NaNoWriMo 2011: Week 1

So I’ve been working on my novel for NaNoWriMo for a week now. It’s been hard work. A problem for me is that this time of year involves a lot of family commitments, and I now know I’ll be away on business at the end of the month, so I’m a bit concerned about running out of time.

I’m already behind the curve. As of last night I’ve written 8,313 words, when on a straight progression curve, I should be up to 11,666 words.

That all said, let’s not look at the negative – let’s look at the upsides, or which there are many.

What I’ve written I’m actually OK with, and I’m heeding what I thought might have been some good advice and which it is indeed turning out to be:

“If you want to hit the word count, don’t edit as you go”

Indeed, this is to get the first draft of a novel out, not a final edit ready for publication.  So far then I’ve laid out the characters I need so far; I’m also happy to have had an opening chapter with a decent body count. What I’m wrestling with right now is the technology vs. intrigue as it’s a sort of steampunk set in mid 19th century Japan. I think I need to move the story on to the next milestone, which is a meeting of some of the main protagonists on neutral ground (a Japanese version of London’s Great Exhibition of 1851), so we can see how they contrast, and then by this time next week many of the characters will go their separate ways to find out new things, before coming back again amidst the chaos as it moves to a finale I havent even thought of yet!

I feel like I’ve got a decent workflow going, writing between 10.30pm to around 12.30am when I can – often this week I’ve only managed an hour between those times, but they’ve been good hours as I’m more of a night person. I tend to stop when I realise I’m treading water and not moving things forwards. Considering I’ve written in a week what I would normally call a short story, I’m pretty pleased.

As expected, all work is being done on my Mac in Scrivener, which is great for dropping in new character tidbits as needs and keeping going. I saw this morning the Windows version is out too! If I can ‘win’ NaNoWriMo I might take advantage of the 50%  discount on that! I’m saving into Dropbox and then re-reading what I wrote on the train in the morning and making notes as Scrivener saves into several .rtf files.

OK, why pour words out here when I could be adding to the novel!

Also, still no title decided.