Monday, November 14, 2011

NaNoWriMonday (3)

Word Count: 22063/50000
Day: 14/30
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Like many other bloggers, I am participating in this year's National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I thought it would be fun to touch base each week and see how everyone is progressing, as well as cheer each other on!

I can't believe we almost at the halfway point! November is flying by! I also can't believe I've actually written 22063 words O_O. It blows my mind a little bit to think about it. I'm pleased with the progression of the plot though. I have to say, when I'm thinking ideas over in my mind it seems like they could never be long enough to be a book, but once you actually start putting words on paper, things really get fleshed out. Have you noticed that? So even ideas that might seem too small could turn in to something big =)

One thing I am struggling with is the romantic development. I'm one of those people who HATES when Heroine/Hero are overly cozy after knowing each other only a week. Doing NaNo, I've kind of lost track of the days passing a little bit in my story, but I know it hasn't been that long. But I find myself bored with the "oh, nice to meet you" bits and more interested in the cozy bits. Do you have trouble with that? It seems harder to get that part right than the rest of the plot, though that might just be because I'm overly conscious of it in other books.

I think this week's links need to be broken down into inspiration/encouragement and the actual tips.


  • Galley Cat is doing a great series of daily tips for NaNoWriMo, and they've got a ton of other posts directed toward WriMos. I highly recommend perusing their NaNo page. I found yesterday's tip particularly interesting: Obvious to You, Amazing to Others
  • Laura Kreitzer did an awesome post on how doing well at NaNo is kind of like being a good driver. Intrigued? Check it out.

I've also seen several authors (Stephanie Perkins, Rachel Hawkins and Brodie Ashton) talking about overused words/expressions. Stephanie mentioned that she keeps a list of words she overuses and periodically searches for them in her MS and changes a few (I'm sorry! I can't find the link right now!) I think it is a great idea, and one that's been in the back of my mind since NaNo started -- it's made me conscious of my word choices. Not obsessively so, but it's still a good thing to look out for, just for your growth as a writer. Here are some of my words:

trudged, snorted, sensitive, glared, tensed, hesitant, skirted, golden

What are yours?

Rachel Hawkins and Brodie Ashton were also talking on Twitter about things they've noticed their characters do too often:

Thinking about this, I've noticed mine clear their throats a lot. Which is kind of weird, right? I'm not really sure what other action I can have them use to express nervousness/awkwardness/etc, but it's something I can be thinking over for when revision time comes around.

Finally, I never really knew how authors came up with these fabulous playlists of theirs, but in the past week I've been jamming out whilst writing and a few songs really spoke to the way I want my characters to develop. This is VERY EXCITING to me because it means they're actually shaping themselves into living people in my head who have goals and worldviews and stuff. Check it:

Heroine's Theme:

Hero's Theme:

I swear the last one had nothing to do with this video. (Ok, maybe a little...because it is THE BEST).

Defying Gravity should really be the NaNo theme song, don't you think? That's how I feel right now, while undertaking this insane and wonderful challenge.

So what about you guys? Have you hit the halfway mark yet? Are you having pacing problems? What words do you find yourself overusing? Do you have a playlist in the making? Tell us how it's going!

Also, if you do a NaNo post any day of the week, feel free to leave a link and I'll check it out!

I'll leave you with a wonderful quote, courtesy of Wil Wheaton's Tumblr (yeah, I know, I'm confused too):


CPatLarge said...

I'd forgotten just how powerful "Defying Gravity" is, and I agree - it should be the NaNo theme song! And the theme of my life, if I can just hold on to it.

Thank you.


Shelagh said...

I'm so glad that your first NaNo experience is turning out to be awesome! :)

I'm on year three and hoping that I'll actually finish, although I'm WAY behind at the moment. But nothing like a challenge and a couple of sleepless nights to get you through. ;)

Thank you for the fun links!

The Word Fiend

barmybex said...

Defying Gravity is one of my all time favourite songs.
I always used to say I couldn't write without music, but this year I'm finding it distracting, maybe I just haven't found the right thing yet.

My NaNo post is here:

Congrats on your word count.

Anne said...

I totally agree on that romance thing! I was running into the same problem and then realized that after the halfway revelation she's going to hate him anyway, so then I can start the actual "falling in love" bit. And as inspiration I'm rereading Anna and the French Kiss, because I LOVE how Stephanie Perkins handles it!

My nano update:

Tristina said...

Almost halfway! Whee!

In regards to the romance, I've found going back and reading it from the beginning helps me. Sometimes it can feel like it's been SO LONG since something happened because I was taking SO LONG writing those pages, but, in reality, it's only been 20 pages. So that helps with pacing.

Another thing you can do is open a new doc, write the romance scenes you want to write and then move on with the rest of the story, tying those in as you go. You'll have to rewrite anyway, so inconsistencies will be part of the editing process. Did you read Veronica Roth's recent blog on writing out of order? Really great.

Words I use a LOT: wordlessly, gut, caught/catch, lace (like "he laced his fingers through hers). Keeping a list is great. I actually have a friend of mine keeping a list for me since they jump out at her easier when I send her passages.

Rumor says hi.

Anonymous said...

That's a great point about the repeated words. I know I have some of those, but I can't think what they are except that I seem to use 'really' about every second word! My main characters are definitely holding hands too much. I think I'm kind of obsessed with hands.

This is my first year and I am thrilled to be past the halfway point!

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