Friday, 9 November 2012

Hitting the Nano Wall

We are now into the second week of Nanowrimo - the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This is my fourth Nano and, I have to say, I came out of the gate running. I wrote 22,975 words in the first week. This was amazing, even for me, writing about double the minimum amount to keep on track. It felt like the story was writing itself.

But, this week...
...that's me, hitting the wall.

The thing keeping me going is that this happens to me every year, though this year seems particularly bad. My thoughts are going something like:  I hate my book, my characters are terrible, the plot is going nowhere, no one will ever want to read this, and what am I writing anyway????

Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that I am doing this for FUN. No one ever needs to read it and, as long as I keep on typing, I'll get there. I can fix the plot holes later. Then I raid my kid's Hallowe'en candy, check the Nano forums and Facebook and get back to writing.

This year's book is based on the mythological character Clytemnestra (try typing that one out over and over again). She was married to Agamemnon (another finger tangling name), the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War. When he gloriously returns from war, her and her lover kill him. I think the story is a nice juicy one with lots in it. There's some great, meaty background that lead her to these actions, but the mythology is also tangled like a crazy, incestuous web. I'm a Classicist, I love this stuff, and I'm having trouble keeping things straight.

This is also, most definitely, an adult book, the first one I've written. My other books have been middle grade and young adult, so this is quite a departure for me. I've been hesitating over some of the gory killing, intimate scenes and language, but then wrote it anyway. Again, I can always edit it out later if need be, right? I think it's been good for me to write scenes that make me uncomfortable, it has pushed me and (hopefully) will strengthen my writing.

Ultimately, I know the best thing I can do is to take the great Nano advice and:

So, this is where I'm at part way through week two. If you're writing, I would love to hear from you about how it's going.


  1. Great post. I think that week 2 hits harder the further you are ahead, so that wall can definitely feel solid. Have faith! Your book idea sounds wonderful. Good luck.

    1. Thanks, I do have faith, but the pace has definitely slowed down. But, I'm still having fun.

  2. I am barely making word count this time and some days I'm behind. So it seems to be as though I get behind and then catch up, then behind, then catch up. However, this is my third time doing NaNo and I am a rebel this year. I am completing a novel that is already at 52K. I have been writing it slowly for nearly two years, which means it is my BABY. So reaching word count is difficult when I don't want to just write anything into this story. But, I keep writing.

    1. Way to go, Mel. It's so hard when it's your baby. A certain amount of detachment makes it easier to take risks, I find.


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