Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo ’12

FO Friday: NaNoWriMo ’12

In the early hours of this morning, 30th November 2012, I reached the ultimate goal: 50,010 words.

Winner 180x180

The stats:

  • Final verified count: 51012
  • Average daily word count: 1759
  • Days of active writing: 19
  • Word count per day active: 2684
  • Number of plots used: 3
  • Number of unrelated ‘short’ stories written: 4
  • Number of times I made myself cry: 3

It wasn’t easy, this year. I did a lot of things wrong, spent too much time procrastinating and doing other things instead of concentrating on my story. I flounced at the most minor interruptions, claimed writer’s block when really I was too busy faffing on the internet. I drank too much coffee and far too much wine.

Wait… that’s what writers are supposed to do. I take that back.

I’m not sure where I went ‘wrong’ in comparison to last year; it’s not that the plot was better last year because it really wasn’t. But last year, I did manage to stick to the same story for the full 50,000 words. This time, I really struggled, and kept writing people into corners, making them do things that didn’t make sense. They swung wildly between totally irrational and bitingly logical; at one moment doing stupid shit that made no sense, and then the next refusing to do something because it just doesn’t feel right, mew mew mew.

I liked them, though, as characters. I may not have represented them well on the page, but they were cool to be around. If a bit angsty. I dreamed of them, at one point. We were doing a crossword. My other half woke me up just as we were about to get 17 across and I was very irate.

Things I learned:

  • The thing I thought was a plan? Was not a plan.
  • I need to spend more time away from the internet.
  • I need to read more. It is hard to write a well-paced scene – well, any scene – when you read nothing but forum posts and memes.
  • Coffee + movie soundtracks + full-screen text editor = frightening but super-productive hyperfocus.
  • I really enjoy writing.

Vale Fireworks last night.

WIP Wednesday: oxide cardigan plus WOOORDDDDSSSS

I realised this morning that I’d neglected to take any photos of my current project. In fact the Rav page was entirely blank.

Time to fix this.

first photo of this WIP, oops. #knitting #wip #orange

This is a V-neck, raglan-sleeved cardigan (codename: Oxide), in a blend of 50/50 wool/cotton. It is going to have pockets and sparkly buttons.

I’ve been working on this for about a month, but due to NaNoWriMo, progress has been fairly slow. At first glance, knitting might seem incompatible with writing, but I’ve spent a lot of time with it on my lap, picking it up to do a dozen stitches while pondering a suitable word. It’s sort of a comfort blanket, really. Good for deflecting inner editor attacks. And cold legs.

You may remember my initial post about this cardigan, in which I demonstrated my typical, concise, pattern notation. Well, I’ve never met a pattern I haven’t changed, and this is no different. I discovered that I had mis-under-estimated my upper arm measurements, so had to amend for that. I also tweaked the neck shaping to give it more of a scoop, instead of the plain V I was initially planning.

ball o' yarn on my shoulder. totally not weird. #knitting #wip #orange

Looks like I’ve managed to get the underarm C/Os right. The past couple of raglan sleeves I’ve done, I’ve had to cast on too many stitches under the arms. They fit, but they don’t lie flat or fold very well. I think this (only four stitches cast on) will do nicely.

Other projects:

You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but NaNoWriMo is still ongoing and I’m still ahead. In fact I broke 40,000 words last night, which was nice. The end is in sight. Now if only I knew what was supposed to happen at the end of the book. sigh

Let’s not mention sewing. cough

Also the socks and shawl are still around. Somewhere. I think. cough again

So. How’re your WIPs treating you?

NaNoWriMo: feeling cautiously optimistic

We’re just past the half-way mark of this year’s NaNoWriMo, and all is well on this end. In fact, I had an astonishing burst of creativity over the weekend, which included not only two 5k days but a 10k day. Yes. Ten thousand words. In a day. I felt like a god, albeit a god with bloodshot, gritty eyes and shooting pains in my elbows.

Tip: Movie soundtracks are marvellous for blocking out the world and letting you really concentrate on writing, but be warned that they may trigger hyperfocus so intense you forget to blink.

So I find myself a good few thousand words ahead, which has allowed me to take a few days off to tool around with some other writing projects. I know the idea is to write on it every day, but it’s good to get some distance and bash out the unrelated ideas so they don’t bug me or force their way into the NaNo storyline.

That distance also gives me the chance to stick my fingers in my ears and say LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU to my internal editor who is doing her best to make me feel bad. I’ll think about whether she’s right, whether there really is nothing salvageable from the dross escaping my fingers, in December. Maybe.

And let’s face it, many people will already have abandoned their novels. Characters have been written into corners, entire outlines expressed in a fraction of the intended word count. A sea of writers are sitting, head in hands, as a thousand internal editors dance cruel victory dances on the bytes and pixels of their dreams.

So I’m doing pretty well. You?

NaNoWriMo Challenge: The 5k day

Like many people attempting NaNoWriMo, I woke up this morning facing a stern challenge.

Due to a week of procrastination and related artistic flailing, I’d fallen quite a bit behind on the required word count. To be precise, on Thursday I found myself 5576 words short of the target.

Like many people attempting NaNoWriMo, I thought the unthinkable. I actually considered ditching the whole thing.

Fortunately, GrumpyCat wafted her way across the internet, and said no.

grumpy cat says no

See? GrumpyCat is srs bsns, so I knuckled down, spewing over 2000 words of loosely-related nonsense into my poor beleaguered text file.

I emerged, blinking, into the Friday morning light, a good 4500 words in the red. I was nervous, let me tell you. But once again, the internet came to my rescue.

During my morning perusal of my RSS feeds, I came across a set of pictures from an awesome site called Retronaut. Normally a site of cheerful, cutesy retro pics of happy events, I was sucker-punched by some fairly graphic war photography.

Unable to deal with this like a normal person, I incorporated it into my NaNo. Suddenly, my urban fantasy is a gritty war story. And 5000 words longer than it was this morning.

I’ll take it.

So anyway; here is the point of this post, and the meaning of the title. I hereby challenge you, the NaNoWriMo-er in crisis, to do a 5k day. Do some sprint prompts, look at some photos, take any inspiration you can find and run with it. Tweet the results with the hashtag #5kNaNoDay. You can do it!

Battling the internal editor

One November morning, I was sitting at my desk, working on my NaNo. Suddenly, I heard a noise. My hands paused over the keyboard, the flow of words immediately staunched. Footsteps. Unmistakeable. In my house. Coming up my stairs.

I turned around. At the door, was me. To be precise, a facet of me, a part of my personality made flesh.

My internal editor.

She settled her glasses more firmly on her nose, and drew a large red marker pen from her pocket. She gestured for me to move away from the keyboard.

Dumbstruck, I followed her instructions. Moving over to the computer, she removed the cap from the pen and scrawled these letters on the screen.


We stare at each other. My shoulders hang heavy, and it feels as though my strength (and hope, and happiness) is dripping from my fingertips as I realise the significance of my alter ego’s refusal to read my text.

She makes some insolent gesture at me. With all the strength of my mind, I will her to die. She grins wickedly, and visibly grows in height.

Damn it all.


NaNoWriMo is already live in tomorrow-land, but at time of writing, I still have about 10 hours to wait.

NaNoWriMo wordcount graph

While I wait for the clock to tick down, it’s time for the final preparations.

Step 1: Get widgets in place.

You’ll notice mine over on the right there, and I’ve also updated a couple of other profile pages. This is probably the most important step. Well, it’s the one I always do first, anyway. Get yours here.

Step 2: Prepare implements of choice.

This year I’ll be using Sublime Text 2, because it’s so shiny. There is a word count add-on, I can sync it over DropBox, and I should even be able to write on my iDevices.

Step 3: Prepare Real Life for the onslaught.

Stock up on coffee. Plan meals. Clean the house now, if only because it’s so easy to get carried away buffing the skirting boards when you’re supposed to be writing.

Step 4: Get the support network going.

There are all sorts of resources out there to keep you on track; dive into the forums, follow the tweets from NaNoWordSprints for some awesome inspiration and challenges, or put your life in the hands of technology.

Step 5: *crickets*

You may be thinking that I’m missing something fairly crucial; namely, how about planning the actual writing, you crazy woman. But that, to me, is the least of my concerns. I mean – that’s what November’s for, right?


And so, the insanity begins.

As you may have spotted in my last post, (inter)National Novel Writing Month is about to begin.

This is my favourite time in the process; brimming with optimism, plots forming, coalescing, and crashing into each other like so many icebergs of creativity.

Icebergs + Penguins

Yep. Complete with penguins.

I become convinced that everything I see is worth noting down for inclusion in my story. For example, I was on a run earlier this evening. While trotting along, a half-eaten apple fell from a tree that was not an apple tree. I became convinced that this should form some part of my plot. Some kind of sign, a portent even. Possibly related to the abandoned bag of sand I spotted by a garage. Then I saw a man hugging a TV and let me tell you, if that doesn’t appear by chapter 5, I’ll be very surprised.

Anyway. There’s a little glimpse into my particular brand of insanity. Are any of you planning on joining in? Any other similar experiences?