Weekly Wednesday: NaNo Begins

Tomorrow is the 1st of November, which means only one thing: NaNoWriMo is about to begin!

I'm once again taking unofficial part, because writing for me is the easy bit and interacting with other people is hard. Although, this year, the writing isn't as easy as it usually is.

That's because I'm still tackling Burning Sky (Dragonlands 4) and it's driving me crazy. Normally NaNo is straightforward and simple for me. I'm a fast writer, so I pick an idea and after a few days of finding my feet I'll get into a rhythm and finish a chapter or so a day. Then I get competitive with myself and try to outdo the previous week's writing total, then the weekend, then the previous day, until by the end of week three I'm writing 12K words a day and on the verge of a complete meltdown.

I said it was simple, I didn't say it was wise. But I like the challenge and since this time of year is usually pretty hard on me mentally (too much darkness), it helps keep me focused.

I'm hoping the usual competitive magic will work again this year, because I am so ready to be done with this book. I'm about halfway through, but it's been a struggle to get there. I know why, but that doesn't help. The trouble is that there are certain set things in this book that have to happen at certain set times. Which is perfectly normal for a lot of writers and I'm sure plenty of people will wonder what my problem is. 

I don't write to a plan. I've tried, they don't work for me. I will often have a vague idea of what needs to happen in a book, or where my characters need to end up, but the details come out in the telling. I like that freedom. I like not knowing what's coming next or often who will show up and where they'll all go. That's a lot of what keeps me writing. I want to know, so I have to write it. 

In this book I already know. I know what will happen, I know why, I know where, I know who and what and what will come next. Sure, there are small details to be worked out, but I don't have the luxury of wandering off into a cave or throwing my characters down a great big hole just for the fun of seeing what they'll do, what they might find and how they'll get out of it again. This does often mean my stories have to evolve and change a fair bit as I go along, and some ideas may fall by the wayside, but it's more fun that way.

It's a problem that crops up a lot in this series. As a sort-of prequel to the Wingborn books it's sadly inevitable. Certain things have to happen at certain times, or it won't match up to the other series. I can cope, mostly, with this, but this book in particular has a series of pivotal moments. They might not read that way to others, but to me and the overall plot, they are important and I have to get them done and down. Which is the complete opposite of how I normally write and why this book feels like pulling teeth at times.

Still, I am plugging away at it and it will get done eventually. I'm just hoping the general competitive air of NaNo will be enough to haul me to the end. After all, I've written the biggest of the Must Happen Moments now, so sorting it out from here should allow for a few extra surprises.

I hope.

Expect to hear more about this as I shall try to make regular progress updates as a way of holding myself accountable. Also, for the first time ever, I should have the whole of the month free to work on it. Usually family visits or holidays or other last-minute planned events disrupt me in the final weeks, but so far this year they've mostly already happened. This could be a good thing or it could be bad, but it should prove interesting.

In the meantime, anyone else crazy enough to undertake this challenge this year? What are you working on? Are you excited?