Writing Tips

[Nanowrimo 2019] Week 2

Remember how I said last week that the new Nanowrimo website is great for catching up? Yup, as you can see from the gif above, I’ve almost hit the daily word count goal so far over the last 10 days or so.

That isn’t to say that the writing process itself has been great. Rather, there’s been quite a fair amount of slog. I estimate that I can possibly use perhaps only 25% of what I’ve written so far. Writing time has been extremely finicky – there’s been a lot of experimenting with what I can or cannot do thanks to the surgery, and there was also that day when just hitting the bare minimum was harsh.

After reaching a point in which writing about the story my character was reading was more interesting than the actual writing itself, I decided to just restart the entire thing. And this turned out to be much more interesting and easier to write. Things I learnt:

  1. My character has a very specific personality
    I know the kind of things I want my MC to go through, and I already have a glimpse of the people she keeps around her. The surprising part of it is that she has just told me her father is still alive, and we are still debating on whether he’s really the nice guy she remembered or if the time spent away from family has dehumanised him. There’s a lot to explore, and this isn’t even covering the reason why she ran away in the first place.
  2. The place where we began has a personality
    Turns out old buildings that have been bewitched and bespelled have a sort of sentient personality. Writing the openings and the way she interacted with the building was fun, and I look forward to her going back there again, though because I am a consequential style of writer, this may take some time.
  3. Establishing things based on previous knowledge
    Despite the fact that I kinda hated the way the previous story went about, I’m actually very happy with the trivia and nuggets we dropped earlier. As they say, you can’t revise a blank page, and even though I will be throwing away a lot of words, the knowledge I gained writing those is very useful.
  4. What is routine?
    I thought I had already settled on a routine but that turned out to be false. Instead I try to write whenever I can, using sprints to get started. Yesterday’s long word count was due to me sitting down and just writing out a scene that played out in slow motion before my afternoon nap – I didn’t expect to write that quickly to the point that after I’d hit word count, it was only 3pm in the afternoon. I had fully intended on leaving it as is, but it turned out I had a bit of fuel left after dinner, so I kicked out another 1k words to almost make that day’s actual wordcount.
  5. Music makes a whole lot of difference
    At the office I use to listen to those “chill lofi beats” as they’re great for just zoning out and relaxing. However when it comes to creative writing I’ve since learnt that they’re good for getting me relaxed, but not that great when it comes to writing. So far I’ve been jumping between Assassin’s Creed’s and since they announced, the entire Aquarion OST. There’s something really different about writing to an anime soundtrack instead of a generic cafe style.

And then I took a much needed break yesterday while writing this and broke my streak whoops. Turned out to be a good thing – while I’m still not happy with parts of today’s writing, I’m pretty happy with where the novel is going.

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