NaNoWriMo Week 2

Basically, it’s not gone well.

I’m writing on paper, so I have no idea where I’m up to, which is not the most encouraging feeling. I tend to underestimate how much I’ve written, leading me to believe that I’m doing far worse than I am. I didn’t write anything at all on Tuesday.

Also, I live in a world of lab reports, presentations, cooking, ironing, job applications, washing up and the occasional meal at Nando’s. These are all inescapable lifey things that I cannot ignore just because it’s November.

My dreams have been glorious. And third-person. Last night I dreamt about two brothers, who had taken each other’s identity before one of them was killed in a freak accident, leaving the younger brother stuck with the identity of the older brother. Many years later, he finds out about a mad old aunt who is rich and dying, and will naturally leave all her money to the older brother. Meanwhile, the older brother still has a presence in the real world in the form of a small dog who can communicate telepathically with his brother but nobody else. The dog-brother is unaware, therefore, that he (and in turn his children) would have inherited the money, and the living brother needs to make a moral decision.

Unfortunately, this rather original supernatural tale set in the 1920s English countryside is not my novel. My novel is far more trite, unoriginal and obvious, despite the fact I put a lot more thought into it. I’ll just have to save it for next year.

I don’t want to give up, but I may have to accept the fact that completing this novel is not a feasible reality. I am just busy, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Except there are moments. Odd little pieces of day I can tap into. Waiting for things.

That’s why I’m on paper. My laptop is the size of well, my lap, and seeing as I’ve already got one of those I don’t need to be carrying another one around. Whereas my notebook (papery thing, not electricky thing) fits snugly into my bag, no problem. Yes, my word count is all wrong, but is that what matters?

My target, in words, was 50k to win, and 60k to win well. At 8304 words, I know I’d written 55 sides of handwritten A5. I know I’ve now written 66. My estimate, therefore, is 9965 words, around 5000 under par.

But that doesn’t matter. As long as I keep trying, that’s the main thing. I’m eventually going to type it up, but for now I’m sticking to pen and ink, and estimating 150.981818181 words per side. Which, although conveniently near a nice round 150, I will ignore. I’m not the sort of person who rounds numbers to make them easier.

My equivalent target for 50,000 words is 332 pages. To make 60k, I’d have to make that 398. I don’t know if it’s doable, and frankly I don’t care. It’s my target, and if I miss it, I’ll still have done alright.

I’ve never got anywhere near writing a novel. I love a bit of dialogue, but hate moving the story along. I’m a self-conscious narrator, despite how often I love to drivel on about my own experiences via a blog. I’ve been writing the same novel since I was ten years old, and due to the sheer number of revisions, narrative voice shifts, main character changes, deleted scenes and, on occasion, major premise alterations, it’s no nearer completion than it was on the day ten years ago I announced to my family, seated on my grandmother’s patio, that I was going to be a writer.

I didn’t realise then just how right I was.


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