Nanowrimo: starting week 3 off not with a bang but a whimper

I’m currently about 5,000 words behind. No surprise there!

My favorite strategies that I’ve used so far this year to keep the novel (and the word count) moving:

Pretty much starting over twice, but keeping the word count from the scrapped plots.

Length (and I mean lengthy) character background descriptions that drone on for pages.

Introducing brand new characters into the story like they were there from the start, just to spice things up.

Lots of scenes of people just sitting around drinking. Apparently all of my characters are alcoholics.

The thing that I’ve learned from Nanowrimo is that I will probably never have an actual publishable novel at the end. It’s just not the way I write. So for me, it’s about the ideas. Can I stumble across an idea or a character or a setting that I love if I just sit down and make myself write? If I just continue to word-vomit for the rest of this month, something interesting is bound to jump out of my mind and splatter onto the page.

Off to week 3…

Nanowrimo, Take 2

I broke every rule in the Nanowrimo book today and threw out my first day of words. I found myself struggling yesterday to fit the story into a mold it just didn’t want to go in. Instead of fighting with a story that isn’t working for the whole month, I started a new one! This one may fight me, too, but I think it has a better chance of actually becoming a novel. It’s a story I’ve been marinating in my brain for a long time and it has seen many different iterations. Maybe this iteration will be the one that sticks! Plus, it’s a love story and I’ve never written a love story before, so why not?

All of this means I’m only at 3,030 words for the novel, when I’m supposed to be above 3,300. I’ll make up the extra 300 tomorrow, and hopefully not decide to start the novel all over again!

Halloween, plus the Nanowrimo word count begins!

A few shots our Halloween graveyard from this year:

If you look closely, you’ll see the references to Doctor Who. Warning: spoilers! Next year, we’re hoping to make a weeping angel and then the year after that, a full TARDIS. Our yard will look like Angels Take Manhattan one day.

The end of Halloween means the beginning of Nanowrimo! I’m at a little over 800 words for the day so far, and I’m using this blog post as a tool of procrastination. Ok, back to the novel!

Nanowrimo Prep

It’s November! For me, fall means pumpkiny foods, Halloween (the best day of the year) and Nanowrimo. I get this really happy, expectant feeling when Nanowrimo is around the corner. Before I start writing my November novel, I like to think about all the amazing things this novel could turn into. And then I actually start writing and that feeling goes out the door, replaced with a daily panic about writing my allotted words.

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This year, I’ll be writing a novel based on a short story I wrote awhile ago called It’s Not Safe Below. This was actually my first published story, and as a result, my most beloved. I feel like there’s more to the world and more to the story, so I’m going to take a stab at living in that world for a month and seeing what happens. Turning this story into a novel also has the added benefit of providing me with a framework I can build upon rather than starting from scratch. Given that it’s only a few days until November 1, I can’t really afford to invent a whole new world and set of ideas and still write a novel next month.

This will be my 4th year as a Nanowrimo participant. I haven’t failed to reach my 50k word goal any of the past years, so 4th year, here I come!

Publication Day – The Moon’s Wife

At long last, my short story “The Moon’s Wife” is up at Toasted Cake as a podcast. This story was inspired by my trip to China last year. My brother and I hiked up to Moon Hill, located outside Yangshuo in southern China. Here’s me standing in front of it with my flower-bedecked hat.

cheryl moonhill

Yay, go give it a listen! Easier than reading!