This is an archived post, copied as is from one of my old blogs. It serves as an additional reference to other posts on this blog and is not accessible via the archive pages.

It was originally posted on 2015-11-03

My First Day in NaNoWriMo

Wow! NaNoWriMo started for me yesterday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to start on Sunday, but I followed people on Twitter bursting out crazy amounts of words all over the world every minute. It made me kind of sad to see all those successes, because I still had no idea what I should write! I had a very rough idea of what might become the topic of my novel, but I had not even the tiniest bit of plot available. I felt a bit lost. Very lost to be honest! I really wanted to do this, and now I saw me failing before I could even start!

But then I sat down yesterday evening and opened Ulysses, my long form writing tool of choice. I created a new project for NaNoWriMo and started writing. All I knew was that I had a certain main character and two different options of what he might experience. It’s embarrassing how little I knew about my book I was going to start.

Fast forward two and a half hours and I managed to squeeze out 2500 words of the beginning of a story! The goal is to come up with a basic first draft this month. I was told that first drafts are always crap and I’m pretty sure that this is not yet, nor will it ever be some kind of high-class literature… but it is my first shot at fiction and I’m pretty proud of what my brain came up with, without me even thinking! I’m still a bit behind the daily needed amount of words to get to the 50000 words finish line by the end of the month, but I’m on a good way!

What really amazes me is how the story evolves on its own! I had those two options of how the story would roughly look like. Reading what my main character is doing now - it seems like I have two now… who knew!? - I wonder whether those two options are even remotely possible anymore. I had some kind of light science fiction drama/action/thriller in mind. Currently I am going towards a plain thriller without any science or fiction… I’m curious whether those robots I had in mind will show up at some point! I read a lot about how this happens to people writing stories, especially pantsers like me. I really could not imagine that your characters drive the story and not you. It’s really weird and really cool! As if you’re reading your own story for the first time while you write it.

I really enjoyed my first dip into NaNoWriMo and I really look forward on how my word count will go up and what my characters will do next. I know, there will be hard times when I don’t know what to do, but that kickstart today? That really was awesome and might carry me through some rough days this month! I’m still not sure whether I’ll make it to the end… but for now I’m pretty excited about this novel writing thing!