Sunday, 17 November 2013

Just keep swimming...I mean, writing...

So it's week 3 of NaNoWriMo - where has the time gone?!

I was actually fully expecting that I'd give up again this year, and that I'd only make it to 1,000 words again - but to my surprise, I'm still so enthusiastic about writing my novel! I'm currently on just over 30,000 words, which I have to admit, I'm quite proud of! If this was a normal November, I wouldn't be so far ahead, by the way - my sister is coming to visit me next Friday for a week, which means essentially, I've only got this week to get to 50,000 words!

I'm aiming to get at least another 5,000 written today - although I'm feeling a tiny bit worse for wear today, as I went out with my colleagues last night! I guess that's spirit of NaNoWriMo - writing when you'd really rather just laze around watching films and sleeping!

I do still have some major insecurities about my novel - but NaNoWriMo has made me seriously think about how I write, and I've had some revelations over the past few weeks.

When I used to start writing a novel before (note: start and never finish), everything I wrote had to be perfect, first time. But now, I'm slowly beginning to accept that nothing I write will be 'perfect' the first time I write it - whereas before NaNoWriMo I would've spent hours choosing the perfect word for a sentence, or desperately trying to think up of a new scene, or feel like crying over the thought of finishing my novel, only to have to go back and revise and write yet ANOTHER draft - now, none of that seems to bother me so much. If anything, I'm actually looking forward to December when I can edit and rewrite my novel!

Although I have the main plot points in my novel planned out, there are still large portions of it where I have no idea how the characters are going to get to A to B, or how one plot point will lead to the next. But for once, I'm not that worried. I know I'll figure it all out in the end, and I'm so looking forward to discovering new things about my novel as I write. For once, I can actually imagine my novel as a complete, shiny, finished product - and I can't wait to get there! All I have to have is a little patience and determination (and tea...let's not forget the tea).

So here's to the next 20,000 words! Roll on next week - and December!

How about you? How's your writing coming on this month :)?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

IWSG - Character fears!

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Every first Wednesday of the month, writers from all over the blogosphere confess what's been troubling them in their writing over the past month. IWSG was set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh (you can check out his blog here!), and you can check out the awesome brand-new official IWSG website here!
(P.S. If anyone knows how I can add the IWSG button to my blog, please let me know! I'm really not tech-savvy and I have no idea how to do it!)

So this month, my IWSG post is focusing on, yup, you've guessed it – NaNoWriMo.

So far, I'm doing an okay job of turning off my inner editor, and refusing point blank to listen when that little voice pipes up saying 'hey, you know those last 2,000 words you've just written? It's utter crap! Why don't you just go back and tinker with it a bit....' So while learning to lock my inner editor away in a cage and throw away the key is proving to be a little difficult, that's not the aspect I want to focus on today. Today, I'm feeling insecure about my NaNoWriMo characters.

I know these 50,000 words are going to be crap. That's fine. But what I'm terrified of is that even when I come to edit this 50,000 word monster, readers are still going to hate my characters.

What if they can't relate to them at all? What if they think they're 'wooden'? How on earth do I inject life and soul into these characters, that are so alive in my own head, but aren't necessarily coming out well on paper??

I'm so scared that people will think my FMC is just completely cold and un-relatable - true, I intend for her to be cold hearted at the beginning of the book, and as I'm planning on writing a series, I don't want her transformation to be completely obvious by the end of the first book. Yes, I want her to grow and start to see the error of her ways, but I don't want her to change instantly – otherwise, how else can I develop her in the next two books?

What if people also think my MMC's motives are questionable too?? If all goes to plan, he's going to develop/change/grow a lot quicker than my FMC does, but what if people flat out don't like him? I'd be heartbroken! I love my MMC to bits – in fact, when I first thought up of my plot, it was originally going to be about my FMC's journey, but now, I think I want it to be more (or at least equally) about his journey too, as he's just as pivotal to the story.

So that's my neurotic rambling for this month! Sorry if the post is a bit long, but it feels good to get it all off my chest ;). I can't wait to visit everyone else and cheer them on today, whether or not they're doing NaNoWriMo!

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NaNoWriMo....Day 5!

This is just a quick update, to let you all know that I'm still alive and drinking lots of tea to get me through NaNoWriMo ;)...

It's day 5 of NaNoWriMo, and I'm pleased to say that I've passed last year's word count - hooray! Not that that was very difficult, mind you - last year I wrote about 1,000 words then gave up. This year, I've currently written over 8,600 words :), which makes me very happy! I was hoping to break through the 10,000 word barrier over the weekend, but I went to see a friend on Sunday and ended up hanging out with her later than I thought I would. Not that I mind - it was nice to get out of the house after writing all day Saturday!

What I've written so far is a complete mess. I'm not afraid to admit it - it's appalling. If I was writing this normally in any other month, I would have burst into tears, deleted everything, then thrown my laptop out of the window long ago. But this November, I am determined to turn off my inner editor and just write - it's so hard though - I'll think that I've managed to ignore what my inner editor is saying, but then I'll realise that I haven't written anything for five minutes, because I'm searching for the perfect way to word a particular sentence....but I just have to remember that NaNoWriMo isn't the time for editing and getting everything perfect - it's about writing.

So that's what I'm going to focus on this week - simply getting the words down onto paper. There'll be plenty of time in December for me to edit and rewrite to my heart's content, but for now I'm just going to box up all my doubts and shove them into a dark and dusty corner of my mind...

I also received some unexpected news this morning - when I turned up to my first class of the day, the classroom was empty and the teachers were stripping everything off the walls. Turns out some of the kids are suffering from the 'hands, foot and mouth disease' - don't you just love it when things get lost in translation? I'm pretty sure that means chicken pox...but anyway, the whole class is off school for the next two weeks, which means I now have even more free time in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I hope all ,y cute little Chinese pupils get well soon, and I can't wait to see them again, but I'm not gonna lie - two weeks worth of free mornings, right when NaNoWriMo is running (when I actually only have 3 weeks instead of 4 to write 50,000 words, as my sister is coming to see me at the end of November), - kinda seems like a very odd blessing in disguise ;)....

So, how's your NaNoWriMo coming along?? I'd love to hear what you're up to!