The NanoWriMo Diaries – Week 1

So NanoWriMo 2014 is now in full swing and I’ve managed to survive the first week. I’ve decided to keep a short diary of my experiences for the month and will be publishing them weekly here. I’ll try to be as honest as possible, chronicling my emotional state, my successes and my failures more than anything else.   

Day 1:

I’ve been lured into a false sense of security here because NanoWriMo started on a Saturday.  This is normally my one ‘off’ day a week where I have no work or family commitments. Needless to say Saturdays are often my key writing day so writing it has not seemed in anyway weird, hard or out of the ordinary. I clocked up 3000 words today.

Day 2:

I had to get up slightly earlier than usual to try and meet my target as Sundays are usually pretty busy. My novel is going to (eventually) be several interlinking stories but I’ve decided that, for the first draft, each one will be written in a linear fashion, just to get the story on paper.  The characters are a bit one dimensional so far, but they are already doing things and going places that I had not intended in the outline.

Day 3:

First day where I had to go to work and write around it. I wrote 500 words in the morning before breakfast, finishing the remainder after dinner when I got home.  Hit my targets again (barely). It was tougher to motivate myself today, especially in the evening. I’m also feeling a bit guilty about the other things I need to do, e.g. Write up blog posts, do my creative writing class homework, housework etc. I dislike the hackneyed prose that I am writing intensely but I refuse to go back and edit before I have written a draft. This is the whole point of the exercise after all.

Day 4:

Tuesday and another ‘barely reaching my targets’ day. One thing I’m learning is that I don’t need to have a fully functioning outline to just sit down and write. Once I know the key actions that are supposed to happen in the story i.e what is the purpose of the story I am trying to tell – so far – the details are taking care of themselves.  This includes secondary characters and actions.

Day 5:

The first day I did not hit my targets.  Worked from home today but had many non- NanoWriMo commitments. I wrote for an hour and a half after dinner but by 9:30pm could face no more. One good thing came out of today though. I did not do too much research in planning for NanoWriMo but I had to check some historical facts this evening to see if they match with the story. I have one character who was born in Gdansk and it turns out that the history of the city fits in rather well with his tale.

Day 6:

I mostly work in silence but just couldn’t get going today. I had to do my writing early because of both work and my creative writing class this evening. I put on some movie soundtrack music to try and glue my arse to the chair until I hit my targets. It wasn’t pleasant but it did the job. I also broke the 10,000 word barrier today, which felt good but also felt bad. At the rate the the story is developing it will be closer to 120,000 words by the time I’m done with the first draft, so my 10,000 words is still a drop in the ocean of where I have to get to.

Day 7:

Spent the early morning putting up a blog post, so didn’t start writing till 5:30pm. Actually, make that 6:30pm because I wasted an hour listening to the Rocky Horror soundtrack on YouTube. I wrote the first 1000 words while making dinner. Logged into the NanoWriMo Write-In on YouTube to try and motivate me to complete the last 667 for the day. I enjoyed doing these word sprints but felt there were too many breaks in between. Out of 36 minutes only 12 of those were spent writing. Today was difficult in other ways. Several inconsistencies in the plot have made themselves known. The urge to go back and fix them now is great but this would slow down progress. I am not sure what to do next.