Not Another NaNo Update! (Week One)

Nano Progress Week 1

I know, I know, there are a TON of NaNoWriMo updates going on right now- but ’tis the season right? I am going to keep mine weekly so that I am more focused on writing the Important stuff this month (the novel!) and not endlessly bombarding everyone with word count updates… so here it is, week one:

Weekly Word count: 15,586 (as of Saturday Morning)

Successes this week:
I started out on a roll this week- writing a lot my first two days, and I have stayed about 1 or 2 days ahead of the suggested word counts. Mostly this is due to the fact that I set a higher goal for myself, had good habits and made time to write. I am really lucky that I only work as a substitute teacher, and only worked 3 days this past week, so I have plenty of time to write, but in reality I probably spend less than two hours each day typing, except for on the weekend.

My outline is working, and I’m happy with how the story is unfolding. I share what I have written every day with three people- my mother, sister, and a friend (and writing buddy!) from back home. I just paste the words into an e-mail and send it. I don’t ask for feedback or advice, but just the act of sharing it has been really freeing for me. I want to publish down the road, so people ARE going to read what I write. Sharing it now helps me break down that heavy emotional relationship I usually have with my work, so I will be able to talk about it, share it, break it down and make it better.

Struggles this week:
About 5 scenes into my outline I had a lot of question marks. Until the inciting incident I had a clear idea of setting, etc. After that point I knew what would be happening as a result of the inciting incident (a large Solar Event shutting down the North American Power Grid) because I had done a lot of scientific research. What had me hung up, was how did I show these effects when locked into a 3rd person limited POV? I struggled for a couple of days- talked it out with some people close to me, and figured it out. I have started keeping secrets from the reader, and as an author this is scary because I want them to know everything I know- after all, I did tons of research- but in the end, this makes the story better!
Here is a picture of all the edits and additions on that section of my outline:


Title trouble has also plagued me this week. I was lying awake the other night trying to think of something better because I’m just not happy with “Sky Full of Stars”. First of all it is one letter removed from a Coldplay song, and secondly, I don’t think it will fit the overall book. In the end I have decided to just keep it as a working title and jot down ideas as the come. This is something I can worry about later- after all- what good is a title for an unfinished book?

And yesterday I started out strong, with a great writing session of almost 1,000 words. Then life got in the way- as it has a way of doing. I had to pack for my husband and arrange travel plans for our puppy which turned into a much bigger problem than I had anticipated. I worked a book fair that night and thought I would get some writing done during the downtime, but instead was distracted by friends and books… so that isn’t really a bad thing right? Well, that is why we write extra on other days!

Inspirations and Surprises:
I really loved the pep talk from Veronica Roth this week. There seems to be a ton of polarization on the NaNoWriMo forums when it comes to writing styles. Plotters vs. Pantsers and the like. She essentially says to throw all of that out and just write- what is working for you right now, may not always work- and when you get stuck, try something new. The advice helped me for sure this week when I had to slog through some scenes that I didn’t see so clearly.

I personally re-read and do a quick edit of everything I have written for the day,, and in the process I like to pull out some of my favorite lines. Usually they are ones that make me laugh, so I would like to share some with you now:

Chapter One:
“Super important mission from the Mayor?” Jackie asked.
“Something like that.” Mae replied. “The town’s economy is going to be destroyed if I don’t go get some Shake n Bake right now. Serious business.”

Chapter Two:
Jess was sleepily walking down the stairs. “Power’s out.” She said, stifling a yawn. “Guess that sun thing actually happened.”
“End of the world as we know it right?” Mae said smiling at her friend. “Is it everything you thought it would be?”
“Cold showers and no lights? Yeah, pretty much.” Jess quipped. “I’m just waiting for the zombies to show up at the door.”
“Damn it, I am so not prepared for zombies!” Mae cried in mock distress. “What are we going to do?”
“Dan keeps a baseball bat in his car, just for this very reason.”
“Seriously?” Mae said surprised.
“Yeah.” Jess laughed. “That’s why I like him. He plans ahead.”

Chapter Three:
Maybe if the power doesn’t come back on by tonight I can eat the whole thing of ice cream back home, and not have to feel guilty about it. The thought made her smile. She didn’t want to mope around, especially if he had so publically moved on- and she had been the one to break up with him- but in the end, she couldn’t see letting a whole tub of ice cream go to waste either.

Thanks for checking in with me! How is your NaNo Journey coming? What struggles or surprises did you face in the first week? Let’s continue the conversation below!

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