Thursday 10 November 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011 - Progress Report!

Current day: 10
Word Count/end of day 9:  15,287.

Hello from NaNoWriMo!

After a whole two years of my participation in NaNoWriMo resulting in a grand total of ZERO words, I'm really surprising myself this year by sticking with it, and finding out that writing is actually fun. Who knew!

Before I embarked on NaNoWriMo I had a couple of concerns. While I knew that ideas wouldn't be a major problem for me,  I was worried about the sheer quantity of the words required for this project. 50,000 words! Eeek! It seems like such a lot, and it is, especially when you consider that the most I'd ever written before now was a thesis, and I had a whole year to write, research and perfect that. The words don't seem to be a problem, though. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm not just a little bit impressed with my word count, because I am. I'm pretty shocked too. I haven't even spent all that much time on my project. That said, I haven't read back over what I've written either, and I know if I did, then I'd probably laugh. A lot!

My second concern revolved around writing dialogue. I was and still am slightly intimidated by writing dialogue. I'm used to writing a certain way, and it's a way that has never involved dialogue between characters, so that is all new to me.  If anyone has tips to share on writing dialogue,  I'd love to hear them!

A little bit about my WIP :

I started this without a plan.  I knew I wanted to write YA and I knew I wanted to include some kind of paranormal, magical or fantastical element in the story. I also knew that I didn't want to write anything involving vampires, werewolves, angels etc. I love all of that stuff, but I wanted to do something different.  I was maybe 5,000 words into the story and getting along quite nicely with my MC, (I'm going to refer to her as L here) when I started wondering what strange element I would add to the story. Not gonna lie, I researched a little(I hear you are not supposed to do this! lol!), and I think I stumbled on a pretty fun idea. At least, its nothing that I've read about in YA before, although I'm sure its out there somewhere, in some form.  The working title of my project is CHAOS which lets you know that all sorts of bad stuff is going to happen! Poor L.

Some discoveries and a confession:

Remember when I said I was going to read my teenage diaries while participating in NaNoWrimo? Well, I read a few entries of mine and *confession* while I have complained quite a few times in my reviews about Insta-Love in YA novels, I discovered that as a teen I was quite prone to the odd bout of Insta-Love myself. *cringe!!* Also, L keeps on getting herself into situations where her possible love interest might kiss her, and I keep having to pull her out of that situation and tell her that she'll have to save it for later. This girl needs to learn how to play hard to get.  She's suffering from a bad case of Insta-Lust, and I don't want that to happen. Not yet anyway.  It's not going to be an easy road for L and mystery boy.

The name situation:

L's mystery boy doesn't yet have a name. I resisted Jay. I so wanted to call him Jay! And then I so wanted to call him Alex! And then I realised I couldn't do that because my favourite book boys are Jay and Alex, and well, I was never going to call him Patch after another of my favourite book boys. Uh, no. There might be a dog in the story - maybe I could call him Patch instead. Ha! So, I started referring to this hot guy by his surname, which is believable as a whole lot of guys I know are called by their surnames. Thing is the surname seems to have stuck, which is a good thing in a way because I love the name, and it works as both a first name and surname. Then yesterday I decided to google the name to check its origins and to take a look at the meaning of the name (just out of curiosity - his name doesn't have to have any special meaning) and I learned that the meaning of the name is something hideously ugly! Actually, it kind of made me laugh a lot, but now I don't know if I'll use the name, even though I've become quite attached to it.

If  I was planning this thing properly I would probably spend hours and hours researching names, but for now I have L and a boy with a dirty (it's seriously nothing that you're thinking right now!!) name.

p.s L does have an  name. I'm just not sure if that's her actual, final name as I just went with the first name I thought of when I started writing this.

p.p.s No, it's not Leanna.:D

That's all for my update. I'll try to update again soon!

I hope everyone else who's participating in NaNo is doing well and having fun with it, especially all my awesome writing buddies on there!


  1. So cool that you are doing it too! YAY! lol

    Anyway, the best advice for dialogue is: just listen to other people's conversations or dive back into certain parts of your favorite books w/ dialogue and think how the characters play off of one another in those moments.

    Also I've found sometimes certain shows or movies I've loved and try to picture the dialogue from that as an example of how to build a communicative sequence.

  2. Aw now I want to read it! It sounds like you are having a better time with it than I am! I want to trample mine into the mud at the moment.

  3. Your novel sounds really interesting, I would totally read it. And you're doing great on the word count. I am seriously lagging behind :(

  4. @Fivezenses - Thanks for the dialogue tips! :)

    @Viv - Oh no! You want to trample it in the mud? What's happened? Hope it gets better! x

    @Sina - Thanks! I know, I've surprised myself on the word count, especially since I managed zero words in 2009 and 2010! lol!

  5. I have a lot of problem with dialogue, too. I kept going back and obsessing over what I had already written that it was really slowing my word count down. So now I just write it as it comes out and don't look back. At the end when you do your edits then you can re-read it and see how it flows and if stuff needs to change. The whole point of NaNo is not to produce a publishable ready book, it's just for the word count. And that thought has really helped my writing a lot. I'm getting through the story faster and skipping to my favorite scenes and shooting them out in just a couple days each.
    Good luck!

  6. I am struggling with Nano this year, as usual. It's end of the quarter and I have been grading essays like a maniac. I am hoping to get caught up this weekend, but you seem to be working at an awesome pace. Go you!

    I wish I could give you tips regarding dialogue, but I struggle with that myself. I love your comment about insta-love. I definitely suffered from that in high school a few times as well. ;) Good luck with the rest of your work in progress!

  7. Good for you Leanna! And now you have me super curious about these names, especially Jay/Alex/Patch's because I want to know what this hideously ugly thing is that is the meaning for his name. I admire everyone who gives NaNoWriMo a shot, writing a 50,000 word story is just outside my realm of capability:)

  8. For a second there I thought you DID put her name as yours XD I'm so slow. Ah, I'm so proud of you! I have like half that. But I plan to put in more by the end of this week (I have a four-day weekend). I'll probably be posting my update next Wednesday... And I hope I don't end up failing this year! I don't care if it's my first year. One part of me is competitive, the other a total procrastinator. This has put me in inevitable tight spot... Keep up the hard, good work! And stick to dirty boy's name. Maybe you made it work(;

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  9. Ah, congrats! I love the sound of your WIP - L and mystery boy have definitely got me intrigued! Keep up the great work, and good luck! Update us on your progress too, whenever you can :).

  10. Thanks for the tips & nice words everyone! I have to admit that my writing has slowed down over the past couple days, but I'm hoping to pick it back up over the weekend! x

  11. Thanks for the update! I enjoyed reading about your progress. I'll admit it too-I fell hard into insta-love as a teen too :) I like how you're handling it in your story with allowing he to feel it, but not allowing her to ACT on it. That's a nice balance. Good luck! I'm really curious about your story, the paranormal element, and those names. :)

  12. Congratulations on your word count! I love the sound of your story and intrigued by the paranormal element - trying to think what hasn't been done :)

  13. Nano looks like so much fun and I love to know more about your project. It's so sad that I can't continue my story since uni work is coming in the way:(


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