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NaNoWriMo #1

I haven’t written much for a while. There are all sorts of boring reasons with which I shan’t bore you, but ‘ma heid’s been like a stair heid’. It’s better if I don’t translate from the Weegie.

Anyway, I’m hoping to change all that come November when I take part in this year’s NaNoWriMo. In case you haven’t heard of it, the National Novel Writing Month is when you write 50,000 words of your novel in November.

Last year I got 15,000 words of a kids’ novel called Jimmy Gingerbeard written before admitting defeat – I had elbow surgery at the end of October and had to type one-handed.

This year I should have no such handicap. My only problem – apart from terminal procrastination – is what to write about. I have more irons in the fire than a blacksmith during national horse-shoeing week so I should be spoiled for choice. But what could I stand to spend so much time on for thirty days straight?

I was going to go for something in the horror genre as I thought I could enjoy myself with that – I love to make people squirm. I considered going back to Jimmy Gingerbeard, but I would be cheating with 15K already written. I have a crime fiction started and a story set in 1970’s Glasgow begun, but neither of those appeal to me right now. Then I remembered The Knife Thrower.

Last year I had a look at the 6 Minute Fiction site where writers are given 360 seconds to write from a prompt. The day I looked at it, the prompt was ‘knives’. Given my predilection for gore and violence, you’d think I’d have gone to town, but instead a story about a knife thrower began to form in my mind. I didn’t take part in the writing prompt challenge, but a new character started to tell me her story instead. She was a young girl, maybe twelve or thirteen years old and she fell in love with the knife thrower in a traveling circus when it visited her small town in rural Italy sometime before 1960.

I’ve always loved circuses – but not the clowns (coulraphobic) – and began to read around my idea. Other characters started to come into focus: a young village boy who loved my main character, a horse man, a painted lady and a gang of thugs. They all had relationships with knives and with my young girl. I began to get excited about the story and then…..

And then something shinier caught my attention and I was off. I find it hard to commit to an idea as after a couple of weeks, I convince myself that it’s rubbish and I should think again.

But there is something about my character that keeps pulling me back and I often find myself thinking about her and her life.

So, my decision has been made, and made publicly. I shall be writing The Knife Thrower (or whatever I decide to call it) for NaNoWriMo this year. October shall be spent researching and planning and come November 1st, I’ll be at my desk, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to go.

What are your Nano plans for this year?


Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

22 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo #1

  1. Nettie,

    This character sounds really interesting. Yes, I also plan to take part in NaNoWriMo this November, provided I’ve actually finished the editing of my current semi-completed novel. I’ve 25% left to do, so hopefully, I can finish it in the next two three weeks which will give me a few days to research and structure the next one.

    I always tend to write horror, mainly psychological. So I’m thinking of getting completely out of my comfort zone for NaNo and doing something lighter, maybe chick lit. I do have a heavier idea in my head, but I’m afraid it currently sounds familiar (in structure) to another novel I read a few years ago so I’m setting that one aside to brew for a while.


  2. Same as always – blank my mind, take a run at it, get Hubby to throw me random sentences, and hope for the best! LOL!

    Liking the sound of your story, though. *breaks out the nanowrimo pompoms* Go Nettie, go Nettie, go go go!!! 😀

  3. Hi Nettie,

    I did NaNo last year for the first time, I did manage the target 50k, but it was probably the hardest writing challenge I’ve ever done. My life was not my own, and very complicated with a full time job, children, ageing parent etc

    I learnt so much about myself as a writer, and felt exhilarated when I finished a day early. Mind you I was like a zombie!

    The thing is, I can’t face doing it again this year, because my first draft of the novel I wrote is STILL, in progress. I’m ashamed to say, I have really struggled and therefore decided I have got to get it done before I do another NaNo. So I’m taking November to write around 20k to get it to completion.

    To anyone out there who hasn’t done it before, I say go to it, and when the going gets tough, just keep writing. Write anything, even if its a character sketch of everyone in the novel. Or bring in a gun! Or a knife, that usually gets the flow back. Remember, you can take it back out later. But it will certainly get the words flowing.


  4. Sounds great. I did it last year. Found the whole thing very freeing. The editing of what i wrote is another thing entirely, however!!!! I’m still trying to polish it, to be honest, but i don’t regret doing it this way. I’m even thinking of starting the next thing i do in a similar way – blitz the story for a month and then clean up the carnage slowly afterwards. It’s not the road to an easy write, but i think it might just make the story more interesting! Good Luck.

  5. The Knife Thrower sounds really enthralling already and I hope you do focus on that! I’ve completed Nanowrimo two years running. I’m like Maria in that I am still on the first draft from last year’s one and I had hoped to finish that before moving on. At the same time I do have another project in mind and am just wondering whether to subject it to Nano. If I don’t do it there is no way I would get that quantity of words down on the other hand I am afraid of putting myself in the same position again as I am with this project and having to spend a year unravelling the story. I think I will sleep on it for another while!

  6. I’ve never thought of doing NaNo before, but… I’ve almost finished a rewrite and I have an outline for a YA that I’ve been brewing for a couple of years and have never actually started writing. On top of that, a non-fic project finished end of October which has been dominating my writing time lately. I think it may be time!

  7. It sounds a wonderful story, Nettie, I can’t wait to read it. I did NaNo last year (as a kind of CBT exercise and to prove a point to myself) and it was lots of fun. Good luck!

  8. Not for me – not this year. I’m trying to get a book ready to publish, and beginning an MA – feels like I’ve enough on my plate. But good luck to everyone who’s having a go.

  9. I’ll have a go. I’m about to start a new project and a big front-end purge would be good for it. I know I can write 50k words in a month but with a baby on board, the achievement/failure will hinge on viral infections as much as dedication… but nothing ventured, eh? We can cheer each other on. 🙂

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