So we’re now 14 days in to National Novel Writing Month! According to the schedule of writing rates, I should be up to 23,333 words, but as expected, I’m a little behind, currently weighing in at 22,554 words, which I don’t think is too bad, given that my daily work rate has increased. One thing that I’m learning quickly about this, as that previous sentence suggests, is that word count begins to become something of an obsession. Really.
That said, I’ve gotten a bit better this past week in how I approach the act of sitting down and writing, staying more focused, and getting more writing done per sitting, which is vital for me, as like many, I’m squeezing this in behind family and work requirements.
I try to set out a block of at least one hour to focus on the writing, and it seems to be working, and sometimes it spills over to 90mins or even two hours, but I know when I’m done as I start writing sections that move nothing forwards, and that’s the time to stop.
When I am writing, I only write in full screen mode with Scrivener, with the only other app open being Firefox, for those ad hoc fact checks. I also make sure I start with a drink, a cup of tea or coffee, so there are no reasons to get up during that hour. I’ve also tidied my desk up, or when I’m writing on my old MacBook on the dining table, I try to clear everything off it – minimise distractions of any kind!
Perhaps one question I have been asked this month has been ‘do you think you can fill 50,000 words?’. Right now, I’m not worried about that. As far as content goes, I think this story would need 80-100,000 words to tell it, so for this month, and against the clock, I’m more interested in getting the bare plotline down.
Two things I was expecting after two weeks though were i) a soundtrack to have made itself known, and ii) to have a title!
Indeed, I still don’t have a name for the work, and for some reason I haven’t been listening to anything consistently enough to call it a writing sound track. Maybe we’ll get to that next week.