Day 29: Last Chance Write-in

The first venue for our writing-crawl (a bit like a pub crawl but with words instead of drinks) was good old’ Maccy D’s. My region’s ML sat writing towards her 100K goal, having smashed through the 50K barrier early on.  I managed to get to grips with a tricky scene at the climax of my story. I had been grappling with it  for the last three days, today I finally completed it, sending three characters to the graveyard in the process.lib

As my writing progressed over lunch,  I was still making new discoveries about my characters. Normally by now everything is pretty much locked down, it’s unusual for me this late in the process. So now I know one of my characters has links to a biker gang, while another one is on the run from a cult.


Later we went on to a pub for dinner and even more writing. Without the distractions of wi-fi, but with a lovely sea view to look at, while I contemplated my next words to finish the scene over a glass of rose.

Now with only two more scenes to complete my story, I’m having issues with the concluding chapter. One scene had been planned from a particular character’s point of view, but they decided to get themselves killed in the final showdown. I’ve also realised the ending hasn’t turned out to be as final as I expected it to be. Whether I can be bothered to write the sequel is another matter.

word-count today: 3223

Day 28: Rambling and Nano Contd.

After yesterday, I had some time to think about how I have got through nanowrimo this year.

While in the past I’ve written mostly in the early mornings, this year I have been so rushed and / or disorganised that I’ve ended up writing mostly after work, when my brain is just about fried. I haven’t had many properly late nights writing either. I think it was only this week off work that allowed me to get back on track and win this thing.

In contrast to previous caffeine-fuelled nanos, my coffee consumption has been way down. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Perhaps I’m just getting old and becoming over sensitive to the after-effects. This main explain why I haven’t had so many late night writing sessions this month. Fruit and herb tea really doesn’t have the same kick as a double shot of Rocket Fuel coffee and honey.

For food-fuel this year (aside from proper meals) I’ve been nibbling on cheese and crackers, grapes, toasted bagels, and the occasional bag of chocolate. Cake at write-ins is compulsory, of course.

My writing space too has altered. I used to migrate around the house; do an hour or so in bed in the morning, then write a bit in the armchair over breakfast, later on sitting at the (now defunct) computer desk or at the dining table, so as not to get cosy and start nodding off. This year I have pretty much spent my time huddled in the armchair with the laptop, a fleece blanket on my knees, our dog Fudge squashed behind me like a snoring and flatulent back-cushion, and our other dog Prince laid at my feet for use as a foot-cosy if I get cold.

I have discovered the best antidote to flagging motivation and writer’s block is doggie cuddles.

Today, a few sprints in the chat-room got me half-way through another scene. It felt as if I was crawling through mud to write those few words, as now I have already hit 50K there’s no panic to fuel the fire  and get those words out.

I need to do some research before I can make the novel into what I envision, but I am trying to push that to the back of my mind. For now my aim is to get the first draft finalised before the end of nanowrimo.

Word-count today: 945

DAY 26-27: More Coffee and Cake/ Victory Is Mine!

Yesterday I didn’t get so much writing done as I was busy with other stuff during the day.

Later on I popped over to Preston for the write-in, hoping some company would help me boost my flagging word-count.

With my first slice of Christmas cake for the season and a large mug of coffee, I went into a frenzy of writing. By the end of the session I had written a massive (ahem) 172 words.

Okay, so I didn’t get much writing done, but the evening still proved productive. I learned about the possible spider-repelling properties of conkers from my region’s co-ML (I will be trying this out when I find some conkers-Spiders be gone!). I also got some much needed help with my story from her husband, who suggested some great ideas for a fight scene I had been struggling with.

Today I woke up newly inspired, refreshed and ready to run the home-straight. Before setting off for the final sprint, I first had to note down some ideas for the rewrite that popped into my head. Off to a good start, I felt today would be good. Fuelled by mugs of double-strength coffee, a large bag of chocolates and a sausage sandwich, I spent the entire day writing and finally made it to 50K.

While I have technically ‘won’ nanowrimo, the work is still not over. I have a scene left to write for the chapter I am currently working on, then the final chapter with another three scenes to write. Plus I need to get as many words as possible for my region so we can be victorious in our word-war with Glasgow and Canada.

yesterday’s word-count:1023
today’s word-count: 6089
total word-count:50140

DAY 24-25: Caffiene Withdrawal And A Trip To Lancaster

Apologies for missing yesterday’s catch-up.

Yesterday I was suffering the after effects of too much coffee during Saturday’s/ Sunday’s fun night of writing mayhem. I had a low grade headache all day that was my body calling out for more caffeine, but I was strong and pushed through it (only having one extra coffee for the drive home). It must be my advancing age that is making me so sensitive to caffeine, in the past I could consume mugs before bedtime and fall straight asleep, with no come-back the next day.

I have been feeling so uninspired by my story. While the plot is fun, my writing isn’t. I am churning out endless filler scenes, destined for the recycle bin come editing time. Even the scenes that are supposed to be fun, feel flat and will be needing a full rewrite.

Yesterday a trip to a new writing venue (for me) at Juicafe Lancaster. Having the company of a couple of my writing buddies while I put words to the page helped motivate me to get my word-count along by another 1K. Though the break from the same-old didn’t trip-start my muse, who has been flat-lining for the last week.

Still, it’s always good to get out of the house and I feel much more revived today and ready to get through the final 10K before the end of the month. This is probably due to drinking plenty of fruit and herb teas today (instead of coffee) and eating some fruit (actual fruit; not jam doughnuts & blueberry bagels I had been counting as one of my five-a-day). Here’s hoping I get ahead by with help from my ML at the Blackpool write-in later today, where I have promised myself some cake.

wordcount yesterday:3040
word-count today:4278
total word-count:43028

DAY 21: Yippee It’s Friday!

I did have a fantastic(okay-ish) blog post for today, but I managed to delete it (idiot).

I’ve been doing more character interviews to pad out my story, until I get to the good stuff next week;final showdown and all that. These have given some more insight into my characters, which I may use at some point. I am ashamed to admit I asked my characters how I could make my story less rubbish, I’m not sure I’ll use their suggestions.

Alex, now deceased had a bit of a moan about being dead, then revealed he is not as innocent as I may have thought. It turns out he was dabbling with ‘dark forces’ which lead to his demise. I may put hints about this early on in the story when I come to rewrite, or it may yet come out in a ‘big reveal’.

Tanya is easily distracted, bless her. One moment she’s crying about Alex being dead, the next she’s wanting me to show the reader her trendy wardrobe and entertain them with her dance recital. I told Tanya things were going to get better to cheer her up (I may have lied), she thought I was going to resurrect Alex. … Now I’m thinking I just might…. Zombies!

Only joking, I’ve promised myself, no zombies this year, no matter how stuck I get.

todays word-count:1738

DAY 20: Novelling Fuel Required.

Another day with a pitifully lacking word-count. I’m have next week off work, so I’m not too worried, though it would be fantastic if I could reach 50K early.

The main reason I’ve not written much today is because (along with my usual duties)I have been busy doing the chore I hate the most; grocery shopping. It’s an annoying inconvenience, but it is a fact that our novel needs fuel (or rather our brain needs fuel to keep churning out those ideas, and our fingers need energy to keep tapping at the keyboard).

In some fantasy kingdom where pink things with snouts & curly tails fly through the sky, come November the Cooking Fairy would bestow upon me freshly cooked, delicious meal every day, and would serve me unasked with caffeinated beverages and yummy snacks so I could have plenty of time to write. Alas I have to find sustenance for myself.

Therefore my cupboards and fridge-freezer are full, whereas the current page of my scrivener document is quite empty.

word-count today:320