Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 1 of NaNoWriMo - Recap

How did everyone's first week of NaNoWriMo go? Still surfing the creativity waves, or are you doggy paddling your way to shore?

No matter how you're coping, you should be proud of yourself for daring to take up this challenge! High five, fellow NaNoWriMoers!

So now that week one is over, I thought it would be nice to do a quick recap of my progress so far.

Paranormal activity

The main phenomenon I have observed over this past week is an increase in typos and sudden (yet mild) attacks of aphasia. I blame creative exhaustion for everything.

The typos are abounding--even outside of my NaNo project! Just take a look at what I've written so far on this post. It took me a lot longer than you'd expect. I started by writing "wekk" instead of "week", "arr" instead of "are" and now I just wrote "instaed" in lieu of "instead"!

However, typos aren't the only little fairies popping up in my hastily-written work. NaNoWriMo's also the time to be extra creative and make up new words such as "abundung". Nice.

In the heat of the moment, I also seem to have forgetten how to write certain words. There are the typical errors any honest-to-goodness person can make when writing in a haste: there, their, they'reThen there are some cases which are more difficult to explain, mainly with verb conjugation: he catched. Yes, I actually wrote  that and then stared at the red underline for a while, wondering what was wrong. Did I mention I teach English as a second language for a living? Niiiiiice...

I guess we can all take this haunting as a sign that NaNoWriMo is going well!

Any paranormal activity going on with your keyboard? Yeah, because we can always blame the keyboard...

Word count recap

Where was I one week ago today? 

On November 1, I couldn't wait any longer and started typing away at 1 in the morning. Luckily for me, Nov. 1 is a holiday in Spain, so I had the whole day to look forward to. And I sure made some progress! Just check out my stats. On day 1 I reached a whopping 10189 words--the most words I have ever written in a single day. My previous record (around 8k words) was from my Serving Time writing sprint in August.

Needless to say, after accomplishing 10k words my eyes dried up like a couple raisins and I had to take a long, hot bath to rehydrate them. I've been taking it easier since then. My daily average is 3811 words.

So where do I stand at the moment? At 30492 words! I honestly can't believe I made it this far. I was pretty sure my well of ideas would run dry before reaching the halfway mark. Fortunately, the ideas are still flowing even though I've had one or two small slumps.

What about you? How's your progress so far? Are you meeting your goals?

Writing highs and lows

My first high was on the first day, when I wrote (what I consider) a great opening chapter for my novel, among other scenes. Now, bear in mind that my NaNoWriMo project is to write Making Time, the sequel to my upcoming sci-fantasy novel Serving Time. I had a clear idea of what I wanted my characters to do right at the beginning of the book*.

*Note: I originally wrote "What I wanted my characters to do write at the beginning". Won't the haunting ever end???

My second great high was when I checked Twitter and found a call from The Masquerade Crew for NaNoWriMo sneak peeks. I think I sent them my segment about ten minutes after they published the Twitter message! My sneak peek was posted on November 5, and has been shared hundreds of times since then. You can view the post and get a taste of the (draft) opening of Making Time here: NaNoWriMo Sneak Peek - Making Time by Nadine Ducca. There's even a picture of me at the bottom!

Apart from highs, I've also had lows. Sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm doing. The story sounds ridiculous, there are too many holes that need immediate covering up if I want things to make sense... and there are times when I feel too tired to keep going, only to get a rush of energy the next minute. And all this in just one week! My emotions have had more ups and downs than my blog pageviews graph!

Sill hanging in there. We have hope!

Whenever I feel really low, as in "why am I even bothering with this" or "this makes absolutely no sense", I find that getting away from the computer for a while helps. If you ever go through this (and trust me, all authors go through this), go for a walk, watch some TV, crawl out of your study and talk to people (you still remember how to socialize, right? ;-) ).

Another great way to vent is on the social forums at Critique Circle, NaNoWriMo, Kindleboards or even Twitter. But a word of caution: don't let your visits to these sites take over your writing time. Although social networks have been one of my biggest allies these days, they have also been my biggest distraction. The routine usually goes:

Try to make sense out of that. I dare you.
Extra nibbles!

If you can get past the distractions (and I'm sure you can), you're in for one satisfying challenge! Writing a novel is an awesome endeavor, but writing a novel in just one month is absurd! Yet we do it.
Here's a fraction of my madness I'd like to share with you: one of my brainstorming sessions. Yeah... those are some notes I jotted down yesterday to help me imagine the Devourers (aka demons).

As a final treat for the day, here are some excerpts from what I've been writing. I haven't edited anything so it's still quite rough.

Excerpt 1

  Eneld rested the palm of his hand against the cool glass. The jungle grew right up to the containment shield. What a horrible place to live. What a horrible place to find death, or worse. He heard Katherine’s soft steps padding up to him.
  “Is this a dream?” she said in a low, quavering voice.
  Eneld lowered his head. “No.”
  “Your ship appeared out of nowhere.”
  “Not nowhere, notime.” He turned. Katherine’s twitching face made a long, lonesome shudder slide down his back, and he did his best to conceal it.
  She turned away. “I disgust you.”
  “No, Kathy, no!” He reached out to her but she shrugged him away.
  “I can see it in your eyes. You can’t stand looking at my face. You turn away quickly, just like everybody else. It’s okay,” she dropped her voice to a murmur. “I’ll get used to it.”
  She pulled her robe tighter over her chest and started to walk away. Eneld caught her by the arm and pulled her against him. “You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You’re the most freaking badass woman I ever met. Don’t you dare feel pity for yourself.”

Excerpt 2

  The demons turned their snouts toward the sky. Robert narrowed his eyes and leaned forward. 
  The sun hung high. It pulsed. A demon barked in the distance. The sun pulsed again, and a spider web of cracks opened on it. It came tumbling down like shards of iridescent glass. The shards fell to the dry desert ground, some breaking into tiny pieces, other, larger ones, plunging into the earth like daggers. The demons scattered. From the shards, white creatures emerged. They wailed and flew in spirals toward the gaping hole where the sun had once been.
  Robert tapped his claws against the armrest of his throne. “Catch them.”

Well, I hope you enjoyed those tidbits!

What about you? How was your first week of NaNoWriMo? I'd love to hear all about it and see some of your work!


  1. Oh my GOSH! You are FLYING through your words! You'll be finished in no time! That's absolutely amazing. :)

    I am also suffering from major typos on simple words. And not remembering certain words -- like a word that I use ALL THE TIME. It's crazy!

    I wish you luck for your next week of NaNo! :)

  2. Yeah, it's been great! But now that I hit 40k I'm slowing down-a lot! I need to go back and revise earlier chapters to piece scenes together. Right now my story is making very little sense.

    Good luck with NaNo!


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