NaNoWriMo: End of Day 23 (37,477)

I’m really sorry I haven’t done any progress updates until now. But you’ve gotta understand, right? I mean, I’ve done 8k in three days. If that doesn’t give me an excuse not to blog then I don’t know what does.

Let’s stop being negative, shall we? NaNoWriMo is amazing. I am amazing. I have managed to pick myself up from a disastrous start (okay, it could have been worse, but still) and I am now powering (I hope) my way to 50k. If I can continue to do at least 3k each night until Thursday, I should hit 50k in plenty of time.

Just look at my amazing, incredible, outstanding, perfect, shiny, promising graph. And bow down to my excellence.

Day 23 GraphThe only thing I regret is having work tomorrow. If I didn’t, I would get that extra 900 words done now and hit the line, on top of the blog post I’m now writing. (Speaking of which, why the hell can’t these words count towards my total, eh?)

Tomorrow, I’m going to hit the line. And then the next day, I’m going to sail above it. And so on, until the weekend, when… well, things will flatline again, unfortunately. I actually have a party to go to on Saturday (family stuff, that is – not a house party) and don’t anticipate I’ll get much writing done during the day. And then, on Sunday, I have a daytrip in the afternoon and a gig in the evening, and I’m not even sure if I’ll have my laptop with me. Worst. Timing. Ever.

Thankfully, the 30th November is on the Monday. So what, it’s my first day at my new job? If I need to, I will stay up until midnight that night (like I have done tonight) just to try and get as many words done as possible. Let’s just hope I don’t come down with the flu or something.

I am currently writing the fourth story, which is story #6 in the sequence. I finished story #4, and wrote the whole of story #8 (#4’s twin) straight afterwards. Story #4 came out at a whopping 18k, while story #8 totalled about 3k. I’m so proud but also so embarrassed of both of them; they’re so badly written and quite rushed. Story #2, the second one I wrote, is still my favourite so far. But we’ll see how the remaining ones I manage to fit in turn out!

Here’s my rough progress, then:

  • 1. “Japan”, 5k
  • 2. “An Army of Elves”, 10k
  • 4. “Fairy Tales”, 18k
  • 8. “Lyte After Death”, 3k

Because I finished it so quickly, here’s a 100-word excerpt of story #8. I’ll be back soon with another update. Wish me luck at hitting 50k!

Lyte After Death

Some say that lytelings take the souls from those who want to die. It’s guessed that there are rifts visible in the places on earth where people have ended their lives, and the lytelings travel through and take the souls of those before they pass over.

Some say that lytelings take the souls from those who died from illnesses, to give them second chances. But personally, I feel that those with illnesses probably wouldn’t thrive as much as the lytelings need. I mean, who would want an unwell soul? Who would want to be someone who had been dying from a terrible disease, or whatever else?

What I think, Grampy, is that lytelings only take the souls of those who have lived full, happy lives. Because, then, the lytelings who the souls are given to also live long and happy lives.

NaNoWriMo: End of Day 20 (29,049)

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been so damned determined. Well, ish.

I’ve been making myself quite unhappy, actually, because I’ve been depriving myself of “me” time in favour of doing this. Normally, for the last hour or so in the evenings I stick on a DVD and do some cross-stitching to help me wind down and get into that happy zone before sleep. But, these past two weeks, I’ve been replacing that happy time with determined writing. I’ve been aiming for 2k a night, and have largely succeeded. But that success has come with the sacrifice of my happiness, because I really, really miss that “me” time.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the writing. I really do. This is what I want to be doing. I just miss my wind down times. I can’t relax when working on a NaNoWriMo project!

I’ve returned to my old ways, and am currently using the evening to write rather than during the day. Because both my parents are at home right now, I’m finding it increasingly hard to do anything productive while in their presence, simply because they’re always watching TV or taking up the whole dining table or talking or whatever else. And the daylight in my room is extremely distracting. I’m finding myself productive only when I’m in my room at night, with the curtains closed and a slight droopiness to my eyes. If I’m tired, I tend to work harder. That’s how it was at uni, and it seems to be how it will be forever.

Because of these late-night writing sessions, I’ve also been staying up far too late and making myself quite tired and miserable the next day. More than once I’ve just… broken down with tiredness. I’m not even working full-time at the moment, but I still have to get up early. And if I don’t get that full eight hours sleep, I’m guaranteed to have problems.

I guess it’s all been worth it, though. Because a consistent 2k a day is helping me work my way slowly to the 50k. I said before that I wasn’t really aiming for it, but now I am.

I will get that damned 50k.

I’m just aiming for it at a more leisurely pace than I should be.

Day 20 GraphI’m still on story #4, by the way. It’s going… okay. Turning out a lot longer than I intended, really, and a lot of it is such nonsensical filler. I’m making quite a lot of it up as I go along, so there are inconsistencies as big as Russia in the early pages. But that’s okay.

Isn’t all this what NaNo’s about, anyway? Writing rubbish stories, sacrificing free time in favour of writing, being tired… I’m truly feeling the strain this year. But I know it’ll be worth it in the end, even if I don’t manage to complete all 8 stories.

As usual, here’s a little snippet. And wish me luck for this weekend. I didn’t do any writing last weekend, but I’m determined to keep it going this time.

Fairy Tales

From chapter 5.

He still didn’t know when he’d be seeing her in future, nor did he know whether or not she’d continue to look forward to seeing him. As long as he had the stories to promise her, she had a reason to keep coming back. And that was precious.

“I’ll tell you one more thing,” he then said. “Are you sure you want to know it?”

She nodded enthusiastically. “Of course I do!” she said. “What is it? Tell me!”

He then said, in a quiet voice, “They have human eyes.”

“Eyes that look like ours?”

“No. They have actual human eyes. Eyes that once belonged to humans.”

She fell silent, and remained so for the rest of the journey home.

NaNoWriMo: End of Day 16 (20,179)

I did it. I broke 20k.

It’s been a long time coming. On Saturday, I told myself that I wanted to hit 20k this past weekend. It would have brought me ever closer to hitting the line, and may have even guaranteed me my fourth NaNo win.

But I never reached it.

Instead, I took the weekend off writing.

I hit 20k tonight, after an extremely long and quite painful (due to the writer’s block, not the writing itself) evening session that spawned 3k in total and a largely dialogue-based chapter of the third story. I’m up later than I should be, and frankly, I’m exhausted. But it was so worth it.

I’m properly in double figures now. Properly.

Ignore the fact that I have to repeat the entire month’s writing, and then some, to get to the 50k. Ignore it. Because this feeling of success is too addictive.

Wanna see my totally rubbish but also quite awesome graph?

Day 16 GraphLike I said, I’m not really aiming for the 50k this year. More than anything, I’d like to just get as many of the stories done as physically possible. I’ve done two so far, and the third is shaping up… just about. And that’s so much more rewarding than sticking to the line every single day and hitting 50k without much ceremony.

I’m determined to keep going. I may not achieve much on weekends, but I certainly want to keep achieving things in the evenings. Let’s see how far I get, shall we?

Here’s a little bit from Story #4, “Fairy Tales”. This is the story I’ve “pantsed” the most so far. No idea where it’s going, really. It’s already derailed quite dramatically.

Fairy Tales

From chapter 3.

He cleared his throat, and then, totally terrified as to her response, he said, “Hi, Trixie.” It was all he could say.

She looked at him. “I’m not Trixie,” she said. “I’m Patricia.”

Walter had forgotten. He was speechless for a moment, amazed that Jane hadn’t adopted the nickname for her child even for a moment. It wasn’t really surprising, if he thought about it. But it still stung.

“Yes, you’re Patricia,” he said, slowly, unsure if what he said next would completely ruin his chances with his granddaughter or strengthen them, “but I’ve always liked calling you Trixie. What do you think about that?”

She bit her lip and appeared to consider this for a moment, but then she said, “But I’ve always been Patricia.”

NaNoWriMo: End of Day 12 (15,347)

I’ve had the week off work this week, but have I managed to do any writing during the day? Nope. It’s all happened past 10pm, near enough. I’ve reverted back to my university days, when I found it easier working late than putting time aside during the day. I have no idea how I’ll fix my sleeping pattern ready for next week!

Anyway. Good news! I finished this story. Two down! :D

The story, overall, hasn’t really had anything that resembles a plot. But you know what? That’s fine by me! It’s really suited just being a flashback-based nostalgia trip. I’m very, very glad to have finally finished this story after all those years of having the idea in my head. Whether or not I did it justice I have no idea, but I’m pretty happy right now, so something must have gone right.

Another bit of good news: I beat my wordcount from 2009! That was my second year of NaNo, but for some reason (I can’t remember why, exactly) I just didn’t get past 15k. It was a disappointing year, considering I’d finished the month with 80k in 2008. I’m happy to have beaten it this year, especially since I’m not writing a full novel this time.

So far, the stories are:

  • “Japan”, 5k
  • “An Army of Elves”, 10k

I’m going to be writing story #4 next, and I’m just about to go in and write the opening sentence for it so I don’t end up having a couple of days off again. (Still annoyed about that, even though it did make my graph look really impressive!)

And here’s the last part of what I wrote tonight. May answer some questions. :)

PS How are you all doing with NaNo??

An Army of Elves

From chapter 6.

The shop assistant took one of the elves out of the box. It was Beauty. The paint had begun to peel off her wings. She didn’t look very beautiful anymore.

“What a lovely fairy,” the assistant said fondly. “What a beautiful piece.”

“She’s not a fairy,” Willow then said. “She’s an elf. They’re all elves.”

The shop assistant took out another one of the figurines. She looked confusedly at Beauty and then at the one she held in her hand, and then said, “but they quite clearly aren’t elves. This one’s a fairy, and this one’s a gnome.” She chuckled. “And this one is a raccoon!”

“No,” Willow said. “They’re all elves. They’re Aunt Rainey’s army of elves. She made up stories for them and they all had their place in the garden. They’re very special.”

Willow’s mum had tears in her eyes again, but Willow didn’t know why. She didn’t pull away when her mum put her arms around her, though. In fact, she quite enjoyed it.

NaNoWriMo: End of Day 10 (10,288)

I’m still behind. But I’m so, so proud. 3k in a day.

I’m so tired, and there’s not much more to say than: I love this story! It’s coming so easily. Okay, it’s all nonsense and rubbish and I really have no idea where I’m going with it. But I love it so much. It has such a nice, nostalgic atmosphere. I’ve had the concept planned for years, but only now am I actually writing it. And, in a way, I’m glad I waited. So worth it!

You really aren’t going to be able to appreciate it just from 100-word segments. But I don’t care! Just take my word for it. I’m having so much fun with this story. It’ll be a shame to see it finished and have to move onto the next.

An Army of Elves

From chapter 3.

The elves all watched as she and Cousin Dudley crossed the lawn. One of them, the one with the biggest smile and the longest fishing pole, was hiding a secret that Willow knew she must reveal. She picked him up, shook him about, and a little key fell out from a hole in the soles of his porcelain feet.

“Are these the elves?” Cousin Dudley asked.

“Yes,” Willow said, warily. “But don’t say anything about them here, or else they’ll kill you too. They always used to hate Aunt Rainey talking about them.”