NaNo progress–see how I did that?

OK, let’s call it NaNo Lite, this journey I’m on.

What’s NaNo? NaNoWriMo, if we’re being formal, is a kooky little challenge, whereby one writes a 50,000-word novel draft in the month of November.

Yeah. That.

You see, this past weekend was the first weekend (before monsoon season returned in force) that felt like fall. Crisp, sunny, sweater weather. I tossed a baseball with my kid, twice, and it was like a Hallmark card. Forgive me if I couldn’t hole myself up 24/7 in my office to bang away on my keyboard, but I’ve written before about the importance of living to writing that is not-so-sucky. Yep, dreams.

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My wonderful neighbor’s Little Free Library and bench provide a good spot to stop and smell the book glue.

Another excuse for my lackluster NaNo progress: this manuscript I’m beginning is historical (in parts), which requires research, which is SLOW, but not un-fun. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been researching Finland–it’s Winter War (which began in 1939) and its culture (then and now), which I believe would have slapped me hard had I wasted my glorious fall weekend indoors–NaNo or not.

There are method actors, right? I think I need to be the next method writer. (Just imagine how clever I just thought I was coming up with that idea; until I googled and found this, and this, and this.) Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

However, speaking of sun, why not, in addition to getting inside my characters’ heads, get outside in an environment like that experienced by my characters. In short, this novel may require me to brave some colder temps this fall–maybe even some cold-weather swimming (up to my knees, perhaps!). In doing so, I hope to find my sisu (a Finnish term for stick-to-it-iveness, fortitude, guts) and maybe also find this novel.

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My ride to my outdoors writing spot. I know, right? Notebooks and special pen (first draft is always longhand!) in the basket.

You want numbers? NaNo is a numbers game. Well, I admit I started with several thousand words prior to Nov. 1 and have hit 7,115. A good chunk of it I wrote outside, Sunday, using up that extra hour given to us by the Fall Back gods here in the U.S.

I’ve also finished reading one book on Finnish culture, and the pertinent parts of another on the Winter War against the Soviets (which is all kinds of David vs. Goliath awe-inspiring). As I research, I keep adding books to my TBR: a book on Finnish fairy tales; a translation of the Finnish epic poem, the Kalevala; a book about the Lottas, the female version of the Finnish Defense Corps. (Special shout-out to my Finnish blog followers (of which I believe I have two!))

And thanks to all for sticking with me on this blogging journey and NaNo detour. Here’s hoping the destination is sunny.

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My view from my outdoor writing spot. I’m not complaining; well, my butt got a little cold sitting at a picnic table, but still…

Are you doing NaNo? How’s it going? What’s your word count? How many research books have you added to your TBR since Nov. 1?

 

 

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15 thoughts on “NaNo progress: or, the method writer’s lament

    1. I think NaNo is tough for historical fiction writing. Also, for me, I write from front to back, not a scene here and a scene there. I think NaNo seems especially good for writers who like the little contests and check-ins and collective writing sprints, and that’s not me. I am using the NaNo idea to make myself do some work on my new manuscript every single day this month. Isn’t that library the sweetest?! My boys and I make use of it quite often!

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      1. Yes, especially – any research heavy writing would make NaNo more daunting, even with thorough preparation. There will always be one more thing that needs confirmation! Right now I do need to impose some better discipline, however… I’ve been very inconsistent in my writing habits! Back to work!

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  1. Good luck. I just cannot handle Nano. I usually use everyone else’s energy as inspiration to at least get SOMETHING done with my own writing. Your neighbor built a great library. I need to look into making one of those next summer for my neighborhood.

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    1. A NaNo succubus then? Nothing wrong with feeding off the NaNo energy. Exactly what I’m doing. Since I didn’t actually sign up, don’t go in for writing buddies and writing sprints and all that goes along with it. But I do go in for lighting a fire under myself to actually write something on my new MS every day. There’s no way I’ll make it to half of 50K, but a quarter might be do-able. Yeah, the Little Free Library is wonderful–and so is my neighbor. It’s awesome to have in the neighborhood, whether you register it with the site or not. Happy sorta-NaNo to you, and good luck with your stuff!

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      1. Ha! No, I know you’re a guy. That just shows how ignorant I am of horror, doesn’t it!? Vampire then. Yeah, I’d love to use NaNo as an excuse to not have 20 people at my table for T-giving, but I don’t think it would fly.

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  2. Have to say I adored that free library too. You must live in a quiet area because in alot of places the books would have all been taken and the cabinet destroyed. Good luck with Nano, the thought of writing 50000 words plus the research in one month scares me. Trying to balance that with life and work.. well done you. Good luck with it all!!

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    1. Yes, we live in a little village of 700, where everybody knows everybody–so I don’t think anyone would dare harm the Little Free Library! Thank you for the NaNo wishes. I’ll be lucky if I feed off the NaNo energy enough to reach a quarter of the 50,000 goal, but even that’ll be more than I started with! Oh, and at the moment, there is no balance! Thanks for stopping by!

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      1. I’m sure committing yourself to nano is a lot of work no matter how many words you manage. The little library is a lovely idea. Not sure how many us live in my city, there must be over 1000 people in my local area. Hope you find a little balance soon. Good luck with it all..

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