November’s frenzy: NaNoWriMo 2016!
… and why every writer should use NaNoWriMo to kickoff their big projects
Hi guys, on a whim and even without FIRST hitting the word count of 1700 daily, every day of November, I decided to do a regular series of blogs about this crazy month I call “Schreibmonat”. Or in other words: NaNoWriMo. Just so you understand and are entertained by all the blood, sweat and tears that are gonna happen along the way. And just so you know where I am when I’m gone.
NaNoWriMo means: Write your novel (or 50,000 words of it) in November. It’s my fourth time already – yes, I was shocked, too! – but it’s the perfect kickstarter for any big novel project. Try it, writing folk.
Today went like this: arrived home after a six-hour drive up from lake Konstanz, with written notes I’d done in the car (on the passenger seat!), tucked the kids into bed, then sat and spread my ideas out, wondering how to start. I feel much securer now, after several NaNos, in the way I plan and prepare my novels, and it’s up to every writer to find her own process.
No name, no POV, no plan?
This year, I’m writing a contemporary romance with an online twist. Two far-apart characters, building a relationship that slides from friendship to sexy and then into mayhem. Working title: Case Files. We were perfect together – and then we met. As usual, I had heaps of notes before I started …
But on kickoff-day, November 1st, with my writing buddies eagerly waiting to join them, I realised even though with all my notes … I still had no name for my main protagonist! Ooops … and I can’t really start with the wrong name. AND I also hadn’t decided on her POV yet … ahem. So I quickly searched with her country of origin (Ireland) and character in mind, and came up (thankfully quickly) with Maeve, which encapsulates everything she is. For me. At this stage. We’ll see if it stays that way. Thus prepared, I managed to hit my first word count with 1887.
But then … with editing last year’s histfic novel (Birth of a Shieldmaiden) in the mornings, and then having to hit word count EVERY evening – no matter how tired or busy I am – of course stress levels are high. So instead of November 1st, I kickoff my NaNo-blog a week late. Which doesn’t matter, because, first things first, so far, I’m on NaNo-track:
My former projects were:
Last year: Birth of a Shield maiden, a Viking histfic novel about a young woman breaking free from restraints and going to train with the best men to hunt her tormentor down. And discover a life-changing secret along the way that alters all the brave plans.
2014: Tilda & Leo – ein Löwe im Pfarrhaus (the lion in the rectory), a rural German histfic about a young servant girl friending a runaway-boy who’s hiding in their rectory, right under the nose of the priest. The two kids shake up the cosy village life while Leo tries to find his purpose and place in life. Published last year in paperback and ebook-format.
2013: Moonstone Hall, a Viking fantasy adventure about an alliance between humans and elves to safe a young girl’s life from harm and discover her origins. It was my first attempt with NaNo and is not ripe (or good enough) to be made a proper book (yet).
… and I’ll explain my process along the way.
So far, every November has proven to be a huge challenge, not only because of the necessary word count of 1700, which I can hit within 2-3 hours, now that I have experience, but because every single November I got sick AND the kids as well, meaning I struggled, every year, to stay on track and keep that statistics in line. But then: every year I made it. So this month I booked doctor’s appointments just because and am anticipating the same chaos, in the knowledge that it CAN STILL BE DONE! So: HAPPY WRITING!