Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Half Way There

Story update: I have reached 50,000 words and have a beginning, a middle and an end. Technically, I'm a winner already, but I am not happy with my ending, so I will spend the next couple of weeks tinkering with it, and praying that I don't end up cutting it to under 50,000 words!

I knew I picked an ambitious topic, but I was unprepared for the audacity of what I tried to accomplish. I loved the idea of writing a "riff" on the Arthurian Legend when I dreamed it up weeks and weeks ago. Over the course of the last two weeks, I've ranged from loving it to hating it and back to feeling somewhat lukewarm about it. The story certainly has possibilities; I'm not sure at this point whether or not it's worth the effort of editing and polishing it.

The thing I love most about writing fiction is meeting new characters; this story involves mostly characters that have been around for centuries and whose stories have been told by writers who are better storytellers than I'll ever hope to be. I have found writing the story a little boring because the characters are so familiar. I will finish the draft, but I have to confess I'm not having as much fun as I did last year.

I have to say, while the characters may be familiar, the plot took some unique twists. (At least I think so. I have read most of the Arthurian legends and some of the recent fantasies on the subject, but I have by no means read all of them.)

In any case, I'm going to be a NaNo Winner. Yay for me!

Personal challenge: I write best early in the day, and I'm amazingly and super-humanly productive early in the day on Saturday and Sunday, when I get up at 5:00 a.m. (or earlier) and write for several hours at a stretch before my family gets up.

My efforts to write at night during the week are for the most part ineffectual. I'm too tired and burnt out from my workdays to achieve much less maintain any kind of writing "flow". In the second week of November, I set a challenge for myself: 1000 words before breakfast. I can write approximately 1000 word an hour when I'm in the flow. This past week, I started getting up at 5:00 a.m. to write for exactly one hour before I had to get ready for work. I finished more than1000 words during that hour each day Monday through Thursday. I took Friday off completely, to rest up for a big push this weekend.

While I prefer to write for long stints on the weekends, it's encouraging to know that I can also do the yeoman work of setting a daily goal and powering through to accomplish it.

Something tells me that may be my biggest achievement from NaNo this year.



  1. I agree with you - it is a huge accomplishment to get a handle on what you can and can't do, when you really want to. It's also a big accomplishment to already have 50,000 words done. Congratulations!

    Straight From Hel

  2. Thanks. I'm proud of getting this far so quickly, but I'm not letting up. There are two more weeks in NaNoWriMo. I plan to continue to work hard and do at least a quick pass through the manuscript to do a preliminary edit.There are some scenes I rushed through that need elaboration.

    Then there's that ending scene that needs to be totally re-written. I like how it comes out, but I'm not happy with how it gets there.

    At the end of the month, I'll put this one aside and do something else for a while. I'll decide sometime next year if "Merlin's Daughters" is worth spending more time on, or if it is to go under the bed permanently.

  3. Congrats on winning NaNo! And my goodness... 5am?!?! You're crazy! But clearly productive :) I already know my NaNo novel is going to need a complete rewrite this time around... oh well!

  4. Most people think I'm crazy for getting up so early. The flip side of that is that I find it hard to understand how people can stay up later than 11:00 p.m. (or why they would want to when it is sooooo cool to get up early).

    In other words: you're right, I'm nuts.

    But, it makes me happy.

    Good luck with your NaNo.