NaNoWriMo is as hard as it sounds!

If you think writing the first draft of a novel in a month sounds hard, well it is. Especially when you’re juggling family and work responsibilities.

Day 6 is here, I’m just edging on 6,000 words written, and I’m already three days behind in terms of word count. But that’s the downside.

Nanowrimo progress

The upside is, I’m 6000 words into the first draft of my new novel WarRunner! I’m right at the end of the first chapter, and the story is finally starting to flow.

I’ve made life very difficult for myself, having chosen to write in the present tense; something I’ve never attempted before. And writing an historical fiction in the present tense is probably the very hardest genre to write in the present tense. I like to make things hard. I am also finding it very challenging to write this novel in a time period I am only begining to become familiar with. While the historical facts are quite clear in my mind and well-researched, I’m finding it very hard to add the descriptive colour and detail I am used to writing. How do I describe an Athenian agora? What do the Attika mountains look like? And what does it feel like to descend one of these early in the morning? I’m having to make some broad guesses, and leave a lot of what I’m writing very generic and open to a thorough revision. But, that’s the nature of a first draft.

I’ve also struggled quite a lot with not revising. And I have slipped back a few times. But I’m getting better at it, and I’m getting quicker, especially as the story becomes more interesting and the characters become more defined.

So it’s onwards, with the very real possibility I’m not going to get anywhere near the target of 50,000 words by the end of the month. But even if I only get half as much, at least I’m still half way there, right? It’s happening. But for now it’s happening slowly.

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  1. Good to hear you’re up and going. The rule is no revision. I have struggled with revising in previous years, but I have not been tempted this year. I have gone back to add bits, that’s it. First person, present tense is interesting because all the descriptions of the world my characters are in are subject to the world experience of my 17 year old main character. So he might describe something as blueish, or in vague terms or be completely wrong about what he thinks something is.

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