Tag Archive | NaNoWriMo event

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 DID IT!

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…?

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First #ROW80 Check-In for #NaNoWriMo

We’re already on Day 2. That’s scary, but at least there’s only 28 days left (after today!).

Yesterday I decided I was going to do 800 words before I made dinner, then another 800 after. I got 900 before with a little help from Em (from LovestoReadWantsToWrite) and Lauren Garafalo who were just starting an hour-long sprint when I got home. I didn’t make the whole hour with them, because I hit the 900 mark earlier (yay) and was hungry.

After dinner and a bit of TV (The Food Hospital – not pure entertainment, some useful things there!) and then the washing up, I tried for the other 700, and only made 300 odd. I was a little upset about that, but decided I needed sleep more than to write more words – and I was already 500 ish over the daily goal.

Today I’ve not made a plan yet. Boyfriend is out tonight so I’ve the house to myself. I might do the same as yesterday and set a goal for before dinner, then one for after. I think that’s a good idea. I’d like to stay well above the goal, so maybe 2k total tonight? Maybe more.

Lauren (above) is setting herself a 2k goal daily so she can then take a day off a week, and also Thanksgiving. I’m in the UK so no Thanksgiving for me, but I do have a boyfriend who has (rather selfishly) a 30th Birthday on 26th. I think he’s got family down from up North and the Midlands for the whole weekend soI’m probably not going to get stuff done then. I really need to stay ahead because of that, and that’s not even considering the days where I won’t be able to get any – or as many as I need to – done.

I do have a huge fear that I’m not going to be able to keep up the memento of being ahead. The first scene was already written in my head, so pretty easy. Nothing else is (well 2 are, but only bits of those) so going to take more time and effort. I’m not the only one that has this fear – Fallon Brown said exactly the same in her blog today – it can’t be a crazy irrational fear if we’re both feeling it! Lets just hope we can keep it up.

This weekend I’m going to set myself a crazy word goal. I haven’t decided what it is, but I know I can write 7k in one day (NaNo 2009) so may be something around that. Probably not as many as that, but getting that way. Eek!

I’m laptop-less because of mine breaking so I can’t go to any write-ins at the moment. Gutted! I think I’m going to be able to talk boyfriend into letting me borrow his, but it’s huge so I’m not going to want to carry that around too much. I could go and handwrite, but I get so much less done that way, and then need to type it up, so it almost seems like a waste of time. I’ll think of something this weekend so I can make a couple of write ins next week at least.

I’m cheekily still reading. I don’t like the idea of reading while doing NaNo because it scares me that what I read might influence my writing. This year I’m writing romance/chick-lit and currently reading a thriller so I think I’ll be ok there. I’m only reading on the tube in the morning and coming home, so as long as I can limit it to those times (no coming home and reading for me when I should be NaNo-ing) I’ll hopefully be fine. Hopefully!

How’s your NaNo going? If you’re not taking part, how’s ROW80? And if you’re not doing either – how’s everything else going?

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.

NaNoWriMo So Far

I am totally loving NaNo this year for two main reasons: 1. I’m ahead of schedule and 2. The write ins have been great.

First of all. Ahead. Isn’t that great. From the first day I’ve been ahead.

Day Target (total) Day Words Total words Variance
1 1667 1854 1854 187
2 3334 3099 4953 1619
3 5001 1643 6596 1595
4 6668 2459 9055 2387
5 8335 1035 10090 1755

Impressive hey! (And thanks to my new Wrimo friend @jenepel for the idea of a graph – let my inner geek be released!). Even though today and on the 3rd, I wrote less than the 1,667 you should write a day, because I’ve done so well on the other days I’m still almost a day ahead. Woop! I’ll try to get a lot in tomorrow as well, Sunday, I’m not so sure about.

Write-ins. Knew I wanted to go to them, although I have to admit, it was as much for meeting other writers as it was for the writing. How the write ins work is that everyone arrives, chats for a bit, then spends 45 minutes writing. Then there’s a 15 minute break, then another 45 minute stretch of writing. It’s a brilliant idea because when 20 – 36 people around you are typing/writing you feel inspired to write too. Unlike at home, where you might get stuck, so maybe get up to get a drink, or play on Facebook or something. The first write in I went to I wrote 2.2k words, then was so inspired I went home and wrote another 800 ish. Yesterday’s I wrote 2.4. I’d never get that done at home.

Unless it was 5 days away from the end and I needed to.

Also the people at the write ins are great, a really good bunch of people. And they’re like a community too. Half of them know each other from last year, the year before etc. I got talked into going to the pub with them last night and am seriously suffering because of it today. But all in the name of fun, and NaNo!

Guess I should mention the novel – you know, the whole reason I’m doing this. It’s going… ok. I loved it at the beginning, and I guess I’m still enjoying it. It’s just that I’m 10,000 words in, on chapter three, and it’s still the first day of school. I’m sure it shouldn’t last that long. It is where all the back story gets put so I guess it does need to be quite long. I’ll probably have the rest of the week fly by in one paragraph or something!

I’m not reading anything at the moment. I’m too scared to. I think if I pick up a book and enjoy it, I’ll do my usual thing of putting it in front of everything else in life – which obviously I can’t afford to do this month. BUT I’m getting so bored on the tube. I did think of writing on it, but I hardly ever get a seat, so it would be pretty impossible.

What I really need to do is a whole load of reviews for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. We’re now less than two months away from the end of the year (how??) and I’ve not finished reading all 12 books. Hmmmm. That’s not good. I’ve not even finished (started) reviewing half the books I have read. I keep writing down which ones I’ve done and which I need to do, but then losing the paper I write it on. Doh! Maybe later on today? Maybe not.

I’ve just previewed this post and realised, I’ve not got a NaNo badge for this year. Will have to do that. Silly me!

I didn’t play Fiction Friday yesterday, and I don’t think I will. A couple of people managed to get the prompt into their NaNo story, but I don’t think I’d be able to. I’m tempted to try, but I don’t think it would do anything for the story. It’s sad, but I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m playing again (three weeks at the most I’d guess).

Almost forgot to mention the winner of the Search Term Competition byErgoFiction magazine has been announced. Well done to Merrilee Faber in 1st place with an awesome story and to Ruzin in second and JC Hart in third. Go have a look, they’re great stories. Also you can read my entry, which is slightly different to the romance I usually do, here.

In other really exciting news, I’m moving in with my boyfriend at the end of the month. Yay. But also – in November?!!?!? As if having a full-time job and writing a 50,000 word novel wasn’t enough, I’ve now got to start looking for a place too. Oh well, it’s all good.

NaNoWriMo Day One

I want to go to bed more than anything else right now, but I wanted to stop in here and boast how well I’ve done today.

Last night I was half thinking about staying up past midnight to start on NaNo. I’d had a late night on Saturday though, so was really tired. Nasty Twitter people talked me into staying up though, and to be honest I’m actually glad I did. Getting 154 words in before bed felt like an achievement.

But boy am I paying for it now. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

The story started pretty well, and I’ve managed to rack up 1854 words today *runs round the house in excitement* I’m on my way. Not only am I on my way, I’m ahead of target! By nearly 200. Woop!

I do have a pretty big problem. actually I have one pretty big problem and one medium size problem.

The medium-sized problem is that I keep forgetting what I’m doing, and deleting words. WHAT?? I’m deleting words and replacing them. That can’t happen. There’s no way I’m going to be deleting every time I get a word or two, or sentence wrong. I have a plan. At the bottom of where I’m writing, I’ve drawn a line. Any words I don’t like, I’m going to move below the line. That way I get to keep all the words I write, but I also get to keep my real word count. Result.

My bigger problem is tense.I’ve been writing Holiday in present tense, but this one is in past tense. Or would be if I could remember. It seems at the moment I automatically write in present. I guess that’s to be expected when that’s all I’ve been doing recently, but it’s so annoying. I keep wanting to hit myself. My housemate may be wondering what all the strange noises coming from the room are!

I’ll get there though. Part of me wants to just scrap the idea of it being past tense and just do it present, but I don’t want to. I managed Italian Infatuation past so I can damn well manage this.

What I really didn’t like today, was constantly seeing my word count in word. I’m using 2007 (I think) where at the bottom next to the page number, is a word count. Because I started on 0 this morning, the word count was my word count for the day. That made it hard to write. Although actually it only made it hard to about 800, after that I was flying.

I’ve said this before, but I find writing to be a little like running – it’s hard when you start, but once you get into it each time, it gets much easier. Yesterday I went for a run. I planned to do 20 minutes. For the first 7 or 8 minutes I was constantly clock watching, it seemed to drag, but then once I got into it, I started flying, then suddenly I was on 18.

Writing today was the same. I was constantly looking at the count. I worked out where half of my total was and kept watching to get there. Then as soon as I passed it, I forgot about it until about 1500 words. See, writing is like running!

I got invited out for dinner tonight, but said no. Why? Because I wanted to go to the gym, then come home and write my words. I really hope I can be that disciplined for the next 29 days!

I’m going to my first write-in tomorrow. I think someone’s called it Two Thousand word Tuesday. The plan is to meet up at a cafe, chat for a bit, write for 45 minutes (I think) chat, then write again. I’m going to try for Three Thousand word Tuesday. He he!

I’ve been thinking about tomorrow actually. I’ve got Wednesday off work (some reason like going to meet the boyfriend at the airport – although just as much so I can write lots of lovely shiny NaNo words) so don’t have to get up early then. Which means I guess I could stay up late tomorrow writing, seeing as I do my best writing at night. Well, that or I’ve run out of other things to do instead by th evening?

Just before I go, I’ll just remind you about the Search Term Challenge over at Ergofiction. There are ten stories entering the competition. One of them is mine. If you go over to the website you can read them all and vote for your favourite three. There are some really good stories (well, one’s mine isn’t it, ha ha), well worth the time if you have it. And all cleverly constructed to included some of the bazaar search term words that have been used to find blogs. Bazaar like ‘secret smell,’ ‘corduroy buttons’ and ‘ torpedo breasts!’ Seriously, go check it out.

 Me, well I’m off to bed now. Night people!

NaNoWriMo Starts Here!

I know it’s a few days early, but in a roundabout way, NaNo is just about to start for me: I’m off to my first ever NaNo event. Yippee!

Last year (my first  NaNo – which I ‘won’ I might add) I planned to go to the Kick off party, but I was working during one, and had won tickets to a comedy evening during the other. I then planned to go to some write ins, but I ended up being more ill than I thought I would be after my operation. There were after parties I could have gone to, but that kind of felt wrong after my non attendance to everything else.

But this year… this year I’m doing it properly! Tonight’s the first Kick off party and I’ll be there with my party hat on (metaphorically anyway). I’ve even cancelled some other plans to go – that’s dedication for you! I haven’t decided which write ins I’ll go to, but I’m going to go to some. This year I’ve got an awesomely light laptop that I can pretty much take anywhere (I don’t think it would be to happy if I took it swimming or surfing to be honest!) so will be easy to drop into any event. Plus this year I finish work at 17.30 instead of 18.30, so the after work write ins are possible for me. All and all it’s looking pretty good.

The other night I made a more detailed plan of what I think the novel’s going to be about. I’ve got the main idea, although I’m still not 100% sure it’s going to work, but it should do. I hope. I need to work on character names (as always), the setting, need some research on school subjects/programs and more. But, I’m feeling really positive about it.

I think I’ve come up with the title too. I was thinking of a little alliteration – Dating Day or Date Day, or something like that, but it wasn’t really working for me. Then I did a little brain storming and came up with The Dating Project. I kind of like it, but I’m not 100% sure. It works for the plot, but I think it maybe sounds like a TV show or something. I’ll decide fully in the next couple of days. What do YOU think of it?

My plan for this year is to try to rack up a high word count at the beginning of the month – it’s my boyfriend’s birthday the last weekend of the month, so I’m likely to be out partying then and I don’t want to fail at the last hurdle! I’ve booked one day holiday next week for another reason, but I’m hoping I can get a high word count in there. Plus boyfriend is away for the beginning of next week, so I should be able to get a lot done then.

I’m also going to be doing some at lunch times – I’ll probably bring my lunch in so I can just sit at my desk and write. Some days anyway.

Roll on 1st November!