YEAR TWO: AMBER GOES FOR IT WITH NANOWRIMO!

AMBER LOVE 09-NOV-2015 This is my second year participating in National Novel Writing Month commonly called “NaNoWriMo.” When I was going through the process last year, including after that month was over, I kept posting periodic updates to the state of my novel, CARDIAC ARREST: A FARRAH WETHERS MYSTERY. For 2015, it’s starting out much smoother because I’m writing a sequel called FULL BODY MANSLAUGHTER: A FARRAH WETHERS MYSTERY. (*Special thanks to fabulous artist Anthony Lee for that title!). It started that way, but didn’t stay that way.

Elizabeth Amber Love book cover

Another thing that came up more this year than last year is Wattpad. I’m unsure about the legalities and etiquette for using Wattpad still. I can’t seem to get a great answer about whether or not publishing online to a place like Wattpad (which is open to the public for free reading) or Patreon (which has limited backer-only reading options) counts as “published”. This is critical to know because I’m still querying for an agent. You normally can’t query if you’ve published the work elsewhere, but I don’t know if online publishing is also disqualifying. According to the only person to reply to me on Twitter, publishing work on social platforms is published and would disqualify the work from being queried. I have sample chapters up of three books. For now, samples will have to do because I don’t want to jeopardize it.

WEEKLY PROGRESS

The first couple of days, I started sprinting right from the gate. I was up early and clacking away at the keys. Tuesday morning was spectacular. Several days though… yeesh… they were rough. Majorly rough. I varied from 2-8 hours to write the same amount of words. Thursday was mediocre at 4.5 hours. I’m still aware of the privilege I have that I can sit on my ass all day and write. I had some modeling jobs to drive to, but they are still only part-time hours.

To reach 50,000 words by the end of November, one has to write 1,667 words per day. That’s if you are writing every single day, Sunday through Saturday. November happens to have a long holiday so you need to factor that in just like any other commitments you may have that keep you AFK and unable to write. I’m trying to write more than the minimum because I know I’ll want a day or two off. It may not happen the way I expect.

On Wednesday at some point, my Facebook broke which probably was a way to keep me off of it. By Saturday morning, my depression was so heavy I couldn’t figure out how to write a sentence about two characters entering a dining hall (Thanks to George for helping with that part.) I also stared a lot. There are some non-writing tips below all these graphs.

SUNDAY: 1,771 WORDS

FIRST DAT OFF AND RUNNING AT A GOOD PACE
FIRST DAY: OFF AND RUNNING AT A GOOD PACE

MONDAY: 1,673 WORDS

DAY TWO: DID EVEN BETTER!
DAY TWO: KEPT IT GOING WITH DAILY TARGET REACHED

TUESDAY: 2,696 WORDS!

DAY 3
DAY 3 – OK, I REALLY KICKED SOME ASS THIS DAY

WEDNESDAY: 2,356 WORDS

DAY 4: FIRST SESSION
DAY 4: FIRST SESSION
DAY 4: SECOND SESSION
DAY 4: SECOND SESSION
PROGRESS CHART
PROGRESS CHART

THURSDAY: 1,756 WORDS

DAY 5: FELT SOME STRUGGLING TODAY
DAY 5: FELT SOME STRUGGLING TODAY

FRIDAY: 1,672 WORDS

110615_words

SATURDAY: 1,181 WORDS

COULDN'T MAKE DAILY GOAL
COULDN’T MAKE DAILY GOAL

TOTAL WORDS SUNDAY-SATURDAY WEEK ONE: 12,820

REWARD FOR A SUCCESSFUL WEEK:

vodka

NON-WRITING ACTIVITIES

Other than the actual writing of the words portion of the novel, I also found countless ways to stay busy. These are things I’ve done or may get to this year:

  • Download the Scrivener NaNoWriMo template for 2015
  • Set up Scrivener (or other platform or Post-It Notes) corkboard
  • Make character sheets if you haven’t done that in prep
  • Make a soundtrack for your book
  • Design a cover image (I had help from my friend Thomas Boatwright on the CARDIAC ARREST cover who made the art and I did the lettering)
  • Take cat pictures
  • Figure out what your character’s fragrance of choice would be and try mixing it with essential oils
  • Make your character’s favorite meal, write the recipe down and share it
  • Blog, journal, tweet, whatever – share your progress in a way that helps you stay motivated and hopefully your progress will inspire others under the #NaNoWriMo tag
  • Search for images online of people that could play your characters in a movie and for locations (even more on that next week)
  • Read any of the countless advice blogs
  • Listen to podcasts (like VODKA O’CLOCK!) about writing or not about writing to take a mental break from it
  • Reply to internet trolls with animated gifs (adding this to my CV)
WHILE OUTLINE, I USE THE CORKBOARD AND KEEP AN EASY REMINDER IMAGE ABOUT DRAMATIC STRUCTURE ON THE SPLIT SCREEN
WHILE I OUTLINE, I USE THE CORKBOARD AND KEEP AN EASY REMINDER IMAGE ABOUT DRAMATIC STRUCTURE ON THE SPLIT SCREEN

Mentioned first is about setting up Scrivener so you have a comfortable, well-prepped desktop environment. For outlining, using the corkboard was the main screen I needed. Then I copied over character sheets from last year’s project file – you can drag and drop through Windows. I made new character sheets for this book’s new secondary players like the new victim and the new suspects. While I’m writing, I have a split screen in Scrivener showing: the binder (folder tree for chapters, research, characters, etc.), the working page, the corkboard, and the inspector. I usually have open the floating targets pane too so I can watch the progress counter.

Continue to Week Two

2 comments on “Week 1: #NaNoWriMo diary”

  1. I’m so happy for you Amber, you’re off to a terrific start! I’m excited to see where this year’s NaNoWriMo takes you. You’re super well-prepared and I’m sure this is going to be an exceptionally productive month. Although I didn’t gather enough courage (or ideas) to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, it’s a great inspiration to see someone else kicking ass! Sending you all my best wishes!

    • Thank you so much! It’s been a rough day. I’ll have to accept those happen and word counts aren’t always going to be good. I hope you can keep writing when you find the right time.

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