NaNo, Nightmares, and Novels

First I want to apologise to anyone who may have left a legitimate comment on my blog but got blasted with the spam. I’ve neglected the blog this month while I slogged through NaNoWriMo and tonight I had well over one hundred pending comments. I scanned the first couple of pages then bulk deleted the lot.

Now for NaNo. I had intended to update my progress throughout November but, after a hard day writing dodgy dialogue and questionable plot, I couldn’t even think straight.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was contemplating NaNo rebelism (is that a word? Well, it is now) this year. With Yantsu only about halfway through first draft I  didn’t relish the thought of putting it to one side and making yet more work for myself.

Well, I did start out as a rebel but it’s so true what they say. Working on a work in progress defeats the object of NaNoWriMo.

I cared too much about my characters, and the story, to just throw in something random to keep the plot moving and get me to the end. I hated the idea that I was writing words for the sake of word count rather than making every word count.

In truth, I wasn’t saving myself any time at all. What I was doing was creating an editing nightmare for later on.

So on day 11 at about 18 000 words in, I jumped ship. I dumped the whole lot into my scrap file and began all over again. This time on the story that I’d plotted out a few days before NaNo began.

It took me two days of frantic writing, and very little sleep, to make up those 18k words, but once I got into the story I flew through it. I hit the 50 000 words with one week to spare and I’m still writing to get to the end of the story.

As I was nearing the end,  the plot took a twist that threw me completely and will probably lengthen the story by at least 10k words. A huge surprise to me but it certainly makes things more interesting.

Well, I’ll plod along and finish the first draft and then I’ll put it aside until I’ve got Yantsu to the same stage. It’s a very rough draft so far but, who knows, it may well turn out to be my third novel.

Although I’ve made the word count I can’t bring myself to stop writing before the end of November. I’ve done a lot of my writing at night this year. I’ve been sleeping really badly and having weird nightmares about all kinds of things. Maybe it has something to do with the dark nature of the novel.

Or perhaps it’s the fact that I eat so badly during NaNo month. Surprisingly I’ve hardly had any coffee or chocolate this year. They have been my staple diet during the past two Novembers.

This year I decided to eat better, especially as I have my first Shotokan karate grading looming on the horizon. I swapped the coffee for Rooibos tea and the chocolate for veggies. Oh, and no alcohol, other than a couple of glasses of wine on my birthday.

It may have backfired on me though. I made a huge pot of veggie curry a few days ago and I’ve been nibbling on it ever since. I heated some for tonight but I suspect it may be fermenting a little. I think the raisins are turning to wine and the potatoes to moonshine.

Writing under the influence of alcoholic curry might make for an interesting ending to the story, or it might just poison me. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

One thought on “NaNo, Nightmares, and Novels”

  1. Mark van Rensburg says:

    Alcoholic curry? Good grief, woman, you scare me lol.

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