The End is Near – NaNo 2017

There’s less than 48 hours left of NaNoWriMo 2017, and I believe it’s time to reflect on the month.

I failed, the end.

Ok, so perhaps it’s a little harsh to say that I failed, because even though I haven’t managed to reach 50,000 (yet, maybe a miracle will happen), I’ve still began a story that I love, and will hopefully finish in the months to come. I believe it’s important to understand that success isn’t always the best thing to happen to you.

For those of you who have managed to reach 50k, well done, I hope you keep on writing! And for those who just couldn’t make it this year, don’t be too hard on yourself, you haven’t “failed”. Just because you fell a little behind doesn’t mean you haven’t done something productive.

The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to encourage you to write daily, the target is simply there to point out that a novel word-count is around that mark.

Now that the end is near, it’s time to think about what comes after. For me, I’ll be finishing my project, and then editing a novel I wrote last year, and because I participated in NaNo, I am in the mind set of writing everyday, and that’s what I think being a writer truly is, not just finishing a novel, but being devoted to setting time aside to write each day of the week, thinking about it every day, from the moment you wake.

This year may not have been your year, but perhaps the next one can.

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Falling Behind?

NaNoWriMo is now well underway, and like many, I have fell victim to the usual distractions that this world has to offer… mainly Netflix…

I suspect that you’re behind by a larger margin than you anticipated? Don’t worry, when you break it down into statistics, it’s really not as awful as you assume.

I am currently at 10,213 words, which is over 6,000 words behind target, so, I found myself in a constant slump, telling myself that 30,000 words would be an acceptable achievement this year. Well, even though that is still an impressive number, it’s not the best I can do.

Try this little trick: write at least 4 sprints per day, for 20 minutes. That’s just one hour of out your day. Not long, right? Most of us assume that we must hammer the keyboard or page with so much effort, when really, 20 minutes at a time is all you really need.

In 20 minutes, I can write, on average, 600 words. 600 x 4 = 2400 words. Now, think about it this way; if you began with such a strategy, you’d have written 50,000 words in just 20 days.

Nothing is so daunting when you break it down into basic numbers.

Now that we have that out of the way, the next step is getting motivated to write, yes? Well, try this little task:

Each morning, John Steinbeck would sit and gaze outside of his window for just 10 minutes, and he would write about what he saw. This warmed him up each morning, and encouraged him to work on something different after those 10 minutes had passed.

I want you to try that each morning for the month of November. Just 10 minutes. See how it makes you feel.

Good luck with your novels. I’d love to chat with some of you about the experience!

 

Nothing More Than A Scar

Each day I wake and feel a sadness,

It cuts me gently, yet it stings like a mourning.

I know time has passed, but nothing is the same,

Ever since you said goodbye, my chest has felt desolate.

It’s not your fault, I know it’s my own,

But I hate sleeping at night, just to wake to my own heartbeat.

Everything sends an echo through my hearts,

and it’s then when I can hear the tears calling me.

Raise me up, so I may fall,

At least, maybe, then I can feel human.

I fight the pain, yet it’s often too much,

But one day, I hope, it”s be nothing more than a scar.

Writing Challenge

Ahead of NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to create some practices that may help you push for that daunting 50,000 word mark.

At times, when I’m writing my novel, I struggle with specific events in which a character react in a certain way. I often find that the dialogue between multiple characters can merge into one, as though it were the same person speaking. Developing a thought process is key to a strong character that your reader can learn to adore (even if it’s an antagonist).

So, here’s a little challenge that can help you through:

I want you to write about your character in the process of dying. Now, I don’t want you to set the scene, or describe some event in which your character meets their final fullstop, no, I want you to simply writing about their thought process: what are they thinking? Who are they thinking of? Are they afraid, do they believe in an afterlife?

This method has helped me get the best out of my characters, as it encouraged me to understand how they would speak and react in different situations.

 

I hope this helps you, and I’d love to read what some of you wrote! (I’ll be happy to publish anyone’s work on my website if they wish).

Good luck for next month!Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes