NaNoWriMo 2013: Day One

1 Nov

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As the first day of NaNo draws to a close, I can’t help but heave a huge sigh of relief. I don’t know what it was about this month, but I was nervous. I haven’t been nervous about NaNo since the first time I participated! I barely got any sleep last night mulling over what my first sentence would be. As you can imagine, I spent most of my morning attempting to think up that first scene and forming the right words to make it awesome. I don’t think I succeeded, but that’s what editing is for.

The morning was also a bit rough because I realized just how much I hadn’t researched. But researching and writing makes for slow going, so I had to develop a system that basically says to “go back later” and change. One of my friends (can’t remember who at the moment, I’m sorry!) told me a while ago to put a symbol that wouldn’t usually be used in the novel (I’m using ###) around areas you need to change or fix as a note to yourself. Then when you’re editing you can search for every instance of ### and figure out what to do about it without faltering in your writing pace.

Because I wasn’t getting much done, I went to my local writing being hosted at a coffee shop a short bus ride down the road. Write-ins are amazing things. I didn’t go to any last year because I was quite busy and it never seemed to work out. Honestly, my only experience with write-ins before this was at university, because the closest Michigan write-ins were always an hour and a half away. So I wasn’t quite sure what to expect (university write-ins = all the friends, this write-in = all the strangers) but it was more or less the same. Loved being able to meet a few people since working from home is NOT conducive to finding new friends. There are going to be weekly write-ins (next one is on Sunday) and I’m hoping to go to a few and get to know some more writers.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with my opening scene. It then devolved into this massive, poorly written info-dump. I don’t even know where I was going with it. I’m trying to figure out how to put this information more fluidly into the story, which is something I always struggle with. I’ll figure something out I’m sure. In the meantime, it’s set the stage for what’s to come, so that’s something. On to the survey!

1. How many words did you write today?  2147
2. How long did it take you to write them? About two hours, or maybe three? That’s how long I was at the write-in.
3. How many times did you use Write or Die? None, surprisingly!
4. What is the most interesting thing you researched for the sake of plot today? “Did houses in the 1770s have cellars?” The answer is mostly no, except many buildings that housed slaves had “pit cellars” which would have served the purpose I was hoping it would, except there aren’t any slave dwellings at the inn.
5. What didn’t you research today that you probably should have? What DIDN’T I not research that I probably should have? Weather in Massachusetts in October, what people in the 1770s ate for breakfast, how fruit and vegetables are stored, when cabbages are harvested… I mean for real.
6. What unexpected turn did your novel take today? The opening scene now takes place in the stables because there weren’t any cellars in the 1770s. So… that was kind of unexpected.
7. Best/Funniest novel moment today? Figuring out what was going to happen first and finally getting started.
8. Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 2147
9. Words Remaining: 47853
10. Days Left: 29
11. Today’s Excerpt:

Cora Lyons did not receive post in the normal way. Her letters did not sit in a pile beside the safe box until Mrs. Miller parceled them out, wrapped up with notes from Mary’s admirers and Mr. Miller’s newspaper. She had never been handed a small wrapped package by a street urchin employed to deliver it for a few extra pennies. She had never shaken someone’s hand to find a bit of paper transferred into hers.

 It was just as well. As far as Mrs. Miller and the rest of the residents of the Millerstown Inn were concerned, Cora did not have anyone to write to her. They didn’t know about the slips of paper that found their way into the cracks and crevices of the stable stalls every Sunday, and she wanted to keep it that way. Which was why Cora could be found that chilly October night striding across the inn lawn, leaving footprints in the frost.

How was your first day of NaNoWriMo? Feel free to use this survey or let me know in the comments below!

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