The idea behind NaNoWriMo, I suppose, is to give oneself a writerly jolt and get on with The Novel, but I was generating so much rubbish that I reached the start-again phase very fast. I have never written anything without having to go back and start it again phase. Struggling to work up my word count, I was at my computer during the Ten O’Clock News, during the weather forecast at the end of the News… just a little bit more… and oh, whoops, it’s eleven o’clock. When I went to bed, I found myself restless and generally too wired to sleep. (For years, I have followed a ‘sleep hygiene’ routine of reading for at least an hour before turning in.)
I did spend quite a lot of time planning this novel, setting down on a database everything I knew about each character, where they lived, worked and went to school, but I have to admit there were many occasions when it wasn’t clear to me what characters looked like or what their mannerisms might be. Everybody’s hair turned out to be brown and their eyes grey. It was only after I started to write the chapters that I started to understand what characters really looked like, also the places where scenes took place. Of course, what I should have done was to have updated my database as I was writing, but how could I do that and keep the flow of my story going?
I had attempted to write a chapter plan but failed miserably. I have always found writing chapter or plot plans impossible. In fact, I could feel myself stressing up as I tried.
So, I have written down lots of ideas, on a sort of textual moodboard in my notebook. The voice was wrong: I have written ‘flippant’ as a keyword for my main character. I have also managed to jot down content for the first few chapters.
Meanwhile I’ve visited my daughter and family, my son is visiting us and this afternoon I made two Christmas cakes and a massive bowl of mincemeat, as well as family meals. Cooking provides instant gratification. However, I have had a writerly jolt and, although I have two solid days of work ahead of me on Monday and Tuesday,. Christmas is coming and I haven’t bought a single card or present yet, I will get on with it. Among my tasks ahead, I have to submit two short stories which are hanging around and to find further destinations for The (2015) Novel.
You will be fed up, Dear Reader, with me going on about NaNoWriMo, so I won’t anymore.