Week 1 NaNo Update

It’s Day 9, and the end of a week of NaNoWriMo.

The Good: I’ve been writing something every day!

The Bad: I’m really behind in my wordcount, approximately 8,000 words behind.

The Ugly: I’m unimpressed with my main character but I want the story to progress and get more interesting and can’t be bothered to write these scenes before the story finally gets going.

I guess I should back up and tell you what my story is about.

The novel is called Amira Wandering.

Plot summary: Amira, a 20-something girl from a small town in California, is stuck in a quarter-life crisis, until she receives a letter from herself written 6 years ago, that spurs her on a journey of self-discovery and adventure in San Francisco.

The summary sounds promising, like I’d pick up this book if I saw it in a bookstore. The problem is it’s so hard to write about self-discovery and journeys without getting super personal and philosophical. I want the story to be action-oriented and character driven, but it seems very passive and driven by Amira’s internal monologue. Not too exciting. She hasn’t left her home to San Francisco yet and that’s where all the fun really begins. I want to be at that point writing, but if I shorten the path to getting there, it’ll seem jarring and you won’t understand where she came from.

Also I tend to be a sparse writer (funny, because I used to be such a flowery writer who loved adjectives and adverbs way too much) so that’s making it hard for me to reach the necessary wordcount to stay on track to finish 50k by the end of November.

Luckily, I have a 3 day weekend to catch up, but I’m also fighting off a cold that wants me to just sleep, drink tea, and watch TV all day. I really lack the discipline to establish a regular writing schedule, but I have surprised myself with the short writing sprints I’ve done waiting for the bus, riding on the BART, on my Evernote app on my phone…You can truly incorporate writing into your day if you really make the effort, but I think it’s hard to get serious writing and concepts down if you’re not in a proper environment for it. And if you don’t have hours and hours to sit on your own and just work through all your doubts and frustration, it’s easy to prioritize other tasks or activities once you’ve come home from a long day of work.

I’d love to hear from others embarking on this NaNo journey and see how you’re doing. I haven’t been to any write-ins yet because none of them are that close to me and being confined to use public transit makes me very lazy. This blog is my write-in 😀


Now, Not Later, Now

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper

-E.B. White