Here’s my first daily update for National Novel Writing Month 2015!
- Word count: 3,039
- Total word count: 3,039 (obviously, as it’s day one)
Since I’m a night owl anyway, I will be rolling over to the new day shortly after the stroke of midnight. This made it easy for me to be all involved when NaNoWriMo launched this year. I was ready. I wanted to write. I wanted to tell a story.
Then I struggled.
My first 850 words or so (everything I wrote right after my midnight launch) had no fewer than six false starts, separated by rants and phrases like:
- “Nope, that’s not it either.”
- “Blah, blah, blah…”
- “DELETE, DELETE, DELETE”
After all of the Doctor Who I’ve been watching lately, I’m surprised I didn’t go all Dalek with “Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!” I guess I’ll save that for my next round of frustration.
So I slept.
Daylight didn’t help much. I had two more false starts (eight total, if you’re keeping track) before retreating to the bedroom to sulk.
I don’t know for sure why I had such a hard time actually writing the story. I had done more preparation than I usually do, but I didn’t think I had over-planned. It just felt like everything I wrote was trying to make something happen. It was forced. It was garbage. (All such self-flagellation occurred in the afternoon)
My wonderfully supportive husband (who had already hit the minimum goal, reached the 2K mark and was on his way to the 3K I had wanted to write before sleep in the wee hours of the morning) comforted and consoled me. If I wanted to, I could just throw out my idea, he said, start fresh with my favorite method of two word trigger prompts and pants my way into the sunset. I wouldn’t be the first, certainly wouldn’t be the last, and the free write loving side of me determined that it’s what I should do.
Just as I was settling in to chuck the story and start over on something else entirely, some of my video game friends asked me how I was doing. They’re all doing NaNo too, so we have a chat channel to discuss and cheer each other on. I let them know of my frustration, they asked for samples, gave feedback and advice: Jump ahead in your story to when something important happens and see if that gets things going. (I am paraphrasing, of course; @zenbuddhist was more eloquent than that.)
So I did.
And it worked.
I knocked out almost 2,200 more words, keeping what I had written before as reference, hitting my original personal goal of 3K words for Day One.
Not to shabby for getting going.
Also really helping my word counts were the word wars and sprints in the #dfwrhinos channel in IRC, so shout out to those guys! Also a big shout out to Kaena in my guild’s discord channel for similar encouraging challenges, although she easily writes twice as many words as I do. And then @HillaryMonahan suggested cookies for smaller goals and Jason made us some!
Finally, my plan for these posts (future ones really should be shorter, because I really don’t want to struggle this much again) is to end with a couple words or phrases from the day’s writing than can serve as a prompt if you need one. Today’s prompt comes from both today’s writing and my new working title for my NaNoWriMo novel entry:
Go thou forth and write!