My my England is cold, eh? I’ve been used the Florida warmth and sun for the last 2 weeks, and in that time winter seems to have landed in the UK. This should be perfect, an excuse to curl up in the warmth with my laptop and write away, but that would be a little simplistic. I’m quite sure it won’t be that simple. As you might have seen from my NaNoWriMo Announcement post, I am making a serious attempt to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo and write at least 50,000 words. I tried before, 2 years ago, when I had a complicated space heist idea/concept, but it wasn’t clear enough in my mind to begin to try and write, so I abandoned it at around 10,000 words. So, this year, I have decided to think about 2 wildly different concepts in the hope of making decisions, plotting, knowing my characters, and ultimately learning to write, and I am tracking my progress through the NaNoWriMo website and a twitter thread.
The ideas, yes. One is a trope ridden contemporary about some friends who live together, go to an event, 2 of them who aren’t dating sleep together, and the repercussions of that night. It (literally) came as a dream, as in a reoccurring dream that created some scenes and now I am getting these down and trying to link them together to create a full story. The other is a book based in piracy with a slight supernatural/fantasy twist and is something that is really exciting but I have done no planning or preparation for so is something that is taking more time to think about and plan rather than actually write at this point.
How am I doing? Erm, OK I think? I don’t really know. I’m not behind, in fact, I am a little ahead of things so I don’t feel the pressure when I am struggling later in the month. I’m not sure I am particularly happy with what I am actually writing though. I have barely written anything for my pirate idea, but I have thought about it a lot. I’ve spent a bit of time reading different pirate stories of late and have felt really inspired. My favourite film EVER is Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, which is undoubtedly influencing it. I have also just spent two weeks in Disney where I spent time thinking in the queues of rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean so I have definitely got ideas about this.
The problem with this idea is that I am pantsing it. I didn’t plan it before, and have just dived head on in and while that’s a great distraction from my other concept, it is making it hard to write at the moment because I don’t feel like I know their motivations or voices yet, I don’t know my ships, treasures, so I can only actually write small segments of ideas while they’re there and then try and think and plan around that. I think if I could have done more research before this could have been really quite good, but alas it’s not to be.
The dream idea is progressing, mainly because I know the characters and the scenes I have dreamt and subsequently thought about have a narrative and trajectory that is making it easier to fill in gaps and find bits to right. It’s not easy by any means, but I am taking leaps and making decisions and trying to progress the plot to make it into a full story. It’s got a long way to go, but, it’s going which is something.
All in all, I’m both happy and irritated by my progress. I am on track, I haven’t dropped behind the word count, but I’m not really into it and getting carried away and loving it yet either. It’s giving me a new appreciation for people who do this all the time, and making me appreciate the books I read a lot more!! I’m definitely still in it, I’m still writing and I am still confident I can make it to the end of the month and hit my goal.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How are you finding it?
Do you have any tips for plotting, world building, and character development that I could benefit from?