Resistance Is Futile: NaNoWriMo Days 1-4

NaNoWriMo, November 2019, DAY 1 – 2878 words

Dear Diary,

I thought I’d write about the process of writing during this November, for National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Because, you know, 50K just isn’t enough words (is there a sarcasm emoji?). Actually, it’s because, on my 5th year doing NaNoWriMo, going for my 5th “win,” I find myself struggling.

I usually prep a bit, in advance of the start of the month. This time, thanks to an inspired idea BlackLion had, I even ran a little impromptu planning session, where 4 of us gathered online to prepare together. During that workshop, I discovered that the novel I thought I’d be writing this month was sorta, um, the wrong one.

Yeah. Originally I’d conceived of my contemporary fantasy novels as a series, and I sketched out some brief plot notes for the first 5 books. Later, after receiving the advice to wait and start publishing them only after the series was complete, I decided to shorten the process, making it a trilogy. I can always write another trilogy if I choose, and if the readers want more.

When I looked at my notes last week, I discovered that what I thought I’d be writing for book 3 was originally intended as book 4. Oops.

I couldn’t decide whether to shift book 4’s content to book 3 – which would alter the original arc of the series – or just write what I’d already planned for book 3. Confused yet? I was.

So I stopped planning.

When November 1st came along, I didn’t start my new book. Instead, I started working on the ending of book 2. More on that tomorrow. I’m tired.

DAY 2 – 0 words

Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make. No, not the fact that I didn’t write today. I didn’t, because I was out and about all day. But I knew that in advance and planned ahead for it by writing extra words yesterday.

The confession is that I’ve been avoiding finishing book 2 of the Patterns series. Like, for most of this year. Not that I haven’t written other stuff, like the non-fiction book that BlackLion and I are co-writing – but I’ve avidly avoided the ending of Patterns of Regret. Why?

Well, it turns out that I hadn’t really fleshed out my antagonist well enough to know why she was doing the crap she was doing to the heroes. That impacted the ending. It was too wishy-washy, and I wasn’t sure how to wrap things up. At my request, Quester read the story and gave me some feedback. After that, I actually scrapped an epic battle scene I’d written last November, based on the fact that it just wouldn’t have happened that way.

At the writing retreat I led this summer, one of my clients was writing a Tarot book for a deck she’d created years ago. In order to re-familiarize herself with the deck, she offered book-oriented readings to everyone. In mine, she read the cards for my mysterious antagonist, and together we came up with a whole back story, motivation, personality – it was so freaking cool!

I typed up the notes from the reading, which I’d recorded, and made some more notes, but still didn’t get back to finishing the book draft. Until now.

DAY 3 – 2250 words

Dear Diary,

Today’s writing session was blessedly easy. I’d been thinking about my novel’s ending yesterday, while doing other things (yeah, writers daydream a lot). I wrote up some notes for a couple of the remaining scenes, and the words poured out.

I love it when that happens.

It was Sunday, so I had plenty of time and could write in the middle of the day, when I was still fairly fresh. I also got lots of other stuff done around the house.

The time change is annoying, but at least it’s the one where I get an extra hour of sleep.

DAY 4 – 962 words

Dear Diary,

Mondays are always super busy for me. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d write today at all. I figured I could make it up tomorrow.

But when I got home, at 8:45pm, BlackLion challenged me to do a writing sprint with him. We’d set a timer and just write. We decided on 30 minutes.

I got 962 words written in that time! It wasn’t a whole scene, and I don’t know if it’s any good, but it’s easier to edit junk writing than a blank page. 

Thank goodness for writing buddies.

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