On the road again: adventures in NaNoWriMo

I’ve been meaning to write this post for at least a week now, but life and more particularly events and book launches have got in the way. But now here I am, and having got my words for the day done, I have a bit of space to talk about NaNoWriMo. Or NaNoDicto, as it’s become for me this year, since I’m dictating my project.

Doing book 1 of the series in September-October proved much easier than I had imagined. Chapter lengths remained pretty consistent, and overall I stuck to the outline I’d developed with only a few modifications.

That was All At Sea, book 1 of the Maisie Frobisher Mysteries. Book 2 – as yet untitled – has other ideas (although I am still very much enjoying the process).

First of all, the weather isn’t as good. I have gone out for a walk in the rain quite a few times now, and managing an umbrella and a phone isn’t the easiest thing in the world. The dictation mittens I made in October are really proving their worth as winter sets in. Another factor is that the days are shorter, so I have less time to get my words in during daylight hours.

The other thing is that while book 1 behaved itself, book 2 is turning out to be less compliant. Some chapters are much longer than others, and will have to either be split in two and rewritten in parts, or cut down. One reason for this may be that while my protagonist was on a ship in the first book, with a limited number of locations and characters, in book 2 she has all of Mumbai/Bombay (as it was then) to explore. It doesn’t help that she’s just got on a train…

In the book’s defence, I began it with a skeleton outline of which I only managed to flesh out the first third before getting started. Blame that research reading… I have a full outline now, and the book is more or less keeping to heel, but it feels as if it’s been a much bumpier journey so far than book 1.

The main thing, though, is that while the draft will need work, I am pleased with it, and I’m on track to get 50,000 words written by the end of the month. Gotta get my NaNoWriMo badge!

Stats so far:

  • Days: 16
  • Days when writing has taken place: 15
  • Average per day: 1832
  • Chapters: 12
  • Words: 29322
  • Miles travelled (me): 50.4
  • Miles travelled (Maisie): not sure. She’s mostly been trundling around in a rickshaw, but now she’s heading across India on a train!
  • Viscounts eaten: 1 (largely replaced by rock cakes as made by my son in food tech class)
  • Likelihood of shenanigans: fair to middling

Stay tuned for at least one more update before the end of the month. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, how are you getting on? Let me know with a comment!

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