimes carrying it home), for giving up your PC games for a month while I was using said laptop, and for not complaining too much for living in a pigsty for the month. I promise now I’m done I’ll start cleaning and cooking and hey, you never know, ironing (although don’t hold me to that).

Seriously, guys you all rock. My success is your success (only, it’s mainly mine, ha ha).

This is my NaNo graph for this year. Compared to the last two years, I pretty much stuck to where I was supoosed to be – only dropping lower by about 3.5k a couple of times – but only for a day!

So what’s next for December? Well, I had a plan, and it got turned on its head the other day.

My goal was to finish The Man of My Dreams. That was all I wanted from December. Due to a certain person and event, my goal is now goalS and much, MUCH more. I have writing goals, blogging goals, exercise goals, and eating goals. I don’t have time to go into them today (silly 1 hour only lunch breaks) but I’ll explain all tomorrow.

Thank god for ROW80 allowing flexible goals. My new goals blog is here.

Well done everyone who’s ‘won’ NaNo.. and see you next year…?

Another Late ROW80/NaNo Check-in

Honestly, I promise sometime to get the internet at home, and therefore get my Sunday check-ins on the correct day. Well, that, or think up more excuses over missing them.

NaNo is going… well. I find it hard saying good or well, when I’m still behind, but I’m behind because of my lack of effort last week, the last three days have been awesome.

I had Friday off work to go to my cousin’s in Cambridge for the night. She was busy in the morning, so I didn’t go until after lunch, which left me  the morning to write. I looked on the NaNo site and a load of people were doing an 11-Hour Challenge – writing for 11 hours. I wish I had’ve had 11 hours to join in, but didn’t. Some people were doing 11,111 words (all 11 related because of it being 11.11.2011). Again, no way. Some 11 pages. Nu-uh. So, I created my own 11 challenge – 1,111 words from 11am on 11.11.11. At 11.02 I started (after the 2 minute silence I took for remembrance day – even though I was alone) and wrote for about half an hour – getting the 11,111. Yay. I’d already done some, so my total for Friday was 2.3k.

Saturday was NaNoRilla (guerilla novelling around London). A group of nearly 30 of us walked around London writing in different places. This year, I decided NOT to take my (boyfriend’s) laptop. It’s just soo heavy and would have made me grumpy. So with a pen and notepad I went along. After writing in a pub, a train station (St Pancras), a library (The British Library), a coffee shop/pub/restaurant, a park and then a museum (The British Museum), I made a total of… Guess how many words… I don’t think you will… 2,500 words. WOOP! I was so impressed with that. The only problem is I now have to type it up at some point.

Sunday I was home alone as the boyfriend was at his mum’s for the weekend. I wrote a list (love lists) of the things I needed to do – including 3,000 words. By the end of the day I’d got 2,300 and most of my list done.

So I’m still 1.5k behind. But that’s much better than the 4k I was behind on Friday morning. My graph now looks rather crazy. I’ve just tried to upload it, but for some reason can’t save it. Hmmm. Here’s a photo instead (taken off the computer, so pretty bad quality, so please excuse that):



See, I’m now doing well. Lets just ignore those days last week where I did very little (and the few I did none).

I’d like to keep that sharp spike from the weekend at the same angle. It means doing over 2k today. I was going to do some at lunch, but I’ve spent too long on this blog (trying to add the silly graph) to be able to. I’ve spent a lot of the morning emailing friends and family, so should probably do some work!

I’ll definitely do some tonight. I need to go shopping, but then might enlist boyfriend to cook dinner while I write my 2k. Hmmmm. Maybe he’ll read this and offer himself (hello you if you are reading it!).

Either way, I’m not liking this being behind, but I’m enjoying catching up. Let it carry on.

How’s NaNo/ROW80/your project going? I’m trying to get round other people’s blogs, but unfortunately not as successfully as I’d like. Sorry!


NaNoWriMo and ROW80 Catch Up

I’m in two minds as to whether I’m doing well – both in NaNo and ROW80 (because my ROW80 goal in November is my NaNo goal of 1667 words).

I was doing well. Really really well. Until Tuesday. I had a cute little graph, that showed I was ahead – and had been for 5 days. Not much, but over is good.

Tuesady I dropped behind. I’d had a terrible day at work and was so tired. Yesterday, I fell even more behind because I’d had another bad day at work. Apparently I find it had to concentrate on writing when I’ve had a bad day.

I’m quite annoyed because if it was the summer I’d go for a run, feel better then write. In the winter, I can’t do that. Going for a run after work, when it gets dark before I even leave work isn’t even an option. Only a few months until summer, right?

Hopefully tonight, I‘ll make a start at catching up. I’m pretty sure I won’t completely catch up today. But over the weekend I will. I know I will.

I have tomorrow off work, which means writing in the morning. At lunch I’m going to visit my cousin in Cambridge. She’s then got plans for an afternoon for an hour, when I’ll write more.

Then on Saturday, I’m back in London for NaNoRilla.

NaNoRilla is possibly the most fun thing about NaNoWriMo. I took part for the first time last yeat. Basically we meet up, then walk around London writing in random different places. Last year we went to pubs, parks, the Imax Theatre and loads more I can’t think of.

It’s so much fun! Part of it is that it’s cold. Part of it is writing. But really, if we’re honest, it’s all of us meeting up, to do a little writing, and to.. well… just meet up. How many people can say they’ve written in lots of random London locations in one day? LOVE.IT!

The problem is my broken laptop. Mine is so light, it was great to take last year. This year, it’s dead. Or very ill anyway (as a side note – boyfriend is taking it to his dad’s this weekend – hopefully to get better). Which leaves me with boyfriend’s. It’s awesome that I get to borrow a laptop when mine is dead. But. It’s SO heavy.

So so heavy.

So, I’ve decided this weekend, for NaNoRilla, I’m going to write WITH PEN AND PAPER. I think that deserved CAPS – don’t you?

I hate writing by hand during NaNo. It’s A) A waste of time because I can write so much quicker on a computer (thanks to teaching myself to touch type last year) and B) because I have to then type it up.

But still. I can’t wait.

After NaNoRilla I’m sure there will be some drinks – yay!

Then on Sunday, I’ll be writing. All day. As I’ve said boyfriend is going home this weekend, which means Sunday at home alone for me. Woop! Day alone to write. I can’t wait!

By 23.59 on Sunday I WILL have caught up.

Go NaNoWriMo and ROW80!

My Month of NaNoing

50,000 words done. Writing at home, the boyfriend’s and the office all done. Writing on the tube and in an airport are done. Writing in a holiday flat in Bournemouth is done. Writing at in cinema foyer, in theatres, on a bench on the South Bank of the river Thames, in a park and in a pub are all done.  NaNoWriMo for me, is done.

I’m currently at the last ever 2010 NaNoWriMo London write in. I should be writing my novel, but seeing as I’ve finished, I thought I’d write out a blog instead. Naughty.

I debated whether or not to come to the write in, after all, I’ve finished, I don’t need to write any more, so why should I? Then I thought about it a little more, and I realised I NEED to come along. The Dating Project currently sits at 50,011 words. That’s NaNo finished, but not the novel. I think the novel is going to need another 15-20 thousand to be finished. I’m here to write, because without the pressure of NaNo, I’m not sure of my motivation to carry on writing.

Look at last year, I finished the novel in 30 days, I did the right thing and left it alone for a month or six weeks, then read it. Then did nothing until September maybe when I edited ONE chapter for a competition. So… Does this novel have any better hopes?

I don’t know. A lot about it annoys me. I think maybe the characters are a little shallow. I’m not even sure if the main story line is good enough, especially as it didn’t get going until about 35k.

I was reading a novel on the tube journey over here. It made me worry about my novel. Well, my novel and my writing in general. There is just so much more detail. Even two characters sitting next to each other on the sofa takes a paragraph to describe. In my writing it would just be ‘X and Y sat next to each other on the sofa.’ I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing… Or do I? I don’t know.

I guess right now I need to concentrate on finishing it, not worrying about the editing. That will come later. I hope.

Ok, lets  move away from NaNo.

As I just said, I’ve started reading again. In November I didn’t let myself read. I thought that if I read something really good, I might get caught up in that and spend NaNoing time reading. I couldn’t let that happen, so I just didn’t pick up a book. Tube journeys were boring as hell. Last weekend I walked along South Bank (after NaNoRilla – Gurilla writing in London  – I may do a whole blog dedicated to this) and stumbled upon the second hand book market there. I say stumbled upon… I purposely walked past it. I told myself I’d only buy something if I saw something I was really interested in reading. And then I saw… Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. Woop! Second hand, but it looked as if I’d read it – no creases in the pages, or… on the spine. Double woop. And, only £4.

On the way home that night, I read the first chapter. I even nearly cried on the second page. And then I hid it from myself. And didn’t pick it back up until this morning, when I realised I was finally allowed to read on the tube again.

So far, guess what? I’m liking it. It’s intreging me and I want to read more. NOW. I don’t want to be doing a blog or writing more novel, I want to be reading. But I’m not going to.

Really what I need to focus on in December is the Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge. Uh… Yeah… I’m supposed to read 12 novels in the year from the genres Thriller or Suspense or anything like that. I did really well to start with, but then I kind of lost my way a little. Without checking (I’ve got no internet connection at the moment) I don’t know exactly how I’ve done so far, but I have a horrible feeling I’ve got about four books to read and six to review. Uh, oops. Still, December is a good month for reading. It had better be anyway!

Ok, I really should crack on with writing my novel. I can’t wait to have time to start blogging regularly again, I almost felt like something was missing not doing it much in November.

I also can’t wait for Fiction Friday on Friday. Yay.

Did you do Nano? If so how did you get on? If not, what did you do in November instead? I’m looking forward to reading through people’s blogs to find out… although it may take forever!!!