Thursday, 10 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - Nine Days In

I’m ‘nano-ing’ this year, or supposed to be. So far, and despite many hours of plotting and planning, I’ve written an unimpressive 4000 words and have come up with new and inspiring ways to procrastinate. I should forget novels and write a book on new avoidance tactics. Here’s an example of Monday’s frivolous antics:


“I wander lonely in a shroud
Floating high, my shroud has frills
When all at once I hear a sound
Bang bang they go, the daffodils
Beside the lake beneath the trees
I fluff my frills in the cold breeze”

I know. By Tuesday I was thinking of admitting myself somewhere, especially after I’d compiled the second verse. You ready?

“Continuous as the stars that shine
My billowing shroud wants its say
It stretches towards an alpine pine
While all the time the daffs they pray
Their sound it puts me in a trance
I join their chant and start to dance”

What can I say, except maybe apologise to Mr Wordsworth, whose work I revered until this week. As well as poetry desecration, I found myself putting on unnecessary clothes washes, trying to come up with new Christmas recipes, shopping online, facebook-ing, emailing, and yes, I could even be found loitering with intent on Twitter...

This is all because I’m forcing myself to write a story that I’m not sure I want to write. Has anyone else had this problem? I keep telling myself to keep calm and carry on, that it’s only one month and it might actually take a turn somewhere in the process that could lead to an interesting lead at least. I’ve done ‘Nano’ before and I’m a HUGE fan but right now, I fear for the poets. I really do.

On a serious note, all the faffing around has actually helped me clarify that I should be brave and try another idea for another novel. It’s only the 9th today and since this one just isn’t coming out the way I want it to, I actually feel that the rest of November would be wasted if I continue. I simply can't keep writing just for writing's sake. I have to want to tell the story. The characters have to be demanding to be heard, and they're not. They're giving me time off to write rubbish poetry. (Rod, your crown is safe...)

Rest easy poets of the world... I have a new plan and not having had time to plot, well let the pantsing begin.

11 comments:

Sandra Davies said...

If you've done NaNo before it might be (as I have found in my second year) that the 50K words is not enough of a challenge on its own and you need something additional. A scary plot in my case, and I am currently dragging my feet with characters I am, at the moment, finding too boring to bother with.
Best of luck with finding a new direction.

Abi Burlingham said...

Ah! I do sympathise. Although I'm not doing Nano I can relate to that feeling of writing something that just isn't coming alive. I think you're doing exactly the right thing by starting again, and you will probably write something really fresh and vibrant as a result. Good Luck!

Helen Black said...

When I did NaNo, I hadn't really got any fixed ideas about what I wanted to write. Caught between a bunch of them.

I thought just picking one and getting on with it come what may would help...and it did.

But I don't know if I couyld have pushed on if I'd known early on that it wasn't for me iyswim.
HB x

Luisa Plaja said...

Me too, me too! Great post!

Joanna said...

I sympathise so much. Although I've not signed up for NaNo, I started a novel at the beginning of the month with a plan to write between 500 and 1000 words a day. I'm nearly 6000 words into it and I don't love it. I've had a better idea and more original characters are coming to mind. But I'm worried about ditching the first attempt in case I keep on doing more of the same and never complete the task. I'm still coming to a decision and feel very edgy and dissatisfied with myself for prevaricating.

Fionnuala said...

Thank you everyone for your comments. Am 500 words into something new and whilst its not 'on fire' yet, I have high hopes!

AJ Ponder said...

Is there a character that you do like? Can you put them somewhere they really don't want to be and see what happens?

I have to admit I've always wanted to do NAoNoWriMo but always seem to be busy with other projects - hope it improves for you and have fun! Be mean ;)

MorningAJ said...

I've been lucky this year and, once I got started, I'm quite enjoying NaNo (unlike last year when every word was a fight)

If you feel like doing 'unnecessary washing' I have a few loads here you could do for me!

Kate said...

I'm not doing nano this year - too busy editing - but good luck to everyone taking part!

Debs Riccio said...

Nah... no - not this time round - I always put far too much pressure on myself to keep up with others. I'm trying to be nice to myself. NaNoNoNice.

Caroline Gerardo said...

I'm a little over half way at almost 30000 on the 14th but my mind wants to stop and write two other short stories that keep nagging me to at a minimum pencil down. I will stick my bottom in the chair and torture my characters a little more today ( I say as I have all these paper notes and journals around me.