NaNoWriMo: Week One

It’s day seven of NaNoWriMo, and my word count is 8,872. I’m nothing short of amazed. A few days ago, I was ready to throw in the towel before I even began. I spent hours with my head in my hands, frustrated and uninspired. My idea just wasn’t clicking with me, and I couldn’t get it started.

So, I took a couple days to brainstorm and regroup. At the last minute, I decided on a variation of the plot I’d been planning. I wrote a couple scenes, then attended a write-in at Cal Tech in Pasadena where I wrote almost 4,000 words in three hours.

I blame it on the fact that the room we were in was literally 55 degrees. People were shivering, and our fingers were numb and stiff. But we wrote through the pain! Some people even decided to incorporate snow storms into their scenes. It definitely kept me awake too. Maybe my room is too warm and comfortable to get any serious writing done.

For everyone else doing NaNo, I can’t stress enough how helpful the write-ins are. Don’t worry, they aren’t normally held in arctic climates. They’re really fun too. Someone brought cupcakes and leftover Halloween candy, there was tea and coffee, and I won second place in a word war and got a journal as my prize! The best part, though, was meeting all the other awesome folks doing NaNoWriMo in my area. And it was reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one floundering with my plot or behind on my word count.

If you still want to do NaNoWriMo this month, it’s not too late to start or catch up! I didn’t write anything until a few days in, and I still don’t have a real outline for the rest of my book. All you really need to get started, in my opinion, is a few characters, a setting, and a general idea of what you might want to happen.

I know a lot of the experts out there say differently, but detailed planning isn’t necessary. It doesn’t seem to work for me. I can’t choose exactly what’s going to happen until I live with the characters on the page for a while. I’m learning a lot about my character and her past that I never could have figured out ahead of time. It may be a longer journey to get to the end point, but I think it’s better to fumble a little in the draft stage than to be too scared to get started because you don’t have it all figured out from the start.


How’s your NaNoWriMo going? Hit any roadblocks yet?

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4 replies to “NaNoWriMo: Week One”

  1. Sarah says:

    I’ve never attended a NaNoWrimo Write In, but your post has inspired me to check one out! If you want to be writing buddies, here is my NaNo link!

    1. Alana says:Author

      Yay! I’m sure you’ll have a great time at the write-in. I’ll be sure to add you on the NaNo site. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Congrats on your word count! I just noticed the novel stat tab on the NaNo site and learned that I was on target to finish the day before thanksgiving (if I keep my current pace, that is). So far so good, b/c it would be nice to just relax for the holiday 🙂
    Happy writing to you!

    1. Alana says:Author

      That’s awesome! I probably won’t finish until the end of the month, but you never know. I get a lot done at the write-ins. Happy writing to you as well, and good luck!

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