In April 2017, I embraced NaNoWriMo’s ‘No plot? No problem!’ mindset and decided to write a 15k story in 30 days without planning anything before hand. The only thing I planned before April was the first few lines because I needed to start somewhere.
Going into the challenge, I also wanted to practice one technique: hooks. I’ve read plenty of stories that didn’t have the best writing or storyline, but threw a big hook early on that compelled me to keep reading until the end. I decided to try that out with Camp NaNoWriMo. In every single part/chapter, I made sure I introduced a new question that I hope would make people want to keep on reading to find out more.
Because of that goal, I spent almost the whole of April doing something like this:
When writing the post: Let’s throw a question/new element/twist/hidden secret/cliffhanger at the end so people are compelled to continue reading
After posting: *freaking out* What’s the answer/secret/thing that happens next/history/truth?
For most of the month, I was discovering the story as I wrote. Which was pretty interesting. I didn’t expect all the extra people and family history that turned up in the end.
Another trick I used when I wrote was to start from the character who knew the least information. Most of the time, that was Darius, but throughout the story there’s always someone who knows more than everyone else. That way, I can focus on what’s happening, and in the next chapter, revisit the scene with another viewpoint character, but this time fleshing out the why/who/how and progressing the story. It’s also a great way to add words 😛
The story is still pretty rough, and I’ll need to do a lot of editing, but I wrote a 15k novelette in 30 days! Will I do it again?
Last month’s goal was simple: post something everyday.
I missed a few days, but other than that, March was a good month.
Next up is April. This year, I’m joining Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time. Unlike NaNoWriMo, I set my own goals for the camp. This is what I’m thinking of doing.
‘No plot, no problem’ will be my motto next month. I’ll write one continuous story, roughly 500 a day, without any specific plot in mind. Something like Mission Gone Wrong.
I’ll be posting the project here as I write them. Nothing’s set in stone, so feel free to throw out suggestions in the comments.
Last month, I aimed to make Logical Dreams easier to navigate by making their genre searchable. I managed to do it. Barely. I’ve forgotten some of the things I’ve written in the past, and I have a lot of little stories that don’t really belong to any genre, so I have a lot of ‘general’ stories.
This month, I’m going back to basics with my old goal: post something every day.
Thank you for visiting. Please look forward to this month’s stories.
I’ve been doing variations on the same strategies to churn out words in the past few days. On good days, I aim for at least 2k. On bad days, I aim for at least 500. It doesn’t sound like much, but every little bit counts.
We’re stepping into the last third of NaNoWriMo, and I’ve only just reached the halfway mark. This will be tough. If I don’t update very often, it’s because there isn’t much to add, and I’m throwing all the words I can into my NaNoWriMo project instead.
Fellow NaNoWriMo participants, don’t give up. Approaching deadlines have a funny way of bringing words out of hiding 🙂
Current total word count: 27046
I did so well yesterday… that I didn’t feel like writing much today.
Well, I had other things to do too, and I wasn’t going to slack on my other responsibilities just to hit one goal.
I’m halfway through NaNoWriMo, and now I have a more realistic grasp on which days are actually good for writing and which days aren’t. Armed with this knowledge, I hope my second half of NaNoWriMo would be much better.
To everyone else doing NaNoWriMo, hang in there. Only half a month left to go.
Today’s word count: 896
Total word count: 21069
Tried some word wars today. It actually helped a lot. I wrote more in that 15 minutes than I did the whole morning. Now I just need to put more 15 minutes sprint into my writing.
Tomorrow is the 15th, the halfway mark. With my current pace, it’ll be hard to hit 25k, but I’ll get as close as I can.
Yesterday’s word count: 1161
Today’s word count: 2648
Total word count: 20173
Having a writing playlist is really helpful for NaNoWriMo. Well, I say writing playlist, but probably any music will do.
The music isn’t necessarily to keep me inspired while I write. It’s more like a musical reminder that I should be writing. And the longer I play music while I write, the stronger the connection between music and writing becomes.
It’s like the classical conditioning with Pavlov’s dog. Ring a bell whenever it’s time to feed, and eventually, just ringing the bell would be enough for the dog to start salivating, even though the bell has nothing to do with food.
That said, the playlist isn’t 100% foolproof. After awhile (usually when I’m stuck), I’ll start wandering off looking for distractions. Which is terrible, because then I’ll need to replace that lost time later, when it’s late and I want to sleep XP
Today’s word count: 1771
Total word count: 16364
Every day, when I’m writing, I feel like I’ve written a large chunk, but when I add up the words at the end of the day on a separate word document created specifically to keep track of my word count, it’s a lot less than I expected, which is really discouraging.
Today, what I did was paste what I’ve written on the new word document in bits and pieces as I write them. It shows me exactly how much I’ve written throughout the day and motivate me to pick up the pace so I can actually reach 2k by the end of the day.
It actually does help. Because with every little bit I write and add to the word count, I can physically see myself inching closer to the finish line, which gives me that extra energy to write a little more so I’m a little closer to my goal.
If you’re having trouble staying on track, maybe you can try this too.
Today’s word count: 2060
Total word count: 14593
Today, I had the whole day to do assignments and clock in some words for NaNoWriMo.
In terms of assignments, I managed to finish one and almost finish the other.
In terms of NaNoWriMo, I managed to write 1798 words, not including the other words I wrote down for other scenes I thought about but haven’t fleshed out into actual sentences.
Switching between the assignment and Melan did help force me to work on both projects, but what really helped me write for Melan was getting the inspiration for a pretty big scene. In the end, tricks and technique help, but there’s no substitute for a real idea.
Conclusion: I was just short on both sides for my goal, but NaNoWriMo went from predicting I’ll finish in 12 December to 10 December, so today was great 🙂
Today’s word count: 1798
Total word count: 12533
I thought I had plenty of free time to write.
I underestimated how long it would take me to put down words.
In the past, I was one of those students who started working on assignments with a few weeks to go to the deadline. Not because I was hardworking, but because I know I’m the kind of person who likes taking breaks. Some people can sit for eight hours straight and churn out pages and pages of work. I am not one of those people.
Given a chunk of time, I’ll jot down some ideas, check out something else, come back to flesh out some sentences, scroll through some pictures, add more details, play a bit, return to continue the scene, etc. It’s a routine I’m comfortable with, but it also means I waste a lot of time. At the rate I’m going, according to my NaNoWriMo stats, I’ll only reach 50k sometime in mid December.
Something needs to change.
Today was a full day out for me, so I didn’t have the luxury to work my way slowly towards my 2k+ goal. Instead, I wrote in little sprints. One sentence when I woke up, a few words after breakfast, as many pages as I could on the train, little bits and pieces throughout the day. When I came back, I had accumulated 400+ words written on stolen time. Which wasn’t as much as I thought, so before I sleep, I’m squeezing in more. I would have liked to at least hit 1k, but it’s past midnight.
Tomorrow, I’ll need to focus on finishing my assignments. Hopefully, I can switch in between that and my writing as if I’m ‘taking breaks’ on one side while working on the other for extra productivity.
Or maybe I’ll end up procrastinating on both sides. We’ll see.
Today’s word count: 765
Total word count: 10735