NaNoWriMo: First-timer’s first impressions and confessions

For those of you who don’t yet know, I’ve signed up to NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.  My goal is to write 50,000 words between 1st November and 30th November, which works out at about 1,667 words a day.

My future bestselling novel is narrated by Chip, a very English Jack Russell terrier.  (At least, at the moment he’s called Chip.)  He reminisces about the time he fell down a molehill and ended up in Australia.  To get back home he couldn’t simply jump back down the tunnel (Australia is, after all, on the other side of the world, and it happened to be underneath England at that time of year), but luckily his homing instinct kicks in and we follow his journey back home to England, where he meets many furry friends along the way.

It’s a bit surreal, but I wanted to write something fun, seeing as I’m going to be thinking about it constantly for the next month.  Various mad influences include Gulliver’s Travels, Alice In Wonderland,  I Am A Cat by Soeski Natsume, and just about anything by Haruki Murakami.

I’m currently on 5543 words, so I’m over 10% of the way through, although I’m still falling behind the daily totals needed to complete it on time.  For the first two days I was pretty much on target, and feeling very pleased with myself.  But I didn’t appreciate just how tough it is to pick up your laptop and carry on writing, even if you’re not in the mood.  1,667 words is actually achievable… if you have motivation.

So why on earth are you writing a blog post when you should be adding to your novel, I hear you cry.  To which I reply that it’s not the writing I have a problem with, it’s the novel.  Not that I don’t love my story, it’s just that I’m really struggling with speech.  I’m sure it will get better as I get to know my characters better, but at the moment they’re all just so… polite.  I’ve also not planned my route out properly yet, so everything’s a bit vague.  Of course, I’m not expecting a masterpiece on my first draft, especially as NaNoWriMo doesn’t exactly allow you time to edit as you go along, but today I feel a little dispirited.  Luckily I have some time off so hopefully I’ll get some energy back tomorrow.

To motivate myself and to help anyone who’s interested keep a track of my progress I’ve added a word count bar on my blog’s right hand toolbar, complete with image of a stressed-looking bean mirroring my pain.

I’m still reading when I have a spare second (I can always make time to read) but I may stop my book reviews this month.  I’ll try and add some word count updates from time to time.  Any advice from fellow writers welcome!

You can find out more about NaNoWriMo here.

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