NANOWRIMO: the hard middle bit

picture of post its


This month I have been neglecting Tweeting and blogging as I am attempting the craziness that is NANOWRIMO – National Novel Writing Month – where brave, foolhardy, sleep-deprived and simply ace writers let go of their inner editor and just pour out a 50,000 word novel in a month.

I thought I’d give it a go.

I didn’t bother to do any outline or synopsis, I came up with the title and a rough idea (written in a couple of lines) about what it was going to be about – but didn’t do any more planning than that. Quite different from my usual style.

I got off to a flying start. 2,000 words a day seemed to work OK for the first week, but now we’re into week 3 the wordcount has fallen desperately behind. I need to write about 10,000 words today in order to catch up. I always thought I was quite a fast writer but I don’t think I can manage 10K a day.

The trouble is – it’s incredibly hard to switch my editor off, so I do keep going back and correcting things. Plus my novel, ‘The Incredible Mind of Evelyn Vera Hawkins’, has gone off on some historical tangents that mean I have to get myself on Google researching aspects of the story constantly. This is the problem with having the Nazis in your novel. You need to get the facts straight. The only answer to catch up is to get up a couple of hours earlier, I did it today, but let’s see how the rest of the week goes.

I’ve written the last chapter of it, like JK Rowling did with Harry Potter, so I know where it’s going. I have a few plot points and am sticking the completed chapter titles on post it notes on my wall as a go along, as I saw Will Self do something like this on an interview. It’s just getting there that is taking some work…

Still, I’m amazed at the story that is growing quite holistically. Think Indiana Jones meets Tombraider and throw in some Greek gods and a bit of magic and you have something that is turning out to be really not the sort of book that I thought I’d ever write. So we shall see how this turns out… And now I’ll stop procrastinating, make a cup of tea and write some more!

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