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!

NaNoWriMo #6

Current Word Count = 6295

I’ve done OK today, considering I’ve had a lecture, and have spent the majority of the day running errands in town. It’s not been a great day for the word count, because I’m just too busy during the week. Not to mention that I have an English Literature essay due in two weeks time, so really ought to be looking into annotating the critical extracts I’ve got ready to crack on with it. 

I’ve also got a meeting with my mentor tomorrow, mainly about my potential ADHD assessment. It’s a long story that could earn itself a whole post on its own merit. That’ll be interesting.

On the bright side, I have finished Chapter Four at last, and can start on Chapter Five tomorrow. 

At least tomorrow evening I can sit and get some serious writing done, but tonight I could really do with catching up on some sleep.

NaNoWriMo #5

Current Word Count – 5582

As I’ve been back at university, I haven’t really written very much today. That said, I’m looking forward to November 9th, as that will be a day that I can spend writing… ALL DAY!!! MUHAHAHAHA!!!!

This is because November 9th will be the Marathon day, so I’m hoping that I can at least get to 10k by the end of the week thanks to that. I am at the point in the novel where my dear, awkward Arthur is searching for a Halloween costume (he is being dragged out to the SU Halloween Ball now, despite saying he didn’t really fancy it), and he’s gone into a charity shop with his best friend Jane. But he’s also going to buy a book, and he discovers Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (awesome book by the way!), so he goes to grab it, but accidentally brushes his hand over his mystery girl’s breasts! I do wonder how I’ll get him out of that one!!!

Oh, it literally just came right out and landed on the page. Just the way a story should. It made me chuckle, as it’s a very Arthur thing to do! I do know that we’ll meet the mystery girl in this chapter,and get to know her more as the novel progresses, but that’s spoilers, sweety!

So, back to work for me!

NaNoWriMo #4

Current Word Count – 5027

To be honest, I must of done so much of today’s word count on the train home! I am actually pretty damn pleased that I managed to get a whole chapter done today, where Arthur reveals his crush to the people he knows, whilst out for sushi. I reckon in Chapter Four that he’ll see her again, but I’m not sure how I’m going to write their first conversation without it sounding too much like YA/chic lit. This novel is a coming of age story, so not a typical boy meets girl. I think that this woman is going to change Arthur’s life completely, but I’m not sure if that change will be better or worse.

My flatmates and I all enjoy going out on a Monday night to a restaurant called Yo Sushi. It’s a sushi restaurant, if that wasn’t completely obvious, and they have discount nights on a Monday known as the Blue Mondays. We love it because everything is discounted down to £2.50, so you can eat quite a bit, and only spend £10. As I haven’t any money to go, I decided to write this chapter in the sushi restaurant, so I can be with my flatmates in spirit. I think a few scenes in the novel will take place here, if I’m honest. I’ll probably flesh out the chapter more when I go back in December though, so that will help the story along a lot more.

I was also thinking about the title I have chosen for this year’s novel. ‘No Day But Today’ is a lyric from the musical ‘Rent’ when the characters think about the mortality of people, because quite a few of them are HIV positive for various reasons. I’ve chosen it because it’s my female main character’s view on life, especially later on in the story. I believe it’s a powerful message to young people who are forced by society to think about the future, when really looking at today is a great way to make sure that tomorrow is better.