Wednesday 6 November 2019

(vol 6) CHAPTER 05: “NaNoWriMo 2019 – Day 6”

A lot of years that I do this, my first NaNo post falls within just a few days of starting, so there isn’t always much to talk about. Well today I’ve got almost a week of NaNo’ing beneath me and it’s going well.

Let’s see what I’ve been up to since the beginning of the month.

Day 1 – 2169 words
Well I do like to make things difficult, but this is the first time I’ve done something so extreme for a NaNo project.

Months ago I started a writing project that I liked enough that I decided to step away and save it for November. When October rolled around, I got to planning and prepping as much as I could. I was all ready to go and looking forward to where this year’s adventure would take me.

Then something happened.

I woke up on November 1st, thinking forward to my lunch break when I’d finally get fingers to keyboard and start writing. I had breakfast. I got dressed. I said goodbye to family, and I walked out the door. I walked to the end of my road.

And then a completely new idea for a novel popped into my head.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I struggle to let ideas go. When it happens, I didn’t consider it as a replacement, but something else I would look at in the future. So, I rolled it around in my head, discovered characters, explored settings, and found a pretty decent plot. By the time I got to work about 25 minutes later, I knew this was what I wanted to work on, and I flipped. And this story that appeared from nowhere on the first morning of NaNoWriMo 2019 is what I am still working on six days later.

With the working title BUNKER, I found my main character on the edge of a clearing, rifle in hand, waiting. I kept writing and gave him a father and a reason to be stood around. Then other people showed up. Then bad things showed up. And it all worked together to enrich this new world with its odd rules. 

Day 2 – 1859 words
Keeping with the free-flowing nature of the project, I sat down to write on the Saturday morning, wind and rain lashing at the house, and randomly decided to have BUNKER told from two points of view. So, after bringing a small group of people back to Bunker 24, one of these characters became my second point of view for alternating chapters. I don’t know if I’ll keep it going, or if it will survive the rewrites, or if it’s a good idea, but right now, almost a week in, its working very nicely. It builds the world easier having the perspective from one character from inside the Bunker, and one from the outside world. They’ve led very different lives up to this point.

Day 3 – 1689 words
Sunday was a busy day for me, and I only had the morning to produce anything. The chapter was a little bit of a slog to get through as it was mostly just scene setting, but the world I’ve created is paper thin in parts right now. So, there’s very little description in my description.

One good thing that did come out of if was the evolution of the main characters father. A lot of my NaNo first drafts have very 2D characters. They all sound the same and are limited in what they bring. They are mostly place holders. And that’s especially true of BUNKER which was born so suddenly that I’m still finding my footing. But when the fathers look and voice suddenly developed into a fully-fledged character halfway through a paragraph, it felt good. His dialogue and attitude immediately changed. I could hear him speak with every word I wrote for him. 

Day 4 – 1710 words
Another tough day to write as it was an inset day for my son’s school meaning writing wasn’t going to happen until the other half returned and I could sneak off for a bit.

This was also another day of struggling to get the setting down on page. It feels a little more like characters are rehearsing on an empty stage for now, as the sets are finished yet. I’m hoping to draw up an actual plan for the Bunker at some point over the weekend. This way I’ll know where everything is in relation to everything else.

On the plus side, the scene was a pivotal moment in the story as the first signs of actual conflict are revealed. I’m starting to picture the second and third acts now, so I’m beginning to put pieces in play that will carry our characters in the necessary direction of a finale. Of course, the beauty of NaNo is that it might all change again by the time I get there.

So the secondary character got revealed a little more but is still a bit of a mystery (more to the reader now, less to me). And I got to write the main characters father once more so that was a pleasure.

Day 5 – 1783 words
I managed to blag a late lunch (3:00-4:00) in the hopes that the canteen would be nice and quiet. It usually is. But when I grabbed my laptop and headed in, it was anything but. Add to that people thinking I was working instead of lunching, yet still talking to me about IT issues when I was doing my best to look busy, and I didn’t hit the 1000 words I can normally get done in my lunch break. 

Still, I carried on, getting down what I could. This scene was all about loss and is close to the end of the first part before a six month skip to part 2.

I got home, stuck on Jack Ryan, and headed towards my daily target (and a little bit extra). I’m already coming up with things that will cause a big rewrite of all that has come before as character and motivation seeps to the surface, but I’m looking forward to it. 

Stephen King always says that you find a story like a fossil I the ground. It’s already there, and you have to go gentle and see how much of it you’re able to reveal. I’ve never felt like that before until now. I finally get it. And I really like what I’m finding.

It’s all coming along nicely. For an idea that isn’t even a week old yet, it feels like I planned this one during October instead of the other project (which isn’t dead, just been moved down the list).

On a side note, I’ve been going through the NaNo forums a fair bit in the last few days, more than I normally would. The reason for this is I’ve found I’m not the only one who is having issues with the new look NaNo website. I’ve been looking forward to how the redesign was going to turn out, but so far, it’s been bad experiences for me and a lot of others. And one of the negatives from the overhaul is the loss of people friends list. As it stands today, I currently only have one Writer Buddy on my list (hello Liz 😊).

If anyone wants to add me, my username over at NaNo is just Brian S Creek. I’ve always struggled less when writing alongside buddies.

And let me know in the comments how your NaNo 2019 is going. Are you planning or pansting. And how are you finding the new look website for 2019?

Now, back to writing. My day 6 word count currently stands at 25.

See you in seven.

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