Lucie’s NaNoWriMo challenge


Well, what can I say, I must be mad.

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For anyone who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it is a month long writing challenge that takes place every year throughout the month of November. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the aim is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. The trick is to switch off your inner editor – and preferably your mobile phone, house phone, doorbell, forget about your daily chores, any errands you need to run or children you need to feed – and just concentrate on getting the word count down. This challenge isn’t about getting an uber polished 50k down on paper – or in Word – to be ready to send off on the 1st December. No. It’s simply about getting words down to have something to work with. What you will end up with in December is a complete pocket novel, or part of a full length novel, that you can go on to edit, edit, edit until your hearts content. It is a great challenge to motivate. It is a great challenge to hit deadlines. It is a great challenge to try something new, completely out of your comfort zone. And if you do decide to try writing that YA book and then in December, after reading it back, you think, ‘actually, I don’t think this is for me,’ then all you have lost is a month. Onwards and upwards and onto the next thing.

So, yes, as of tomorrow, I will be embarking on my first attempt of NaNoWriMo in a bid to get the first 50k words of my new novel, Love Hurts, down. I think it will come under Romantic Thriller although I’ve never really written anything like this before so I may have to wait until I’ve completed the first draft before I try to place it within a genre. It’s definitely romance, though – what else! 🙂

The other thing that I am attempting for the first time with this novel, is the way in which I am going about writing it. I am normally a ‘pantster’ when I write. For those who are new to this writing term, a pantster is someone who writes as they go along. They may have a basic outline of what the story is about, but they pretty much have an idea and begin writing, letting the characters take them along the way and seeing where the story takes them. The other type of writer, the type that I shall be for the time being, is a ‘plotter’. A plotter gets the idea, drafts up a plot outline and works to it. Yes the characters may take them on a different journey, but there is a clear plot outline to the start, middle and end of the story, before the writer has even written the first word.

A snapshot of my desk, mid-plotting

I am completely new to this way of writing but I thought I would try it for Love Hurts. So I have spent the last two weeks, in preparation of NaNoWriMo, drafting up quite an in depth plot outline. I know exactly what happens to kick off the story, I know how it skips along and I know how it ends.

It’ll probably all change by week two as my heroine will no doubt trot off on her own little mission, but as it stands, I have the complete story outlined – I just need to write the damned thing! That’s where my writing challenge comes in. I’m hoping it will help focus me into getting the first draft completed by the new year so that I can send it off to the NWS very early next year. (If I get in!)

I’m not exactly getting the easiest of starts to the challenge either, as it starts smack bang in the middle of half term! Lovely! So I am having to do nighttime writing again – which I do enjoy, and I feel very creative at 1am, but it really does take it out of me. But it’s only for the first four days of the challenge and then I can go back to normal routine. And I’m sure there are hundreds of others out the whose only writing time is 1am.

I have also taken it upon myself this time round, to create a little playlist for this book. I’ve heard others say that they listen to certain songs or music whilst they write to help connect with the emotions. So I thought i’d try this too. I’m all for trying new things. I probably shouldn’t be trying all these new things at once, on one writing project, but hey! If it works, then brilliant. So here’s a little taster of a few of the more recent songs added to my playlist…..can you tell I was plotting a sad few scenes?

Leona Lewis – Trouble

Avril Lavigne – When You’re Gone

REM – Everybody Hurts

Shakespeares Sister- Stay

Leona Lewis – Run

Christina Aguilera – Hurt

And I want to just quickly say a huge thank you to my lovely friends, Kayleigh, Emma D, Emma P and Hannah, for knowing me well enough to not question my random text of ‘I need sad songs that will make me cry’ and just unload lots of ideas. It takes special friends to understand your crazy, weird and always random texts when writing – and only one of them being a writer themselves – so thanks girls for understanding my strangeness and never questioning it or ignoring my texts. (And if you ever did – I know where you all live! Mwahahaha!!)

So that just leaves me with the huge task of writing the first 50k words of Love Hurts. Wish me luck! And if any of you want to get a decent conversation out of me – wait until December!

Love Lucie x

P.S my name on the NaNoWriMo website is Lucie_Wheeler for anyone who wants to add me. Good luck everyone!

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20 thoughts on “Lucie’s NaNoWriMo challenge

  1. Love the plotting – I am definitely a plotter although have found sometimes the characters then go off and do their own thing!

    Good luck Lucie!

    • Thanks Sue!

      Yes, I am expecting my characters to go off on a whim and leave me trailing behind, desperately trying to keep up! But at least I sound like I know what I’m doing for the moment 🙂

      Lucie xx

  2. Good luck, you’ll be fine! You’ll get on a roll and those 50K words will simply emerge. LOVE the post its ~ that’s my kinda way!!! While I’m not doing the official NaNo, I have accepted the Romaniacs challenge and will aim for 30K. No mean feat with everything going on in November for me but I’ll give it a shot. So here’s three cheers for you and rock on, you can do it! XX

    • Thanks so much, Nicky!

      50k in 30 days is so daunting but I need to pull focus so this is my way of doing it. I got the ‘post-it’ idea from the very lovely Julie Cohen a while back. Although the post it’s I had weren’t big enough for the in depth scene break down, so I improvised and used coloured cardboard! Does the trick!

      Best of luck to you on your personal challenge! We’ll drink to it on the 1st Dec!

      Love Lucie xx

    • Thanks Shaz! Ill be sure to update everyone on my progress throughout and then the final count at the end.

      Love Lucie xx

  3. Haha. Yup, you are right: you must be mad!! But then you’re a ro-maniac so it goes with the territory!! I’m in the NONONONO camp on this. But good luck. I shall cheer you on frnm the sidelines and feed you digital cake when you flag!

    • Haha, yes you’re right, I’m living upto the Romaniac name! I look forward to receiving your digital cake – I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake though. Can I put a request in for Victoria sponge?

      Love Lucie xx

  4. Good luck, Lucie. You sound very well prepared and, as you say, it’s a brilliant opportunity to try something a bit different. I’ll be cheering you on and look forward to getting updates xx

    • Thank you, Elle! I really appreciate all your support. Hope you are well.

      Love Lucie xx

  5. Good luck Lucie! I’m signed up for NaNo this year too and am both excited and terrified. Like you the family are home for mid-term so it’s going to be a little difficult getting the words down for the first few days – and what about the weekends after that? But we’ll do it, somehow! I’m going to add your name to mine on NanNo which by the way is soulsister. BTW I’m hoping and praying that I manage to make it into the hallowed members hall of RNA in January 2013. Fingers crossed!

    • Hi Edith,

      Thanks for stoping by. Yes, I know! The weekends are going to be a hard slog but we’ll do it! Just have to try and write more on good writing days.
      Best of luck to you, too and my fingers are crossed for you for the RNA!

      Love Lucie x

    • Thanks Jean!

      Unfortunately not. These first few days will be nighttime writing as its half term. Roll in next week! 🙂

      Lucie x

  6. I loved the plot board. I’m trying it out for my next one. Only about three cards on it at the moment. Hope you manage the NaNoWriMo challenge! Good Luck! Happy writing!

    • Thanks Rhoda. I got the plot idea from the lovely Julie Cohen. It really helps!

      Lucie x

  7. Go for it! Twice I’ve signed up, twice I’ve not written a jot. Third time’s a charm ; ) Good luck to us all! Nice music selection. Check out Johnny Cash’s rendition of NIN’s ‘Hurt,’ – it’s a melancholy beauty.

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