I haven’t posted a NaNoWriMo update since Day Four, but honestly, there hasn’t been very much to report. I’ve done NaNoWriMo so many times now that I’m familiar with the process, and have just been steaming ahead.
But no NaNoWriMo experience is the same. As with previous ones, I’ve found myself breaking away from a linear path, skipping ahead to later parts and then going back to the ones I didn’t finish. Even doing that, though, I’ve spent several days hanging around the same area in the story – that being Princess Fortunata’s different training exercises to become an assassin, which take place over a period of a few years. I was still in this region when I passed the halfway mark of 25,000 words, though the story itself was nowhere near its halfway point.
I’ve been able to draw from real-life emotions and experiences: when another character describes a gruelling field exercise, their feelings are partly inspired by how I felt climbing a challenging mountain in Guatemala. And when I wrote the scene in which Fortunata crosses the line and kills somebody for the first time, I was left feeling pretty grim for her. I’m particularly enjoying writing the conversations between characters; they come fairly easily, and I like learning more about these people as I write. Uncharacteristically for me, though, I’m having a hard time with the action as it’s difficult to set it up: just this evening, I spent a lot of time trying to think just how the characters would go into a particular action scene. Hopefully once the scene itself gets going, it will be easier.
On Saturday, my regional group had our 5K challenge – aiming for 5000 words (three days’ worth) in one day. It was difficult for me as I was busy all morning, but I managed to fit some disciplined writing sessions around my responsibilities – plus we took turns to host write-in sessions to encourage each other. By the end of the day, I had 5058 words, my second best NaNoWriMo day ever! (The first being the 6505 word finale of my 2010 project.)
Such an effort did leave me drained though. As of now, I’m on 32,381 words, a few days ahead of schedule. But it’s been hard going tonight, and from previous experience, I do often slow down and struggle a bit around this point in the proceedings. But I’m in a healthy position, so I’m still confident of making it to 50,000 words in good time!