So I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo. Actually I signed up a couple of years ago but this time I’m actually writing something. Honest.
I’ve been working on a new novel all year, but had to take a break to redraft material for Wild Atlantic Words, a collection of short stories which is being launched next week. So I was around 15k words in and 70k words to go, thinking how I was going to tackle it, then NaNoWriMo appeared on the radar in mid-October. 50k words in a month? No problem. Ha! At least it would give me a deadline.
I spent the remaining time in October developing the synopsis for each scene and finalising the structure. I’d already drafted the structure and produced headline notes for each scene in Scrivener so expanding it wasn’t too difficult.
November 1st came along and I was at the keyboard for 6.30am, mug of tea on the shelf and the cat warming herself on my knee underneath the laptop – not the most comfortable of working conditions but she seems to be happy there. By breakfast I’d knocked out 350 words and filled in some research gaps. The daily target is 1,677 and I think the most I’ve ever written in a day before is less than that. Needless to say, I missed the first day’s target but I was pleased with the 1,250 I’d done, especially as it was a difficult section.
Day two, I managed over 1,900 words. More than the target and not far below what I needed to get back to my daily average. Today, day three, is going less well. A trip to the coffee shop and this blog have emerged as diversions!
Still, it’s raining so I won’t be going out any more today and have the afternoon’s writing mapped out in my head – coffee does that to you sometimes.
And I’ve written three and a half thousand words this week that I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo – so I’m feeling good.
My, my. I’ve arrived at a difficult place. Sixty one thousand words into my second novel and I’ve worked out I don’t know where it’s going. It’s a mystery in which Inspector James Given is investigating a case where a mummified body has been found in the crypt of a school chapel. It’s not the case which is the problem, that’s all fairly well plotted, but I think I’ve realised that the murder itself isn’t the main issue for my hero. Well, I’ve known all along it isn’t, but now I realise I probably haven’t written the first draft with this in mind and will need to do a considerable amount of work to get it back on track.
Fortunately, I do have a second case he is working on and this probably needs to become the major case, rather than a sub-plot.
Interestingly, I’ve only discovered this flaw when I was working on a synopsis to approach potential agents. I was following an outline in a blog from Glen C Strathy based on Dramatica principles and realised my main character might solve the crime but won’t actually change as a result.
Ah well, back to the drawing board. At least I now know one of the reasons why I’ve been stuck on this synopsis for the past couple of weeks.