Do The Work

I am a bit behind with a few things this week.  Blogging, NaNo novel (for new readers I am taking part in National Novel Writing Month and attempting to write 50,000 of a novel during November), laundry, general house sorting, to name a few.  I’m blaming half term, (wonderful) family visiting and then a trip to Disneyland Paris, so some lovely distractions!

On Monday I was finally back at my desk writing and I only managed a paltry 744 words that day.  Still, the important thing is that I wrote something.  Some words (however bad they are) are better than no words at all.

A couple of people have asked me, ‘So when do you write?  Do you have to pick a good time when you feel inspired?’  My answer to that has always been,  ‘Actually it’s mostly just about doing the work.’  The most important lesson I have learned this year is that I need to turn up.  So many things demand our time, some more important that others and most do need doing at some point.  But I’m learning that if there’s something I’m passionate about doing, then I need to prioritize it.  Make the time, not find the time.  I need to get on with it.

Of course, some inspiration is useful once in a while (!) but I’ve found that most of my important ideas about plot, characters etc strike me when I’m not actually sat down typing.  I have exciting notebooks full of scribbles all over the place, but the real work takes place here.  Fingers to keyboard.

There is a great pep talk by Kami Garcia on the NaNo website about this which you can look at here

Love the tough love!  So I better get on with it.  Do the work.


NaNoWriMo Prep

This year is my first go at National Novel Writing Month… Am I naive and slightly mad?  Yes.  Excited (heart racing etc)?  Yes absolutely.  That too.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) takes place during November each year where hoards of people sign up to write 50,000 words of their novel.  In a month.  Definitely mad then.  When I’ve explained what I’m doing to a few friends and family, they have given me the same look of fondness that I imagine I would see if I’d said I was training to run the London Marathon.  That would be a lovely analogy but I think in this case I’m looking at a marathon-sprint…

Anyway, this week is prep week.  I’m trying to cram in as much as I can before next week (half term=small noisy distractions), then once school is back it’s November, eek!  I’ve found that the NaNoWriMo website in particular is great for advice and ideas (  I am definitely a planner rather than a pantser, so here’s what I will be doing this week…

  • Go back over the plot map which I have on a large piece of lining paper stuck on the wall above my desk.  I love to visualise what I’m doing and it lets me see how I need to get from A to B (in theory).  I also need to make sure the timeline still works.  It’s getting a bit messy so I might need to make a new one…
  • Revisit character plans and flesh them out – they need the most work this week I think.  I need a baddy.
  • Sketch out some stuff about location.  It’s based around real places but there are also ‘other-worldly’ elements which I need to be clear on.
  • Go back over general premise, themes etc.
  • Write a synopsis
  • Look at our calendar and work out when I’m going to write the thing!

And for the pantsers out there, apparently too much planning is not recommended…

Good job I’ve only got a week!

Anyone else out there signed up to NaNoWriMo?  Any planning tips??