NaNoWriMo – reflection on 2017

You would think writing 50,000 words would be easier than this…

I’m a NaNoWriMo winner

Yes, I finished the NaNoWriMo month with 51,416 words in the bag.

So, yet again, I’m a NaNo winner! That’s quite an achievement because most people who start off writing in NaNoWriMo never make it to the 50K word mark,

And yet… and yet… it was hard for me this year.

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerWords that wouldn’t flow.

51,416 words is a good total for one month, but last year I wrote 61,500 words for NaNo, and the year before I wrote 63,400. In those other years, the words just flew.

ant_LIThis year I stumbled and hesitated and edited and got frustrated with myself — and only just made it to the finish line because I was determined this would not be the first year I failed at NaNoWriMo.

I’ve been doing NaNo since 2010, with one year off due to onerous NHS commitments, and so this is my seventh year.

You might think it would get easier. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo – reflection on 2017”

Writing in November: update day

Seems wrong to be writing this so long before the end of the month, but the last Friday of November has arrived. Actually, it’s been and gone, and I’m late in posting this, and that sort of sums up my life at the moment.

How’s my NaNoWriMo novel going?

Frustratingly I’m still behind the target word count, although I am slowly catching up. Usually I’m well ahead by this stage of NaNoWriMo. But, I’m not despondent.

  • The story I’m writing is actually making sense.
  • I’m sticking to the outline plan – the one I wasted spent the first two days of the month putting together
  • I’m optimistic I’ll finish the 50,000 words in time.
  • And I’ve written 37,000 words already, which is 37,000 more than on the 1st of November!

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerWhat’s slowing me down? This is the second novel in a sci-if series, and so I find I must keep rereading and checking facts from the first novel.

Interestingly, I often read passages from the first novel and realise I have no conscious recollection of writing certain events in the story at all!

I guess that’s what they mean when they say that sometimes stories write themselves. Or, perhaps I’m developing early dementia…?

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerOn a more gloomy note, the host of this ‘Do you have Goals?’ blog hop, Misha, is having some serious personal difficulties, and that means these updates may lose their momentum. It is Misha’s gentle reminders that force me to post my monthly round ups. I hope her absence is only temporary, I hope she finds a way out of her current troubles, and I hope our little writing community will continue.

How is everybody else’s writing going?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desperately seeking a final story

Yesterday was the last day of NaNoWriMo

desperately-gif-500

Apart from one day of panic, when I thought I might have sucked my brain dry of inspiration, I’ve done pretty well during this NaNo month.

30 short stories in 30 days is no mean feat.

Yesterday, it was time to come up with my final story and I turned to a wisp of an idea that’s been gentle wafting through my mind for some time.

It involved a woman searching for her tortoise. And finding love instead.

Anyway, that’s it. #30days30shorts over and done with. Now follows the most important part of any writing spree: the dreaded editing!


Illustrating the stories

Somebody asked me where I found the illustrations I used in this series of NaNo posts.

  1. I searched for Creative Commons Zero images (CC0) on sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels,
  2. opened them in my Corel PaintShop Pro programme,
  3. modified them with line drawings on my Wacom pad,
  4. and experimented with various photo manipulation tricks.

It’s been great fun finding suitable images and converting them for each piece.

Creating the illustrations took almost as much effort as writing the stories themselves. Should have really called this project #30days30shorts30pics Anyway, here’s a gallery of them all:


Are fortune-tellers really con artists?

Or simply excellent interpreters of psychological ‘tells’?

fortune-teller-gif-500 What if a fake fortune-teller suddenly discovered her fortune-telling wasn’t a trick after all? What if she discovered she really could see into the future?

That was the starting point for yesterday’s NaNoWriMo short story.

But… as usual, the story ran away from me and insisted on becoming something different. So, instead of my fortune-teller being in possession of a supernatural talent, she turns out to be just really, really good at sniffing out the truth.

Sigh. I do my best to write about magic and the paranormal. But I guess this proves you can take the woman away from the science, but you can never take the science away from the woman. Or something!

Anyway, only one more day of NaNo left and one more story to go in my #30days30shorts challenge.