You may recall that I recently wrote a post about whether I should sign up for national novel writing month. Well, in case you were wondering(!), I did sign up and ten days in to November, I have 30,000 words written.
I got off to a flying start last weekend. My husband took our youngest son to Legoland and no offence to them, of course, but it was so quiet at home. The girls were happy to relax indoors and get on with their own thing. They caught up on reading, watched the odd film or two and we walked up to town to make the most of the lovely sunshine. In between times I powered on and my story just flowed.
It gave me the head start I needed because I wasn’t sure how much time I had during the week and it also allowed me to calm down and not panic so much about whether this whole project was going to be achievable.
Last week I had so much fun with my writing. Ok, so it meant getting up at 6am every morning and power typing, but luckily I was able to get the words out of my head. My character went to London and then on to Paris and by the time I had finished doing all the research, I felt as though I had been there with him too!
A useful tool I discovered last week was Google Street View. Anywhere I wanted to go, I typed in the name of, found the address and looked it up on google maps. When switching to street view I could almost transport myself there. It is interactive too, which meant that I could change the view by either clicking on the image or moving the yellow man along on a smaller map that sits at the bottom left of the page.
It realy helped me get a sense of the places I put my character in to. I was able to see for myself what the surrounding area looked like and how I could transport him from A to B. The only thing missing was a sense of the surrounding smells!
I reference real-life places and streets in Camden Town and Paris in this story and I hope this will give it that all important sense of place. Short of going there myself (which would be lovely), this was the next best alternative.
At the end of the week I stalled dramatically. My character had to leave Paris and head to Barcelona (well he didn’t have to, but that was how it panned out) and I wasn’t sure how to get him there. I’m not just talking in terms of transport here, but how it would fit in to the storyline. I had to take a step back from writing this weekend in order to plan how I could move the story forward. It highlighted some problem areas early on and it made me realise there are huge gaps to be filled. It was difficult to resist the urge to go back and amend them.
That’s not what this exercise is about though. I found a way to get him to his next destination and ploughed on with the writing. What I have learned about NanoWrimo is the importance of getting the story down. It is crude and has no flesh or bones whatsoever, but as a fellow writer described it this morning, this month is about creating the skeleton of your story.
It will be hard to maintain the level of enthusiasm that I had last week, but hitting 30,000 words showed me that I can do this. I have stuck roughly to my original plan and the story is still going in the right direction. I can already see the end in sight.
How is your writing going this month?