I’m suffering from a brain freeze and I haven’t even had a Slushy drunk incredibly quickly. Today I finished NaNoWriMo.

I have now partly written a novel called Riven which I placed in the horror/thriller category when I signed up for NaNo. Interestingly enough, the book has turned out to be less about werewolves and more about life.

For those of you who wonder if it’s possible to write 50,000 words in 30 days that aren’t just 50,000 words of crap – the answer is YES, but you need to plan.

I have done NaNo twice before. In 2007 I wrote something which was readable but nothing special. I didn’t really think about the plot beforehand or even consider the characters. Last year I abandoned the whole thing half way through. I wrote about 15,000 words and gave up.

This year I planned the whole thing. Plot, characters, setting, everything. It made it much easier to write. I didn’t have to miss a few days figuring out which direction to take or spend hours thinking of names for characters and so on.

They tell you at NaNo HQ that if you want to succeed in writing 50,000 words in 30 days that you have to write 1,667 words per day. If you can write more than that – fantastic. If you write less consistently you get to the stage where you can’t catch up.

It’s tiring writing that much per day. It is an incredible exercise in self-discipline. Along with working and housework and helping with homework it leaves you feeling pretty fried. I am not sure I can actually string a coherent sentence together at the moment. I have completely neglected my blog and all the blogs in my reader.

So I’m going to sleep and recharge. And let my brain wind down.

And hope that this time my 50,000 words turns into something more.

27 thoughts on “BRAIN FREEEEZE

  1. Well done you! Sounds like a good idea, too, to give yourself a break now. It will be interesting to see what you do next with it.


  2. Amazing.
    are you a fast writer? I’m thinking that at nearly 1, 700 words a day — i’m not sure I could do it.

    Any advice?


  3. Well done Selma. I am seriously impressed. I do hope you are pleased with what you have written when you have had time to read it back or put a bit of space between yourself and it and return to it.


  4. Congratulations! Getting through those 50,000 words is never particularly easy, but it sure feels good when you’ve crossed the finish line.

    Planning ahead is what saved my last shred of sanity, although new people kept popping in and demanding names, ranks, personalities, oh, and a fight scene or two.

    This year was hard, but I hit the mark. I’m not at the end of the story yet, though. Claire may have committed unforgivable murder, and there is demon trapped in a library.


  5. Woo-hoo! You’re the queen! πŸ™‚ I’m doing two backflips and a cartwheel in your honor.

    So do you like planning ahead, or was it just easier? Will you do that in the future?

    Hmmm… they say 3rd time’s a charm. Maybe I’ll make it next yr. Sometimes I think, “Isn’t all that housework/homework/job stuff enough? Why do I need to write too?” Then I remember, and torture myself anyway. πŸ˜€ Congrats again – so happy for you!


  6. great job, selma! my own attempts at nanowrimo were pretty much fails, but it did wind up my discipline which has assisted greatly with ‘richie’. hope that ‘riven’ can bloom to the fullness that yr looking for…


  7. Hurray! Nicely done, Sel! That makes total sense to create a sort of story structure, and then bring it to life through the creative spark. Rest up. …very proud of you indeed. xoxo


  8. Do they give you help to publish your work if you win?

    I have two travel books and a novel that I started but never completed … maybe I need a push. But, I don’t want to get into an ‘If you don’t write, you don’t eat’ situation … you can usually tell a writer who’s in that position, because the desperation kind of comes across.


  9. OH HOW WONDERFUL!!! Congrats Sel, I am soooo proud of you. What an accomplishment. Now, what’s the next step? πŸ™‚

    Bravo, again and again!!! G


  10. Congats Selma! I joined NaNoWriMo last night. I will be working on a collection of short stories, and trying to compile them in a coherent fashion. There is a lot of good advice there. I don’t see how you kept the blog going and wrote 50k words. Astonishing , really.


  11. Yayayaya, congratulations. You are one of the very few who actually made it. Seems to happen every year. Sleep is the best thing now, for sure. I look forward to seeing the book! With a cover! For sale!


  12. And you blogged too! Well done Selma!!! Does it feel like you’ve crossed over that psychological barrier of writing and submitting/publishing?


  13. SUE:
    I’m determined to do something positive with it. I’ve been messing about for too long!

    I’m not really that fast a writer but I do think about the story a lot throughout the day so I guess I’m always shaping it in my head. I have found that my blog has helped me a lot with the process of writing a novel. It has helped me learn what to do with ideas and themes and so on; how to develop them. It is an invaluable tool in that way!

    So far I’m pleased. I guess the test will be what happens when I write the next 30,000 words. Yikes!

    It’s definitely a putting-the-feet-up moment. Thank goodness for that!

    Congratulations to you too. I can’t wait to hear more about your novel, especially the part where the demon is trapped in the library. Nice touch!

    The planning made all the difference. I’d recommend it to anyone because it allows you the freedom just to write. It really wasn’t as much of a trial as it has been in previous years, so I’m grateful for that. And I didn’t have to drink as much coffee.

    I am seriously impressed by your backflips πŸ˜€


  14. JASON:
    I’m really glad it helped with ‘Richie.’ I agree with you about the discipline part. That has been a boon for me. It is nice to know that if I apply myself I can get the things I want to do done!

    Thanks so much, hon. I have been enjoying a good rest this weekend. We’ve had beautiful weather!

    They don’t help you get it published but this year they are offering a bound copy of your first draft. Hopefully, I will finish it in time to take advantage of the offer!

    I can’t believe it, either. I must be a glutton for punishment!

    Now I just have to finish it. Thanks for all your kind wishes along the way!

    I am very excited to hear about your stories. Good on you. Please keep me posted on how you progress with them!

    Aww, thanks so much. Your support is so wonderful!

    It does. It’s a weird thing but there has certainly been a change in my perspective. Onward and upward!

    There were so many posts I wanted to write. I just ran out of time. I’ll just have to write them now, instead!


  15. Great! Now leave it to sit for a month or so and come back and start getting it ready to send out. Sounds interesting -philosophical werefolves….hmmmm…..!!!


  16. Hi LAURI,
    That is great advice. I have to let it settle for a bit. Who knows what’ll happen after that, but I’m up for it. It’s time!


  17. I did sort of plan as well but somehow along the way, I ended up changing the storyline which I think that’s what make me behind but at last I did finish my 50,000 words, yeh!

    congrats on finishing!


  18. Yes, this can definitely be done. I once wrote 7 novels in one year. Admittedly, a couple of years later, re-reading them, I ripped them all up. But since then I’ve written 8. Don’t know about quality, etc, but each one was written within a month. It’s the only way I can do them without losing interest.


  19. That is an incredible effort Sel. Well done.

    I have been spending a lot of time outside while the weather is mild so I have also neglected my blog and those I read. Sometimes we have to make room for other things so don’t be too hard on yourself and yes, give those fingers a break for a while πŸ™‚


  20. LISSA:
    I’m so glad you finished. I hope you’re pleased with it. It is quite exhausting to write that much quite quickly. Good on you!!

    WOW. That is amazing. I have written a few novels and each one has taken me up to 2 years.. You must be a record breaker of some sort πŸ˜€

    I’ve been doing the same. It is nice to take advantage of the lovely weather. It also lifts the spirits to be outside!


  21. Hi MELEAH,
    Thank you so much. πŸ˜€

    Hi ROSHAN,
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You work extremely long hours. 3 chapters is better than no chapters. You’ll find the time someday.


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