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26 Nov 2012

NaNo Update #4

Word Count: 50,124

Next Week's Target: Nothing.  I'm sleeping for a week! *collapses*

So I literally just finished writing and I've made it up to 50,124.  Short for a first draft but I was barely half way adding in extra scenes and stuff when I reached the 50k mark so I'm going to casually cruise through the rest and still add some more stuff in.  But I've achieved the target so adding in these little extra snippets and stuff can be a more chilled out process.

If I wasn't full of cold right now I'd be doing this:




I love this story.  The writing's a bit meh but I've enjoyed writing it and I've enjoyed writing about these characters.  I knew who they were from the beginning but there's been some little surprises in their personalities.  Worries as well.  But in the end I love this little group.  They're special to me.  When I was thirteen and started writing stories for me and my friends Scott, Chelsea, Darren and Riley were the characters I used back then.  There was also a character called Ashley who has now ended up in another WiP and Riley's twin Jessica who is more of a secondary character now but they were this small group of friends who saw the paranormal in their home town and faced it.  Very Spooksville meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The characters at the time were the same age as me but they faced dark stuff even then.  So for ten years I've known them like they were my own friends and writing this WiP was almost nostalgic.  I loved writing about these characters again and I loved it even more because I've taken ten years to properly get to know them and develop them. 

I was freaking out last week because I finished the draft and I had about 8000 more words to write before I hit 50k.  So I was just sitting there thinking: 'CRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!" but fortunately I have an amazing boyfriend who kept me inspired and gave me a great idea for a whole chapter that gave me quite a few thousand words.  So he's one of the reasons I made it today.  I would still be panicking over what to write without his suggestion.  And there was Marissa Meyer's pep talk as well.  Here's some advice she gave for this exact problem I had:

Dilemma #1: If you find yourself realizing that, 35,000 words in, you’ve just about hit the end of this story and are convinced you’ll never make it to 50K…

It sounds like your book needs a hearty injection of The Unexpected. So unexpected that not even you could have seen it coming. The trick to landing an excellently unexpected insertion is to not go with the first idea that pops into your head—too often, that is the domain of clichés and the all-too-expected. Rather, try making a list of at least twenty things you would enjoy writing about right now. It doesn’t matter if it has anything to do with what you’ve written so far (you can always drop in some nice foreshadowing during revisions), and the whole point is that you’re about to insert something fun, unique, and exciting into this draft.

Maybe you’re being called toward eye patch-sporting pirates and buried treasure. Maybe you’re dying to write about a hitchhiker with aspirations of being the world’s greatest baseball player. Maybe your dystopic, plague-ridden society is bringing you down and you’d love to send your characters on a romp through a whimsical wonderland.

Make your list, choose what’s calling to you most, and drop it into the next chapter just as if you’d been planning it all along. Watch as your plot and characters scramble to make it work, and the words once more begin to pile up.

It helped me so much.  I started thinking of what I could add in randomly and just started adding in extra bits.  I had a whole new opening for the WiP which really helped in showing what the character's differing personalities were like and also showed much better voices for each one as well.  It was a nice, fun and chilled out scene before it jumped into the ghostly stuff and I love it.  It works as an opening. 

I'm looking forward to getting into the editing with this WiP.  I know I've been working on Beast Inside for a year now but I'm starting to think it's not the novel I want to start out with.  I still worry over letting slip the word 'vampire' and having it immediately turned away.  Maybe it is time to let vampires rest even if mine are of the evil and creepy variety.  But I have this ghost WiP with the characters I wrote my first ever novel with and it feels like this is the one I want to try and get published first. :) I'll write up more about these characters another time.  I really want you to meet them properly! =D

We're in the last few days of NaNo.  How is it all going? Any pep talks you found incredibly helpful?

5 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    There is nothing worse than falling short of a wordcount but yes, throwing in the unexpected is exactly how to save the day :D

    Ugh working with kids = endless colds. Feel better soon!

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  2. I was sure what I had left to write would fit easily into 50k. I was calculating chapter word counts in my head as I wrote. I think the characters could have done with another night in that hotel. It would probably have made them require therapy and drive them insane but I never said I was a nice writer. :)

    Eurgh, I know. :( I'm starting to wonder if I should get one of those masks the Japansese wear. It's actually a pretty sensible idea.

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  3. LOL! I'm awful to my characters, and whenever I'm ill I think they're getting revenge ^^;

    Such a good idea. I feel like I've had a constant cold since I started my nannying career :P

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  4. Well done, Robin! Enjoy being a NaNo WINNER!! And take that deserved break before you dive into editing and polishing.

    To be honest, I haven't really needed the NaNo pep talks. This, my first NaNo, has been surprisingly easy--at least to complete the word-count goal. Certainly a good learning experience as I continue to figure out which approach to writing works best for me. I always thought I needed to plot my novels fairly well before I write. Not so, it seems! :)

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  5. Aw, Cole! I hope you feel better. We've had a horrible stomach bug just going round and round for weeks. None of the children and teachers have felt right in ages!

    Thank you Colin! And congrats on your win as well. I'm like you with plotting. I feel like I really need to know what's happening before I start writing. This year it's been different. I've only done a basic summary of what happens and just let the plot flow itself. Worked out quite well I think! =D

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