Checking In: Speeding Towards Week Three

18 Nov

WriMos, it’s that time again! We’ve passed the half-way mark in the month of November — crazy, huh? If you feel like you’re falling behind or you just want to have a few buddies to write with, we encourage you to jump in on a word sprint or two. If you’re on Twitter, there are tons of sprints happening around the clock (check out the #wordsprint hashtag, and follow @NaNoWordSprints). Our own Lauren Garafalo (@LaurenGarafalo) has also been organizing daily sprints on the #ROW80 hashtag. Drop in for encouragement, chatting, and some structured writing time!

Mini-Mashup of Awesome

Julie Isaac explains how NaNo is really four goals in one. NaNo, she writes, is a process and not simply about splurging out 50,000 words.

Over at Writers in the Storm, Elizabeth Craig offers 15 tips for writing murder mysteries. Em found it really useful in terms of her process, e.g. how soon she revealed the body, and gave her lots to think about. without being too detailed.

Jami Gold offers a great overview of the “Fast Draft” method, a technique for “getting the framework of our story down as fast as possible — without worrying about what it looks like.” There are definitely some useful tips that we WriMos can tap into as we speed our way through our own novels this month.

Checking In

Em’s Update
I looked at my check-in last Friday and had to laugh. I actually said I enjoyed the numbers part of this challenge when for most of week 2 the numbers have been the bane of my life! I won’t go into details here but basically the software I was using moved sections of my work and then a huge chunk seemed to be missing from my word count and then miraculously re-appeared the next day! If you want to know the details you can check out my ROW80 Check-in here which tells all the gory details. I have to say it really threw me. The numbers are let’s face it the point of NaNo and it was frustrating to say the least when my word count wasn’t matching what I knew I had written. But it seems to be sorted and I am backing up my words daily just in case!

My week 2 worry about my plot and whether I had raced through it has subsided and I know where I am heading from here to the end. I think! I don’t regret choosing to write my first murder mystery for NaNo (I wasn’t in the right head place for chick lit) but I worry that my inexperience in the genre might mean the editing stage is hideous. But you know what I decided? That I will worry about that when I edit. I have not edited as I have gone along but I have thrown in alot of red herrings and false trails and I will need to check they make sense! I decided to make another character a suspect last night so I need to check what I have written for him when I edit. I need to check for consistency for all my characters. I will also be looking out for repeated phrases. There is way too much nodding, sighing, coffee drinking and sitting down! But that can be ironed out!

Lena’s Update

Whew, it’s been a rollercoaster sort of week writing-wise. I hit a bit of a wall last weekend where I suddenly hated my novel with the passion of a thousand burning suns, and didn’t even want to look at it, let alone think about it. But after lots of advice, I realized that I was approaching things the wrong way. I was trying to focus on writing in a linear path, and getting bogged down in transition scenes and lots of world-building details.

I still don’t feel like this is the most brilliant tale ever written, and I’m trying to accept it. There are glimmers of hope here and there, passages and conversations that have a spark of something special in the depths, but I am going to have to do a lot of editing once November is through. Like Em mentioned, I’m doing my best not to dwell on it, and to focus instead on the process of bringing this story to life. I’m trying to listen to my characters and focus on their needs; hopefully that can carry me through the rest of the month!

How’s everyone else doing?

Are you making your way past the dreaded slump that seems to have zapped everyone’s energy last week? Any tweaks or changes that you’re making to the ways that your writing approach? Tell us how it’s going!

-Em and Lena

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8 Responses to “Checking In: Speeding Towards Week Three”

  1. Nadja Notariani November 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Hello, Ladies!
    I can’t believe we’ve passed the mid-mark for NaNo. I’ve hit 32K – and I hope to add a bunch today. I had a rough patch last weekend – I didn’t even put up a check-in for Sunday – after a 10 hour tournament for the oldest boy on Saturday and this cold, I was absolutely bushed! I took Sunday off! It was the right call. Monday, I was back on track with my writing, and I felt refreshed a bit. (Although I still wish this cold-virus would vacate my body – quick, fast, and in a hurry…)

    I’m still loving my story, but I’ve worried, too, that I’ve raced to reveal things that I could be drawing out the suspense for…sigh. I have resigned myself to the fact that I’ll not think on it until edits…..

    So glad to hear of everyone’s success.

    • Lena Corazon November 20, 2011 at 5:06 am #

      Nadja, I’m so impressed with all that you’ve managed to get done after being sick. Get well soon!

  2. Lauren Garafalo November 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Good morning, ladies. Waiting for some things to upload at work, so thought I’d stop in real quick and say hi. Thanks for the shout out 😀 The sprints have been really great for all of us. I enjoy poking everyone along, which in turn gives me the pokes I need to stay with it as well. Writing is ok so far this week. Struggling a little, but churning out enough. I might feel differently by the end of the month, but I think the whole “exercise” of NaNo is teaching me some valuable lessons. I can really tell that the other life stuff that’s on my mind is affecting my ability to concentrate – can’t get lost in it like I usually do. I think the month of December might need to be a silent month or something lol. I won’t have any words left to speak or type hehehe. Hope everyone is doing well!!! See you on Sunday for hopefully organized and sane updating 😀

    • Lena Corazon November 20, 2011 at 5:08 am #

      Omg, I am totally feeling you on the need for a “silent month.” I have been doing so much writing, between blogging and NaNo and my schoolwork. It’ll be good to just be sort of quiet for a while lol.

  3. Jami Gold November 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Thanks for the link love, ladies! I hope fast drafting proves useful to people.

    As I mentioned on Twitter, I wasn’t doing NaNo, but my own personal NaNoFinishMo (as I tried to finish my novel in 2 weeks to meet a contest deadline). Thanks to the writing sprints with my ROWBros, Gene Lempp and Kerry Meacham, along with Lauren Garafolo, I finished on time. Yay! Now to finish editing for the contest entry. *sigh*

    Good luck with all your NaNo goals! 🙂

    • Lena Corazon November 20, 2011 at 5:07 am #

      I’ll definitely be using fast drafting, Jami. Good luck with the edits!

  4. Em November 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    That is great Jami! Sprints seem to be the way forward! Good luck with editing, something I have never really done!

    Lauren and Nadja, glad things are going well with both of you. This has felt like the longest month ever!!!

    Keep at it everyone!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ROW80: Writing Like a Fiend | Lena Corazon - November 20, 2011

    […] else is doing this week. Also, stop by the Fun Not Fear! blog, where Em and I are hosting the weekly check-in thread. And, hey, while we’re at it, have a wee snippet from my NaNo tale, PATH TO THE PEACOCK […]

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