Yes, dear reader, I’m in the race of the mad folks again.
This time is different. This time I write a story in Dutch. I’m Dutch so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Let me tell you… it’s difficult. And I don’t know why it is difficult. I prepared for this like for no other Nano effort before. I devised characters, places, made an outline, made a new one, created backgrounds, wrote a plot line, I did everything I usually don’t do. I should be prepared. And I’m not. Halfway chapter 2 I noticed things going wrong. Characters not doing what I had planned, locations not being where I intended them and worst of all: the entire story started shifting.
Currently I’m working on chapter 4.
From the centre of chapter 3 I could still see a vague outline of where once the plot line had been. In chapter 4 that’s completely off the radar. From here to the end of the story I’m on my own. Characters are everywhere. Their numbers are wrong, their shapes are distorted and dry land is ‘somewhere’.
All my good intentions have been blown into the water where I am now adrift, holding on to my keyboard, the most trustworthy flotation device a writer can ask for. That and my razor sharp mind which has gotten me out of trouble before. (Stop laughing!)
Not all is lost however. Here and there I see crates with bits of back-story, names, places and intentions bob in the water along with me. With cunning agility of mind I’ll bring them in and slap them into this story. This exercise may have taught me one thing. Or two things. Plotting really isn’t for me. Getting the cornerstones in place however, coming up with stuff that can happen in the story, looking up the problems my victim characters will face (and possible solutions to get them out if they need a hand) is definitely something worth keeping up. I’m throwing the plot line out of the window. Listen how it whistles down all four floors and lands with a sickening thud. (‘Oops, sorry down there!’)
Maybe that will be my salvation for Nanowrimo this year around. In Dutch. It’s fascinating.
The month is almost over. Nanowrimo is coming to an end soon. I’m not worried about making the fifty thousand words – I managed that last week. There is however an unforeseen complication to the story. The point where I hoped it would end has already happened, about halfway through the book. That’s of course a bit unfortunate because there are other things that still need to happen, but the ‘finale’ already found its place. Usually a fin-ale has a connection to a finish, not the middle of a book. I guess there is a midd-ale here, and the challenge is to find a new finale for the book that’s even bigger, better, worse and intense, and also located at the end of the book where it belongs…
The first days (weeks) of this crazy month didn’t fill me with much confidence about the story I’m writing. I suspect that will show in the first 10 chapters that I produced, with the consequence that those will need a lot of attention in order to make them legible, understandable and in some way interesting.
Time will tell.
Lately I feel better about the flow of words but the basic plan I made for the story has been thrown upside down, leftside right and generally it became the laugh of the week. I am currently writing what should be the end of the story while I’m only halfway into it! This means that there has to be a second end while the end isn’t what it set out to be.
When will this teach me that making plans for a story is something I should avoid at all cost?
Please, wish me luck in finding my way out of this strange situation. The characters involved will definitely appreciate that.
Let me give you another update on the progress of this wrimo. A wrimo is a person engaged in Nanowrimo – this for your learning pleasure. You can now say you learnt something today (unless you already knew this fact).
At the moment of writing this blog post the story in total stands at 53164 words. 37404 of those have been written this month as part of the aforementioned crazy dash of words. Honesty demands me to state that I am not at all confident in the validity of the chapters I wrote before the current one and the one before that (being 17 and 16. If you paid attention you know why I state the numbers this way). For that reason I enlisted the help of a good friend who will have a look at the potential or possible garbage that came out of my fingers and had to pass through the keyboard. We’ll find out how much damage I have wrought, even though I shouldn’t worry about that as this is nano. Not something that should immediately produce a decent piece of text.
But as I said up there somewhere, not all is bad. After all it is Friday the 13th, which is a good day. It means the weekend is close.
And I just discovered that I have written 1.9 million words since I started keeping track in April 2013. Is it therefore a miracle that I am on my third keyboard since then?
Well, it’s time for me to return to Sabas and Reny, who managed to get themselves locked up somewhere with a group of others and they’re trying to find a way out. Wouldn’t you if there was no food and water around, and all you have is what you carry with you? Which is about enough for another week?
Have a great Friday 13th, and if you are ever out looking for a cat, please go to a shelter. There are lots of lovely cats there who are looking for their golden home. And from the bottom of my heart: consider a black one. They’re really lovely and no, they don’t mean bad luck. Black cats are magical. Just ask Hilda and William. Or me.
It has taken me a considerable time to get all my pawns in place for the real problem of the book. The problem they will have to face. Yes, as any good writer can tell you, it is a lot of work to prepare all the misery for the characters in a story. However, once all that is in place there is no stopping the story. That is where I’ve come. Sabas and Reny don’t know what’s in store for them. I do. At least most of it, because I’m the kind of writer who likes to leave some surprises for myself as well.
This is one of the slowest Nanowrimo challenges ever for me. Usually I write at least 4000 words per day for Nanowrimo. I’m far below that average and that’s fine with me. The story’s getting a great boost and that’s important.
I am also working on another project, in Dutch, which cuts into the writing time for Nanorwimo. Usually I woudn’t do this but this is a project dear to my heart so Nano has to suffer. But now onwards. More words. More pages.
More troubles for everyone who lost their way and found themselves in the new book!
Today starts day 7 of Nanowrimo. So far things are going well. I’m pleased with my progress, which at this point shows 18.150 words. Sabas and Reny are travelling, and to give you an idea of the area they’re about to face I have added a picture of my recent vacation to the island of Lanzarote at the top of this post. Isn’t that just charming and inviting?
The story has progressed to chapter 11 by now. Do keep in mind that I already had part of this written, so not all chapters are official Nanowrimo chapters. I am however keeping track of the specific words written this month.
You will understand (perhaps not appreciate) that during this month work on other projects (like Hilda book 18) has come to a full stop. These projects won’t be forgotten though; they’re just on the back burner for a while. I’ll now leave you to your schedule, which might include interesting things like household chores, cleaning your flame thrower and sharpening your swords. I’ll check in again when there’s progress and/or something interesting to report.
Yes, dear reader, you may have noticed that I am not posting something new here every Nano-day. Today however, obviously, I do.
The writing goes quite well. I finally feel at ease with this story, which may strike you as odd. After all, I managed to write the first book too. Indeed, and that is the big hurdle. The first book with Sebastian and Reny is – for me – one of the best books I’ve written so far, and now I am going to write something that has to be at least as good. That is not just writing a book. It’s something daunting, looming.
Still I have good hopes that this book will be worth a read as well. It will have a different feel to it as it’s beginning in a ‘settled’ world. Sebastian has been here for a while, so there are many things he knows already. That doesn’t mean he knows everything yet. There are still places to explore, people to meet and surprises to face. And of course there are things that matter to him and Reny both; things that aren’t always easy to deal with. But how all that ends… for that we all have to wait for this book to be finished and done. Believe me; even I don’t yet know everything that will happen to them! (Although I have some prior knowledge!)
And at the moment of writing this blog post, the word count for the new story stands at 8,027… I’m ready to add some more to that number.
Yes, dear reader. It is that time of the year again where thousands of people sit down every day to let hundreds, thousands, or maybe even dozens of words per hour flow from their fingers in order to write a novel in a month. A mad enterprise but a fulfilling one. I’m able to claim that as I’ve done this for several years.
The plan for this month is to write a sequel to the science fiction story “Wanted: hero“.
If you’ve read this book you will know how Sebastian changed careers from consultant to fighter of alien creatures. The next book will continue the story on how Sebastian will face the challenge of making a new life and living on this planet.
As I write this post, the first 13 words have been added to the story. Only 1765 more to get to the minimum average required on a regular Nanowrimo day.
The madness is over. The 50.000 words (well, a bit more in my case) are written.
Nanowrimo 2014 is officially behind me.
I’ve ended this month with a story of 83815 words which in all honesty is a lot more than I had dared to hope for. And the story’s not done yet.
So, here’s the last run-down of things that have flown or crawled by in this story. You may recognise some of them once the book is out. (Which won’t be next month, I can promise you that. I first have to get Hilda 15 to a proper end.)
We learn more about the origins about walking huts;
swamp gas can smell like different things;
Hilda makes a prediction about her future without knowing it;
there’s something happening with oranges;
there’s also a real magic show;
and there is a form of disappointment. Magic isn’t all fun and laughter.
I hope you enjoyed this little walk along the path of this year’s Nanowrimo experience!
Welcome to the Nanowrimo report after 25 days of writing.
The word count for Hilda 16 is currently well over 75.000 words. The story is still going strong but it needs a lot of tender loving care because writing at this speed is demanding that the gods of Typos come over for frequent visits!
What’s been going on in there so far since the last update:
Some insight on how old magical people can become and how they do it;
still no idea how old Hilda actually is (and I’m not going to ask. Toads make even more typos than speeding writers);