Three-quarters of the way through NaNoWriMo and dare I say it’s going well. I’ve Hit the 36k target and this week has been a little easier than the first fortnight.
I’m starting to have some fun with the novel, in spite of some very dark chapters that establish the motivation of the main character. In the process, I’ve shifted the story from something that read like YA fantasy to a political/espionage thriller that occasionally dips a toe into outright horror.
The most interesting characters are rapidly becoming three AI’s that oversee government, military and business. They manifest as bickering sisters, borrowing more than a few elements from the witches of Macbeth. In a centries long game of one-upmanship, they vie to appear the most human, while simultaneously controlling their respective elements of a vast empire. Ultimately they control the fates of those that created them. The AI’s have created several dynamics that make it very easy to envisage a trilogy of books, that explores the shifting power balance between the Wayward sisters.
Overall I’ve found that fleshing out some of the characters this week has really helped the story feel more engaging, especially when the separate threads overlap. I was hoping to have started Act II this week but the time spent fleshing out Act I has definitely been a better use of my time. I’ve also realised my short prologue needs spinning out into a proper backstory that covers the initial colonisation. It will help fill in much of the detail of the world as well as the origins of the AI’s.
It’s taking me about 6 hours a day to hit the 1666 daily word goal, which is a 2-hour improvement on last week. That alone has made it a little more fun and reduced stress levels, simply by being easier to fit it in, If I could get down to four hours that would really be ideal. We’ll see if week four produces any speed improvements. Unfortunately or fortunately (I’m still not sure which) I have a couple of other long-running projects I have to focus on in December, so the novel will be going in the draw for a bit. Which is probably not a bad thing.
The Kent NaNoWriMo Facebook group (most regions will have a group somewhere) has been hugely supportive and is so well organised. It’s been a great motivational tool and I strongly recommend anyone planning to do NaNoWriMo to ensure you hook yourself up.
I’m going to lose ~36 hours this weekend as yet again I’ve scraped through to the next round of another competition. This time the NYC MicroFiction Challenge. Another set of three random prompts to deliver a quality 250-word story in 24 hours. Cruelly, the shorter the story the more difficult the challenge in my experience. Half of Sunday is going to be lost on more Golden Retriever fun. So Monday and Tuesday will be big catchup days.
All in all with one week to go, I think I’m actually having some fun. Let’s hope it lasts.