acknowledging defeat, acknowledging victory...

Well, running at a shade under 17,500 words as at the 19th November I have to acknowledge that I'm not going to 'win' nanowrimo this year.

But I've won in more important, more fundamental ways.. I've won because those 17,500 words are the first of many - they have reminded me that I can still write prose..  Badly written prose perhaps, with an awful lot of polishing and re-drafting to come, but still, I am confident that by the end of this process, however long it takes, I will have written, and published, a novel. It's a confidence that I've not had in many, many years...

It's also, I hope, broken me of a bad habit that has consigned many 1/2-decent ideas to the bin - the need to re-draft the first chapter before the last is written (and, indeed, usually before the second is even started...).

The idea of writing to the end before you get too self-critical is hugely powerful, and it's taken this exercise to remind me of the fact..

While I'm not going to stop writing the novel, in acknowledging that I won't complete it before the end of November, I am going to be able to find more balance with the maelstrom that is my life. This in turn means that the journey ahead will be more sustainable. I have a lot to re-learn about the craft of writing, but I am now confident that I will, one day, be an author as well as a poet...

Thank you nanowrimo, for giving me back my faith.

day ten

Well, it's been a tough old week - work has been ridiculously busy, and the words have been slower appearing than I hoped - though some of that has been down to some Civilisation V distractions (won - took off to Alpha Centauri for a science victory earlier today). I'm up to 8502 words after a few slow days, a day off yesterday and having just sat down to begin today..  At the current rate I'm due to finish on December 28th (slightly skewed by not having written anything yet today!).

What I have been finding is that while what I've been writing is far, FAR, from a finished article so far (dialogue re-write and more vivid descriptions are the least of the things I'll be looking at in version 0.2) I am writing words, and given that it's been so long since I wrote prose, I'm pretty pleased.

Also, given the amount of stress I'm under at the moment, for all sorts of reasons, the act of writing mindfully has been a real release.

*fingers crossed* I'll manage to make up those 28 days...!

day two

Well, I've managed another 752 words today. I'm not worrying about the quality too much just yet - the story is falling into place slowly and seems to be moving in the right direction so far. Plenty of time later for fleshing out descriptions, and tweaking the flow of combat scenes. I've got a reasonable view of the rest of this first chapter, so I'm confident that I'll be able to catch up some lost time / words this weekend..

Approaching NaNoWriMo

Well, not a good start, but is that the correct capitalisation?!

I have, in a somewhat foolhardy attempt to kickstart my creative energies (seriously - I have a lot on at work just now), decided to embark on my first nanowrimo (much better - all lowercase, less chance of looking like a newbie).

Following on from a very vivid dream the other day (minds out of gutters, not one of those dreams), which I wrote down, I have the core of an idea. A little mind mapping earlier and I have an idea about the first 8 chapters.. (One sentence summary of each - some work to be done yet...)

I've taken these sentences and entered them into my shiny new copy of Scrivener, courtesy of an amazingly generous Macheist Bundle..

So, one hour and 3 minutes to go and I'm pretty close to being as ready as I'm likely to be for this....

Wish me luck.