Well, I have exciting news, everyone.
I finished the first draft of the WIP I’ve been writing since last spring!
I now have 84k words of a messy, inconsistent, cringeworthy first draft that needs piles and piles of work before it’s even remotely ready to show to another human being…but it’s the first step, and that’s something to be proud of. Finishing this WIP ended up being a lot harder than I expected – I was stuck on the same two chapters for almost two months, and stumbling to the finish line a few days ago felt like ending a months-long marathon. Right now, I feel more relieved than anything else.
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about this WIP because we have other things to get to. My plan for now is to set it aside for a month or so and let it settle before I return for revisions. (And oh boy, those revisions are gonna be intense.)
In the meantime, I have NaNoWriMo to think about! More on that in a bit…
If you’re curious about this WIP I just finished, I’ve talked about it a lot in past writing updates (#6, #7, #8, #9) so you can go back and look at me struggling through the months! I also made this cool aesthetic for #FinishUrBookFall on Twitter, which, wow, I guess I’ve finished now.
I’ve been spending a lot of time finding music to add to my character playlists oops…and I’m really liking what I’ve found!
- Miracle Mile by Cold War Kids – for my main character Nat (this song is so perfect for her that the first time I heard it I had to sit down for a few minutes)
- I’d be alright, if I could just see you / (Come up for air, come up for air) / A miracle mile, where does it lead to? / (Come up for air, come up for air)
- still feel. by half alive – for Joss (I can totally imagine her just rocking out to this song in her car)
- Floating in outer space, have I misplaced a part of my soul? / Lost in the in-between, or so it seems, I’m out of control
- Shuffle by Bombay Bicycle Club – for Elliot (this song SCREAMS Elliot to me and I can’t even place my finger on exactly why. It just fits him perfectly!)
- Weight is coming off, soaring high / Pleading you to stay, come alive
- Let’s Go by Matt and Kim – for Austin (this song makes me want to dance, and writing Austin always cheers me up, so it all fits)
- Shouting out of my windows / Rolled down / Cause I don’t care anymore
- Waste of Time by Alex the Astronaut – for Devya (once again, I can’t really explain this, but the song has Devya vibes!)
- Making everybody proud / Looking up and running round / And it wears me out
The NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag
If it wasn’t already obvious, yes, I’m taking part in National Novel Writing Month this year, which is a month-long writing challenge during the month of November in which writers attempt to write 50,000 of a novel in 30 days. This will be my sixth time participating, and hopefully my fifth time winning.
The amazing Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner tagged me in this tag that she created: the NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag! Thank you, Sophie!! ❤️ I figured this was the perfect excuse for me to introduce you to the project that I’ll be working on.
Without further ado, let’s get into Sophie’s questions!
Tell me about your NaNoWriMo project this year! Give me a blurb!
I don’t have a nice, neat blurb all written out (for some reason, I always have trouble doing that before starting a project), but basically: I’m writing a modern-day retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen.
If you don’t know the story of Persuasion, here’s a quick summary of the original: Anne Elliot had a brief but serious romance with Frederick Wentworth when she was nineteen, but her family convinced her to break it off because he was poor. Now, years later, Anne’s family has lost most of their money, while Wentworth has become a distinguished naval captain, and Anne regrets being persuaded to let him go.
In my version, which takes place in the Pacific Northwest, Anne is a recent college graduate with no direction in life, and Freddie Wentworth was her high school sweetheart and now the captain of a famous local soccer team. Drama ensues when their lives collide again.
What’s the genre?
New Adult contemporary romance!
Describe your MC in three words.
Anne Elliot: unappreciated, reserved, regretful.
Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.
There isn’t really a villain in this story in the traditional sense. Mostly it’s just people being people and doing dumb things.
What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)
Going for the big 50k! I don’t think I could manage much more than that. 😅
Is this your first draft? Second? Third?
Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?
I’ll be writing the first word of this project on November 1st.
What is your favourite time to write in the day?
Lately, mornings have been my most productive writing time. But I’m not going to be picky about when I can fit it in!
Where are you going to write?
My desk is my usual writing spot. I cleaned it off over the weekend and it was incredibly satisfying.
Computer or paper?
Computer, for sure. I might use paper for planning, but I need to be able to count those words!
NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?
Finding a set time to write and blocking it out so nothing interferes is really important for me. Right now, my life isn’t terribly busy, so I’m more worried about finding motivation than time.
Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)
I’d really love to! I’ve never attended an actual write-in, but the area where I live is really active and it could be a great way for me to get motivated and meet other NaNo-ers in real life, so I think I might do it this year.
Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?
I usually function best by writing from the beginning, but if I get stuck, I have no qualms about skipping around.
Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)
Plantser! The nice thing about this project is that it’s a retelling, so I already have the basic plot structure. I’ll be doing a little more planning in terms of what changes I’m going to make and general research into academic writing on the original text (I bought an annotated edition of Persuasion yesterday exactly for this purpose because I’m a nerd), but for the most part, I like to keep my options open.
What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?
Hmmm…I don’t think I have one! I don’t usually eat while writing, since I get way too distracted by the food haha. So I don’t think I have a go-to NaNo snack.
Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)
Tea for the mornings (English Breakfast or Earl Grey) and coffee for the afternoons. I can’t function without caffeine.
Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?
In the past, I’ve rewarded myself with chocolate bars for hitting certain word count milestones, and that’s worked very effectively! You know those joke signs that are like “will work for chocolate”? Those are referring to me.
And I’m not sure what I’ll do to reward myself for finishing. Maybe buy myself a book? I haven’t planned that far ahead yet!
Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!
Make 👏 plans 👏 and 👏 stick 👏 to 👏 them! 👏 Planning out your life is essential during NaNoWriMo (at least, for my brain, and probably most people’s brains) to prevent you from ending up in chaos at the end of every day with zero words written. Blocking out writing time, eliminating distractions, and sticking to a schedule is the best way to actually getting that word count in. I’m sure this is one of the most common pieces of NaNo advice…but that’s because it’s so important.
How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)
I’m excited and nervous at the same time! This is a story that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I can’t wait to write, but I also don’t know how I could possibly do it justice, since Jane Austen’s original story is already perfection. But I’m certainly going to give it my best shot!
Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!
I spent way too long making this.
I don’t know who else is planning on doing NaNo, but consider yourself tagged if you are and want to have an excuse to talk about your upcoming project! Also, please feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the NaNo website.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? How are your writing projects coming along?