Some of you will have surpassed week one’s 11669-word target. Others will be far behind. Some of you will be like me, just about on target. Whatever your word count, don’t give up. Put on your comfy writing pants, unhook the phone, and ignore the dishes – you’ve got another 11669 words to write.
According to Chris Batty the first week of NaNo ‘is an explosively productive creative period’, where getting ahead with the word target is a good thing. Why? Because in week two the storm clouds will gather and our muses will get grumpy. I don’t know about you but the skies are clear at the moment. I’ll let you know in a weeks time if what he says is true.
I’m handing over to my muse now – she seems to be in a good mood and is much better at confessions than I am.
Hi. If you haven’t already met me, I’m Ellie’s long-suffering muse. You can call me Little Wanda. The last seven days have been interesting for both of us. Ellie started with a 496-word flash fiction piece and thought that would be enough to inspire a novel and, in a way, she was correct. The 11195 words inhabiting the Dreaming of Sleep Word file are proof there is a story to be told. However, she learnt two very important things this week. I’ll share them with you but only if you promise not to tell her I told you.
- You cannot write a novel with no idea of the plot. You can start one and quite probably write a few thousand words. One scene leads to another and then another and so on. But what you absolutely need is an overall picture – an idea of the beginning, middle, and end. Without it, you’re likely to get lost and give up half way through.
- She is a plotter. Yes. You heard that right. Forget the nonsense she told you before about being a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer. She wasn’t lying; she just hadn’t realised that she’d been plotting all those short stories in detail before she started writing. She simply hadn’t equated forming story ideas in her head as the same as plotting on paper.
So there you have it – she’s realised she needs a plot after all. With that epiphany in mind, she’s decided to spend the next couple of days plotting. She took me on a shopping trip yesterday and bought brown paper, post-it notes, and a brand new sharpie pen. I can’t wait to see the other long-suffering one’s face when he notices 4ft of brown paper stuck on the bedroom wall. Off course, I’ve pointed out she’ll fall behind with her word count but she’s assured me it will be worth it.
I’ll be back next week to let you know how the re-decorating is going. In the meantime, what Nano or writing-related lessons did you learn last week?