Monday, 19 November 2012

Bang on target

Because I am deep in NaNoWriMo, this is another post about it. Feel free to stop reading now - normal service will be resumed in December...
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Oh, you're still here - good!

Last night, for the first time, I hit the target. On day 18 the target was 30k. I sort of wanted to go a bit over, even an extra word or two would have be great - but the scene ended perfectly at 30k, so I saved the document and closed it down. It's waiting for me now, I can hear it calling.

As you know, I started November with a title "The Day Nothing Happened" and a first line "Yesterday something happened". Then it turned out, as I started writing, that quite a lot was happening, and I changed tense - half-way through - to past tense. So the first line no longer fits. Argh! I've never had to rewrite a first line before, it's usually the one fixed thing. Anyway, that's something to think about in December - I'm not going to bother changing the present tense at the moment, I need to push on and finish.

From the initial idea of having an explosion in a hotel, I've managed to get five separate story lines - the survivors of the incident all have their own stories to tell. One woman who was trapped has post-traumatic stress, another woman used the chaos to run away and pretend she was dead, another kidnapped a coma patient. Then I've also got a pregnant widow, and a man who's trolling Facebook - although that story line isn't fully fleshed out yet.

It's been fascinating seeing these stories coming to life, and my characters having their own thoughts about their situations. None of them are related at the moment, and I'm unsure whether to force them together, or to leave them separate and just passing each other randomly in the street. I know, as a novel, they should be connected by more than just the explosion because at the moment they read as intertwined short stories.

But again, that's a question I'll be able to answer in December. The first thing I plan to do is print out the MS and cut it up, putting all parts of the same story lines together to make sure they are complete and don't have huge gaps. Then I'll be able to see if they can slot together. There is a precedent of leaving them separate - eg. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, and probably lots of others I can't think of at the moment. But whatever happens, I'm definitely hoping this book will turn into something and not be left in a drawer.

Is your NaNo project something long term, or just a collection of words?

PS. I am still reading blogs, but commenting on all of them is too time consuming at the moment. I hope you understand. 

26 comments:

  1. I am so ridiculously proud of you for getting on target!! And I love the idea behind the story. Intertwining tales are always fun to read, and I'd like to be the first to offer my services to read for you when you're done! :D

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  2. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. Doesn't it feel good? Keep it up:)

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  3. Congratulations on hitting the mark!
    And I've rewritten first lines so many times I've lost track.

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  4. I'm so impressed by all the hard work NaNoers are investing. I can't wait for al the fantastic books that will come out of this

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  5. Well done for being bang on target :-)
    This sounds like it's right up my street, good luck with it!

    Hope you're well x

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  6. Woot nice one, go you! A collection of short stories based on the same even sounds interesting :)

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  7. Woohoo! Way to hit that target! I'm on the other end of it, I'm starting to taper way off. Things are starting to look dicey, but we'll see how they go. As for NaNo, it's always the long haul for me. I write a novel, then I put it in cold storage and write another novel, then I go back and edit the first novel. So yeah, what I'm working on now probably won't be ready for prime time for another 6-8 months.

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  8. Well done! Keep up the good work!!

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  9. I'm planning to finish up NaNo in the last night. Not really. I'm a failure. I admit it and have accepted it without too much grief.

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  10. You NaNo ers are brave souls :) I need my slower pace, I guess. Keep it up!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah With Joy)

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  11. You have a character who kidnapped a coma patient? I want to know why.

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  12. Yay - good for you! It all sounds most intriguing! Not long to go now! :-)

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  13. I am impressed - 30K in 18 days is WAY beyond what I could have achieved! Well done!

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  14. It sounds brilliant with lots of sub plots to follow. Keep going, Annalisa well done :)

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  15. Excellent job and it sounds like you can easily roll to that 50K mark. Good for you, once you stopped your inner editor. The story sounds quite good, so it will be fun to see how it takes shape once NaNo is done. Until then, just keep typing and have fun on this adventure.

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  16. Glad you've found so many story threads and are on target. Congrats, Annalisa!

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  17. Sounds good! Either way would be fun (interconnecting or as short stories where they pass in the street). I was ahead, but am now behind (I knew it would reach that point, thus getting ahead, sigh). I really hope to catch up off and on this week. Continued good luck!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  18. we will miss your comments! but great job,keep up the good work, girl!!

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  19. Hi Annalisa .. congratulations on keeping on writing on .. now the story lines you've got going sound fun ... and capturing a coma patient seems the most extraordinary ..

    Well I shall be fascinated to see how you go and by the look of it you'll be succeeeding at NaNo .. cheers Hilary

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  20. miss you this month, but keep writing! sounds like you're on a roll! go with it!
    and i left you something to do when you're done =)

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  21. So exciting that you're on target and the premise sounds excellent! Now, off you pop and write some more ;)

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  22. glad you're writing, and nano is such a cool way to do it.

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  23. I hope you'll forgive me for not responding to your comments individually this time. I'm deep in my story right now, and I've actually been AHEAD of target for the past couple of days - this was very exciting for me, because I really didn't think I'd even get as far as I have!

    Thanks for all the supportive comments, and I hope that everyone who's also taking part are having a great writing experience too!

    I'm missing all of you, too, and can't wait to have the time to come back and visit. And to my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving :-)

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  24. At the risk of repeating myself, I do admire anyone who can put themselves through the torment that is NaNo. Well done for getting this far and you're right not to go back and edit now. I once changed an entire novel from present tense to past, then realised I preferred the present tense and finally decided not to submit it as it wasn't strong enough. All those wasted hours!

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  25. Woohoo! That's wonderful that you're on target! My NaNo Novel is hopefully for the long term. I guess we'll see!

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  26. I am struggling with that pushing through with going back to change things! Way to be on target.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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Please comment - I love a good chat!