Journal of a NaNo Writer – November 17th

National Novel Writing MonthThe 24 Hour Write In! Part Two. Let the word wars commence!

If you missed it the first part of the 2012 24 Hour NaNo Write In is here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

*groans* I’m reading back over the words written during the word war and OMG! It’s terrible! Sooooo terrible. Tori is a whiny little pathetic um… yeah, I won’t bleed your ears with the verbal abuse I could throw at her. She totally sounds abnormal. She’s nothing like herself.

Still, Lucas is his normal, sweetheart self. I love Lucas.

Oh My God! I actually managed 1156 words in thirty minutes! These word wars can be awesome. Of course, I’m not sure how much value those words have. They might all be terrible. Especially since they were written at two in the morning. I do have questionable former scenes that will probably need to be significantly edited. Still, these are new words. Words that would not have happened were it not for word wars and this write in. So, I’m happy.

We’ve been doing a couple of very short word wars. Just three and a half minutes each but I’m making amazing word counts. I’ve been averaging about 150 words each 3.30 minutes. If I did 3.30 minute word wars back to back I could, theoretically, write 2500+ words in an hour.

Ok, so, it’s almost 11am and I’ve only added another 102 words. These Write Ins are amazingly anti-productive. The word wars are pretty cool, challenging my typing speed is fantastic, but there is so few of them and the rest of the time is distracting. I love socialising with these people. I don’t generally have a social life, so it’s really good to be around people who are like me, but, I really would have liked to crack about six or seven thousand today.

We were talking about swearing and I mentioned how uncomfortable I was about it. I try to avoid saying (or writing) swear words. But in my book I have the word Damn, and Damn it, and Hell (which when set by an angel is pretty blasphemous). And then as I was reading those parts of the story I realised that Tempany AND Corelle both respond (in different scenes and to a different hero/heroine “Watch your tongue” So, I need to change that. Trouble is, I’m not sure what to change it to. Tori says Damn to Corelle in the Tool of the High Priestess scene and Lucas says Hell to Tempany in the Refusal to Serve scene. I’ll come back to it later and sort it out.

YES! I DID break 40,000 words (40,645) thanks to the 24 hour write in. Admittedly, I did only write 4,241 words, but it’s all good. I’ve been having a lot of fun.

I made it! The full 24 hours! One of the few that lasted the distance.

So, the 24 hour NaNo is officially over and I ended the Write In with just shy of 5K words. It’s not tooooo terrible. I mean it is, 4,960 words in 24 hours of not sleeping it pretty lame. If I’d have spent even half of those hours actually writing, and doing so at my standard word rate I would have 12,000 words, and they’ve be GOOD words, not words that I’ll have to spend hours going over to edit.

It makes me tempted to avoid the Write Ins. Other than that first one where I actually did maintain my 1000 word average I’ve been writing less and less. I manage more in my time at home.

Then again, I didn’t write for four of the days in the past week. I feel really bad about that. I still feel like I need to make up those words. I should do the math to find out how many words I need to do to make up for it. Actually, 2,000 times 4 is 8,000. So that’s how many words I have to make up. But I also need to do the math on how many I did write during the week to see if I’m balancing out.

Anyway, for now I need to pack up and get myself to the Armadale Write In. I did after all promise to finish with them until 4pm before going home to sleep. We’ll see how my energy lasts. Who knows, I might keep writing into the night. I can sleep when I’m dead.

Ok, so I made it from Como to the Armadale Library write in and it’s cool. Nice and quiet, people are writing, it’s actually such an awesome break from the chaos of the last twenty-four hours. So, I’ll hold out here until 4pm and then head home and see how I’m feeling. I could definitely use a shower, the heat isn’t friendly.

Oh, yeah, wow! I can go make myself a cup of tea. I hadn’t done that at Serena’s house because, well, I had my water bottle but also since no one else resorted to coffee. I’d really love a cup of tea now.

The song currently playing on my playlist (remember I have it on shuffle so I’m not controlling the order they play in) is Josh Groban’s To Where You Are (I LOVE Josh Groban). One of the lyrics in the song is, “I believe that angels breath”, but as I was listening it sounded like he said “bleed”, which just seemed so right for the scene I was just about to start editing/fleshing out called, “His Angel Blood”.

I was able to rack up a semi-respectable 500+ words in the hour I was at the Armadale Write In. Not bad for someone who has not slept in the past 31 hours. Especially when I consider that those words were added through edits. Admittedly, I was trying to find ways to incorporate only notes and parts of scenes into what I have.

Safely home from the write in and I am so ready to crash to sleep. I do not intend to even try to wake up later tonight to get 2,000 more words added, although I wish i could. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sleep straight through ’til morning.

Yay! I survived!

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Rebecca Laffar-Smith

Rebecca Laffar-Smith is a publisher, children's writer, and novelist. In 2010 she gave up a successful 12-year freelance career to focus on her three loves; family, community, and fiction. She self-published her debut novel The Flight of Torque in June 2014 and the first three titles in the P.I. Penguin series in from Aulexic in May 2015. At The Craft of Writing Fiction, Rebecca shares her journey of creation and learning with readers. She loves getting to know her fellow readers and writers and can be contacted through Twitter and Facebook, or Email.