Category: NaNoWriMo

Day six is over and for the next few hours NaNo will take the back seat to my US election all nighter.

Most of my writing for day six got done before seven am. I couldn’t sleep so got over 2,000 words done before going to sleep. No more words after that unfortunately and I already know that day seven is going to be a wash out as I will be exhausted from all the election watching.

Day six was focused almost entirely on chapter development again. I had several characters that weren’t well rounded enough and I wanted to make sure they were fully rounded before I carried on and took the story much further.

I’m starting to get to know my characters a lot more and I think that is really important for me as a first time writer.

I took a massive step forward in terms of research today as well. My main character grew up in a children’s home and so far I had just been stumbling through the background of her story. I decided to finally phone my Nanny and ask her for help. The thing about my Nanny is that she rocks, she grew up in a children’s home and I think that gave her so much more love to give to her children and grandchildren.

I had wanted to ask her some questions about growing up for a while but wasn’t sure how to approach the subject. The main character of my story is inspired by my Nanny, she’s strong, independent and loveable. Although this story isn’t the story of my Nanny it definitely would never have come about if she wasn’t so amazing.

She was happy to help me with my research and I learned so much, both for my story and about my Nanny’s childhood. I didn’t think it was possible but she’s even more awesome than I originally thought.

I will have to go back and do some rewrites because a lot of my story is factually wrong but it will be worth it in the long run.


Well day five was a bust. Another day lost to migraine. I wrote less than 200 words. 

The worst bit about the lack of writing done on day five was that all day my characters sat around in my head begging to tell me more of their story but I was in too much pain to help.
My migraine cleared away around 10pm which was just enough time for me to have some food and yell at my girlfriend for being behind on her AcWriMo goals. It isn’t my choice to yell at her, she just works better if I’m putting constant pressure on her to write.
At just past midnight I am awake enough to get some words done before going to sleep but hopefully not too awake that I stay up all night. I have to be well rested for the all nighter I want to pull tomorrow night for the American election.
I don’t want to be vocal enough to tell the whole WordPress world who I support but I think any regular visitors to my little blog world will know that as a woman who is in love with another woman the results of the election are very important to me. I’d love to live in America one day and I’d love it even more if my future wife could still be my wife there.
Anyway, enough of the politics. I’m away back to let my characters continue their conversations.

Goodbye day four!

Today was by far my most productive day and it just happened to be the first day I let go of the stress that comes with reaching 50,000 words in 30 days. For the past three days I had been obsessed with reaching the daily target so that I could keep on top of all the writing and win.

That tactic wasn’t working for me so instead I chose to stop caring quite so much, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo because I want to win, I’m doing it because I love the characters I’ve created and I want to do them justice. It is no longer about hitting word targets, it’s about creating a realistic world for the characters I love. Whether or not I reach the overall target I will still have words that weren’t there before and that’s the real achievement.

I spent day four focusing more on character development than the emotional heartbreak of sending families to war and orchestrating suicides that the previous days brought. That in itself will probably bring more emotional heartbreak in the long run; I have an eight year old boy in my story that was originally only there to give a sweet and believable reason behind why one of the main characters is disabled and therefore can’t go to war. Today this little boy took me by the hand and showed me his world, he has become part of the beating heart of this world.

Ok reading that back I believe I have truly gone insane. Don’t worry, as I said in my first NaNo post I will be committing myself after this so you don’t have to.

Day four has been the most positive of my experience so far, I am actually enjoying my characters now and I’m finally writing for me instead of for the word count. Saying that though I am still proud that I’m catching up!

Word count: 6,030

Day three is over and I haven’t quite caught up myself where I should be by this point

I went to my first write-in at Mono in Glasgow. Mono is a really nice little vegan cafe, I even tried some food. I’ll admit that I missed meat but the falafel wrap and Cajun wedges I had we’re still quite good.

The write-in was a mixed experience for me. On one hand it was really nice to be surrounded by people that are all in the same boat as you and that forced me to actually do some writing. On the other hand, there was already a full table by the time I got there and they already seemed to know each other so I was stuck on a really awkward table with just a couple of other people and my girlfriend who I’d dragged along for moral support and so she actually did some of her dissertation. It felt a little bit lonely when there was a table full of people all laughing and comparing ideas and then us by ourselves.

I started to feel sick after a while and the noise level had risen too much for me to concentrate so we left. I didn’t manage to get any more done after we left either because I ended up feeling too sick and falling asleep.

My story itself is progressing quite nicely. I like some of my secondary characters more than my main character but I’m sure that will change soon. I was also quite an evil writer, I ended up sending a father and four of his sons to war leaving just his wife and youngest son at home by themselves. I also orchestrated a suicide that left a little girl parenthesis and that scene was in the first ever flashback I’ve written!

I’m glad I chose to take part in NaNoWriMo and I’m not regretting it. Yet anyway.

Word count: 3,767

50,000 words. 30 days. Don’t worry, I’ll be committing myself to an asylum so you won’t have to.

It is now technically day 3.

I originally planned to get this one story out of my head that has been there for well over five years but another story came along at the last minute and waved frantically. The other one was content enough to wait some I’m letting this one out.

Day One: I didn’t do anything. I left the house for uni at 8am and I didn’t get home until half 5. I then took some painkillers for a migraine that almost made me go hulk on my fellow classmates and slept. I woke up when Rhianna came home from work around 7pm but the rest of the evening was spent with me writhing around in pain and wishing someone would invent a permanent migraine cure.
Word count: 0

Day Two: I overslept. I checked the mail. I spent a lot of time on Glasgow’s NaNo chat room. I finally started to write around 6pm. My girlfriend came home around 7pm and then we spent a lot of time creating a name bank for all the possible characters that might make an appearance. I then drew a blueprint for the house my main character lives in. I also disabled the most likeable character.
Word count: 1,668

Will do a day three update later on in the day.

I never understood what people meant before about characters writing themselves. I initially had a plan for several of my characters that has completely changed. Also story lines have come out of nowhere for characters that I never gave any thought to in the planning stage beyond how they would interact with my main character.

I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is not knowing enough about World War 2, especially Scotland during World War 2 so I’m having to do a lot of research as I go. I know some of my points probably won’t be historically accurate but I’m trying not to edit too much as I go along. December is for editing. November is just about getting the words on the page!

Also, two of my characters changed their own names. I was convinced that my main character’s best friend was going to be called Mary. I’d decided that before any other names. As I’m writing her name for the third or fourth time it just switches to Ellen. I had no control over that and it wasn’t until I was reading what I had so far that I even realised she had switcherooed her own name! My main character also changed her name but I had more input on that one. Ruth just didn’t fit her. She kept telling me it wasn’t her so when I came across the name Roberta she yelled “that’s me! Call me Bobby for short!”

Yes, I am aware I’m coming across crazy talking about my characters as if they’re real but you go try and write a novel, you’ll eventually sound just as bad. It might take you more than the two days it has taken me though!