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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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planning your book

#NaNoWriMo 2011: Lessons Learned

Like a trainee social worker or a graduate of philosophy, it is important for the NaNoWriMo participant to reflect on their experiences and achievements in order to get the full benefit from the experiment.  So, what have I learned from churning out 50,310 of literary fiction over the past 29 days?  (For the slower amongst you yes, this means I have now ‘finished’ the challenge for a second year).

  1. NaNo is not a time for Literary fiction.  It is a time for quests, humour, twists and silliness.
  2. Literary Fiction is, if anything, harder than I anticipated.  And I was anticipating that it would be well hard.  It is not the sort of thing to attempt in a month.  Not without about 50k forward planning anyway.  At least I now have that…
  3. Write or Die is one of my favourite things on the internet.  It has helped me focus on getting words down brilliantly, and I can only assume that had I known about it earlier this year I would have had a much higher word count – particularly in those difficult summer months.
  4. My inner critic is decimated.  The other day I wrote 869 words in 20 minutes.  These were not quality words.
  5. Other people doing better than you is a good motivational tool, so thanks to Writing Buddies John and Laura for racing ahead and finishing pure ages ago.  Your purple-for-finished status bars on the website galvanised me right up.

Now to get ready for book 12 (which at this point in time is likely to be a series of one off webcomics, although we’ll see how I feel come Thursday…)

Hayfever Sets In

Afternoon all, I trust you are well.

If not, maybe these links will cheer you up.  And don’t worry, I’ll be home soon, and all this scheduled post madness will be naught but a distant memory.

Hark, A Vagrant (comic by Kate Beaton)

To Plan or Not to Plan – a reader writes in to ask me whether I do this off the cuff.  I reply.

Meanwhile, the writer…

Meanwhile, the writer was determined to get to a reasonably high word count irrespective of what that meant for the quality of the story.  She typed like the wind, except for the long gaps in which she was checking her phone, or making cups of tea, or yawning. 

Sometimes she would go off on a tangent about how she was looking forward to having crumpets for tea when she ought to have been describing Amelia’s hat collection (which was vast, expensive and unexpected; not least because Amelia never wore hats, not even at weddings or funerals).

And when she ought to have been making subtle hints about the whereabouts of Chris’ mother, she was actually looking up forums about digital photography in the hope someone would be able to enlighten her on the best way to take a self portrait to go with one of several articles she was writing on the side. 

Continue reading “Meanwhile, the writer…”

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