NaNoWriMo 2018 Diary | Prep Week 4

There’s a little less than a week left before NaNo officially starts, and I’m feeling really good about my story.

If you’re just tuning in, I’m rebelling this year. I’m still aiming for 50,000 words during November, and I’m not counting the words I write before then (obviously), but this year it was much more important that I strike while the iron was hot and start writing my story as soon as I was ready.

That turned out to be Tuesday.

So far, I’m thrilled with the story. The writing itself is still a bit slow—I’m always a bit slow until I find the rhythm—but I’m just about finished the opening scene. And that scene is completely different from the one I’d originally planned, but it’s also a million times better: it’s darker, more atmospheric, and my main character has an unexpected sassy streak that she didn’t demonstrate in either of my previous attempts to write this story. (I also expect it’ll impact this draft in ways I’m not expecting, which should be fun.)

That said, I haven’t made as much progress with my advance writing as I’d hoped. Working out those details, the ones that improved my opening scene so much, took time, and I haven’t had much opportunity to write this week. But that’s fine—this is bonus time, anyway, and it still means I’m not starting November trying to overcome the inertia of starting a draft. And I know that, if I’d waited until next week, I would have just barrelled through, and written the opening scene as I’d originally outlined, and it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it is now. (And I’m not sure I ever would’ve hit on this particular scene, even in rewrites.)

So. About five days to go.

I still haven’t written my synopsis, and I’d like to get that done before I get too far into the story—I mentioned it last year, but it really is remarkable how much that one little step clarified the story for me. I’ve got vague plans to make some kind of moodboard for the story, just as an experiment (usually I just throw things on a private Pinterest board that I never look at again. I’d like to see if having something that’s both more concentrated and more tangible helps).

And, of course, I want to find the flow of the writing itself. That’s the important bit.

How is your NaNo prep going? Are you ready for next week? (And… have you ever made a moodboard/aesthetic for a story? If you have any advice, I’d love to hear it. I have no idea what I’m doing.)

(Don’t forget: I’m always looking for writing buddies! Feel free to add me, and, if you’d like, say ‘hi!’ via NaNo mail. I’m usually available for motivation or commiseration.)

2 responses to “NaNoWriMo 2018 Diary | Prep Week 4”

  1. Hi there. I’m doing my 2nd NaNo this year. How many have you done?
    Prep wise, I’m certainly more prepared than I was last year and I have a better sense of what my story is all about. I’ve got an outline and some themes, but I still need to do some work on weaving the themes into the story. So far, I waiting to do that when I start writing or to use your words “find the flow” of the writing!
    Debs from Everyday Delights and fellow NaNoWriMo participant

    1. I tried NaNo for the first time sometime around 2002. That was a massive failure, but I came back the next year, and ‘won’ every year until around 2007/08. (I’m not sure – I can only find some of my old saved drafts from then, and the NaNo site updated sometime after that, so the records are missing there, too.) Then I stopped for a while (first because participating meant taking time out from my regular writing projects, and then because I stopped writing entirely for a few years).

      This is my third year since I came back to it, and I’m so glad I found it again.

      I almost never have a theme before I start writing. This is the first time I know for sure what the big theme is going in, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that shapes the story.

      Good luck!