How to Write a Novel in 30 Days #2

Day #2…

Not at all as successful as yesterday. It’s mostly my fault, so I shall hang my head in shame, knowing that I have to write double what I need to do tomorrow in order to get myself back on track.

Last night was the night the brand new Sims 4 expansion came out on midnight release. I’d preordered the game, and was sat staring at my laptop in anticipation, ready to spend the night gaming in the virtual world where I am the creator of the universe.


I played until nearly 4am.

It’s a very addictive thing, Sims 4. Especially when you can now go with them to their workplace and wreck havoc on their working lives as well as their social and personal lives…

After noticing that I’d spent all night waiting and gaming, I reluctantly shut everything down, and trotted up to bed. Four hours later, my aunt was giving me the wakeup call that I’ve asked her to give me each day I’m in Portsmouth to ensure I get some writing done, I could barely open my eyes, or grunt much of a response. She popped my cup of tea on the side, and went off to her driving test (she passed, by the way, so congratulations to you Auntie!) and then work.

And I didn’t actually get out of bed until 1pm. The time I’d agreed to pop over to my grandparent’s house for an afternoon trip to their favourite local pub…

It was safe to say that I was occupied all afternoon with catching up, eating icecream and teaching Nan how to download things onto her iPad, and how to use Facetime (she’ll be a silver surfer yet!).

After getting home and having some dinner, me and my aunt and uncle watched the Leader’s Debate on ITV, and ended up debating heavily on what we thought of the issues (mixed results about immigration, the NHS and young people in education, work and training). We ate cake, did a bit of, then everyone went to bed.

Well, nearly everyone…

And that was when I realised, at 1am, that I haven’t written a single word. Not one. Great work Heidi, great work! I’m going to have to write an extra 1917 words on top of the usual 2000 target tomorrow, and I have only myself and my gaming/terrible sleeping habits to blame. Ah well, there is always the morning…

And the evening.

Auntie wants to go out for the day tomorrow, to watch a film and go for lunch. So it’s going to be a frantic day to juggle everything, but I’m sure I’ll manage!

I think…


Starting Word-Count = 2083

Target Word-Count of the Day = 2000

Word-Count Total = 2083

Total Words Written Today = 0

Minimum Word-Count Target for Tomorrow = 3917


How To Write a Novel in 30 Days #1

Day #1 is here!

I’m in Portsmouth staying with my aunt and uncle for a week or so, so I’m using the change of scenery to help me focus in the initial stages of the project.

So, my aunt woke me up at half seven, and I rolled out of bed at eight, and started writing at nine. I had a mug of very sweet coffee, a couple of biscuits, some notes and my laptop, and got down to business.


By ten, I had about half and a bit of the day’s target total, 1035.


My initial aim was to have it all down by eleven, but it was about half past eleven when I hit gold…

With 83 extra words to the chapter! Huzzah!

I feel really good at this point. I’ve noticed how much easier it has been today after taking my ADHD medication first thing before sitting down to write. Starting a routine of writing a chapter a day will also probably help, as will writing a summery of each chapter down in my notes to remind me of where I’m at in the story so I don’t get side tracked. I can also write a quick line of how I want to work the next chapter, so I have an idea of where I’d like the story to go, but allowing the opportunity for my imagination to run wild and add other parts. It’s nice to be focused, and do things in manageable chunks. Says me on Day #1. By the end of the week I may feel differently, but who knows? At the moment I’m feeling pretty darn good about everything.


I’m looking happy at the moment, though how long that’ll last, I haven’t a clue. Milly had better behave herself in the next few weeks, otherwise we might just fall out. Writing an ADHD character as someone with ADHD is proving to be an interesting experience. As I’m handing parts of the book in for university work, I won’t be sharing excerpts until I’ve had my marks back, just to be on the safe side of not self plagerising, yay?

The story was initially going to be a chic lit style novel, although already in the first chapter I feel the genre is going in a whole new direction, probably just a comedy, to be honest. Even though ADHD isn’t always fun to live with, you can get an awful lot of material from personal experience for both stand up and general comedic writing. I really need to hone my comedy writing skills, so I’m hoping this novel will be very good practice!

So, Day #1 is done, bring on Day #2!


Starting Word-Count = 0

Target Word-Count of the Day = 2000

Word-Count Total = 2083

Total Words Written Today = 2083

Minimum Word-Count Target for Tomorrow = 1917

How To Write a Novel in 30 Days – UPDATE!

So, just came out of my meeting with my IP tutor…



Though, on one condition…

He’s asked me to up the wordcount to 60,000 words…

Yes, you read that right, 60,000 words.

That’s 2000 words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And that’s on top of the Journal, blogging and general life. No pressure then!

I’ve never upped my word-count before, considering that when I usually take on NaNoWriMo, or the Camp equivalent, I get to about the 15/20k mark before I end up throwing the towel in, and hiding in my room for the rest of the month, so that no one can spot me and ask how the novel is getting on.

But, this time, there is more at stake than just the half-written manuscript. My grade, my reputation at university is also on the line if I don’t succeed in this challenge.

My IP tutor said one main thing to me:

‘Just get those 2000 words a day written!’

And, you know what? I may be terrified, nervous, wanting to throw it all out and run in the opposite direction, but by Gods I won’t! I am more determined to prove that you can indeed write a novel in 30 days. Even if you have ADHD, a messy flat, piles of paperwork and a weird life in general.

I am a writer, and it’s about time I started actually being one.

Independent Project – How to Write a Novel in 30 Days

I may have briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but after dropping Performance Poetry, I was given the opportunity to transfer to the Independent Project module.

What this means is that I can choose to do any creative writing project I wish that doesn’t fit in with any of the usual modules taught at Bath Spa. I had a few ideas, but then I realised that both Camp NaNoWriMo and the deadline for the 4000 word Creative Portfolio for Writer’s Workshop 2 were creeping up on me…

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

So, ‘How to Write a Novel in 30 Days’ was born! Alongside the usual Camp NaNo process, I will be keeping a written journal about the progress of my challenge, how I’m feeling about it and what I’m learning as a writer/novelist in the 30 days of the challenge.  I’ve typed up the proposal for my tutorial with my IP tutor later on this afternoon, and I am really hopeful that I’ll be given the green light for this crazy idea.

The journal is already being started, with the planning process being carefully documented. As I’m giving myself over completely to the NaNo process, I am using the two books from the NaNo team, No Plot? No Problem! and Ready, Set, Novel! and using prompts, exercises, and tips from these books as my main resources. Kinda scary, considering that I’ve just written, without someone telling me how my writing process should happen. And that’s why I’ve decided to do that with this project. I want to show that I’ve grown, adapted and developed as a writer during the project.

I also have to write a reflective essay at the end of the project to hand in alongside the actual written work that I hand in. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of the 30 day challenge, and to write in detail about how I feel the project has gone and my final opinions/thoughts.

I actually can’t wait to get started!

NaNoWriMo Update!

You can see all the red on my blog’s NaNo calendar chart thingy…

This is due to the fact that I recently had to get my laptop to the university’s student services, so it can be sent off to be repaired (the wireless card in the harddrive is broken, meaning that it won’t connect to the internet for longer than an hour at the most), not to mention that I had a deadline for an English essay.

It’s safe to say that once again, I have been defeated by NaNoWriMo. Once again, the novel was losing its drive, and was going in a direction that was clished and just goddamn awful. I shall therefore say a sad farewell to the WIP that was No Day But Today (I think a novel where the writer can’t really explain the synopisis in a simple, coherent way should just be stopped.) and start focusing on some other projects (eg. university works!).

I’ll be attempting to work on some more World According to Fred pieces, and try and get friends with toys to join in for photo opportunities and stuff like that. In the meanwhile, I think there may be one tonight, as there’s a party on and I think it would be cool to write about it all from Fred’s perspective. Also, I do want to set up a new blog exclusive to World According to Fred, with a seperate WordPress account and stuff like that. Such larks to be had, especially as one of my lecturers is skeptical that the blog will ever take off, as it is a teddy bear narrator aimed at a YA audience. Yay for experimental writing!

So, to conclude, NaNo has defeated me well and truly, as I write this post in front of a university library computer.


NaNoWriMo #11, 12, 13, 14

Current Word Count -14996

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted for a few days. This is because I simply haven’t had the time to write. 

On Tuesday I woke up late, had to go to a lecture and a seminar, then straight out to Bath with my flatmates for the Christmas Lights Switch-On, which was actually rather disappointing. We then went out for Pizza Hut, before going home and sleeping, so I never actually got any scribbling done. Yesterday was the dreaded three hours of lectures that I have every fortnight (how they sort the timetables out at my uni is beyond me!), followed by a mammoth laundry and cleaning session straight afterwards. Today I did a tiny bit of writing, then popped into town for a little while to do some shopping, and then came home and watched television. I did see my mentor today, and she’s given me a load of paperwork to fill out for my upcoming ADHD assessment, as well as a coloured overlay (a piece of coloured transparent plastic that you cover pieces of work with to read through), and I sat and read my critical extracts with it. I’m thrilled, as it’s already really helping me, and I’ve only had it an afternoon! She said that if I show signs that I have the condition where text seems to move about (spaces between words on much smaller, old fashioned prints used in academic writing tend to seem to get bigger, and I can only see certain words or letters if I concentrate) I might get funding to get special tinted glasses made for me so I can wear them rather than fiddling around with the overlay. I’m thrilled at the thought! 

I’ve also got a big essay due on Monday that I haven’t managed to start yet, as I keep getting distracted with NaNo, as well as life in general, so that means I won’t be able to write as much as I have been doing. It sucks, because I haven’t written an academic essay since I was sixteen, so am really worried that I’ll write like a total noob and fail the assignment…

Such fun.

NaNoWriMo #10

Current Word Count – 12564

I haven’t hit the green amount of writing two days in a row before! Not bad going, if I say so myself.

Because I’d holed myself up in my kitchen yesterday, I decided that I would go off of campus for the afternoon. I dropped off an application form into the Oxfam Bookshop in town, before deciding to pay a visit to the Roman Baths. I spent two wonderful hours playing at lone tourist, taking photos on my iPhone, and gasping for joy at the natural hot springs. One day I might treat myself to a trip to the spa that the modern folk of Bath go to, using the same natural hot springs (although the water is treated due to health and safety reasons), as my resident’s card gives me a significant discount. I even ‘took the waters’ (it tasted rather strange,very chalky). This was before I huddled into a local Costa and wrote a good 1000 words or so. 

I got back home, and bashed out the words I wrote into the document, before adding another 750 or so. My plans for the chapter completely went pete tong, because Arthur just had to go and get punched by a leech of a guy because he tried to stand up for Scarlett’s honour. But I like the way it turned out in the end. The only thing is, do I fast forward to Saturday night, and the date that Scarlett has invited Arthur to, or do I have Arthur musing about the whole situation prior to it?


NaNoWriMo #9

Current Word Count – 10836

I hit 10k! Next stop 15k, I suppose!

As it’s the weekend, and because it was the marathon, I decided to stay in all day and catch up with my word count, and surpassed my expectations! I haven’t written so much in one day in a long time, but now I feel exhausted!

But it is so worth it, as I sit listening to Christmas songs with all my friends!

NaNoWriMo Survival 101

This isn’t an official NaNo post for today (that will come later in the day), but as I am in the throws of planning for Chapter Seven, I decided that I need to write a NaNoWriMo Survival post. I was supposed to write this back in October, but just never really got around to it. So, here we go. The long over-due survival of NaNoWriMo post…

There are a few essential parts of surviving NaNoWriMo.

1. It doesn’t matter if you lose.

Yes, you heard me right. It’s OK not to win NaNoWriMo. Why stay up to the early hours, dodge important things that are not to do with your novel just because you haven’t hit the daily word count? Yes, we have pretty damned good days, but we also have our days that are not as sucessful. And, you know what? That’s all part of the creative process. In an ideal world, everything would be on hold during November, but, this is the real world, everything has to continue. And that means you have to juggle writing a novel with other commitments, in my case, university. But that’s OK, because NaNoWriMo is all about getting the novel written, getting something down on the page. It’s a bonus if you win, you know.

2. Have a Survival Kit!

Yay for the Survival Kit! This kit will involve things that will help you feel on top of the world whilst November rolls on. Stuff like caffinated hot/cold drinks, sweets, painkillers for curing headaches incurrred by staring at a screen for too long, notebooks and pens, your laptop/tablet, music that motivates you whilst writing and shiz like that. I don’t have an official kit, as I didn’t have time to find a suitable box to put these things in. But unofficially I have all these things anyway. As do most writers, both amatur and professional. So, yay for Survival Kits!

3. Take breaks!

Breaks, what wonderful things. Get up to make a cup of tea/coffee. Go into town for a bit. Take a walk. Call a friend, or have some people come over for lunch. Something that is unrelated to writing. You never know how it’ll help you get through a particular block in the plot!

4. Support Groups!

These can come in the format of wrie-ins, forums on NaNoWriMo’s website, chat rooms, social media or even non-writer friends! Last night my friends kept me motivated by feeding me with tea/threatening me with embarrasing photoshopped images if I didn’t hit a certian wordcount by the end of the night. Those are the kinds of people you need during November!

5. HAVE FUN!!!!

As I said before, don’t worry about hitting 50k before the end of November. Just have fun writing a novel, no matter how quickly/slowly it actually takes you to do it. It’s an achievement few people can admit to having completed, writing a novel. So relish it, enjoy it, have a ball! Make it worth all the blood, sweat and tears. I will, and I know you will too!