NaNo 2018 – Days 6, 7 & 8

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Days 6, 7 & 8


  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
“It’s slow going, but I’m not as far behind today as I was yesterday…”

My cold has really knocked me for six these past few days, hence no NaNo journal updates. I haven’t done much for three days at all, and I guess it will be like that for a few more days yet.

I’ve decided to skip posting Friday and Monday updates for Oath Broken – I would much rather wait until I’m feeling 100% before publishing chapters. Hopefully by the time next Friday comes around, I will be back on form.  And, apologies, I’m behind with responding to comments, so please bear with me…

So let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing / not doing for NaNo for the last three days:

Day 6 I did absolutely nothing in terms of writing, though I did think about writing – a lot! If only that counted…

Day 7 I just about managed a short scene for Novel #3, amassing a total of 454 words before giving in.

Today (Day 8) has been a little better. I’ve reduced the notes on my phone from 488 to 426 (which includes 4 new notes I’ve started – sigh). I also completed Short Story #3 and wrote a chapter for Novel #3.

Currently, I’m 2000+ words behind where I would like to be, but there is still plenty of November left to catch up, so I’m not too worried.  And at least, I’m not as far behind as I was yesterday…


  • Hit daily minimum word count 1 day out of 3 days
  • Reduced the number of notes on my phone
  • Short Story #3 completed
  • Wrote 1 chapter & 1 scene for Novel #3
  • Total word count for Days 6, 7 & 8 – 2217
  • Monthly total so far – 11724

NaNo 2018 – Day 5

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Day 5


  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
  • Edit Chapter 2 of Oath Broken
“Something is better than nothing…”

A slow day. I did wonder if I was going to bother trying to get anything done, but I have scheduled Mondays (along with Fridays) as posting days for chapters for Oath Broken on Wattpad. So, I did edit and post chapter 2. You can read Oath Broken here. Sorry for the shameless promotion but I need to fill today’s post out somehow… 😉

I decided to call it quits for today, once that was completed. I’m ahead of the estimated word count for this stage of the challenge (8,333), thanks to a good Day 1 & 2, but I am almost 1000 words short of the daily minimum target. But at least those numbers are still ticking over…

Maybe I’ll look into some more writing techniques. Any suggestions?


  • Oath Broken Chapter 2 edited
  • Total word count for Day 5 – 685
  • Monthly total so far – 9507

NaNo 2018 – Day 4

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Day 4


  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
  • Edit Short Story #2
“A day of low expectations…”

Today’s entry is a brief one…

Day 4 was pretty much a re-run of Day 3. My cold is keeping my expectations in check, so I aimed to reach the minimum daily word goal (by any means necessary), hopefully editing Short Story #2 along the way. At some points, even that seemed unobtainable, but I got there in the end, thanks to the time I spent on Novel #3, which contributed half of the words I needed. I also edited Short Story #2, which was thankfully nice and short and easy. The rest of the time, I focused on the organisational task I mentioned yesterday. The notes on my phone have been reduced from 517 to 488. If I can get that number down to 125-150 by the end of the month, I will count that a success!

I’m off to rest now, in preparation for tomorrow’s NaNo adventure 😉


  • Hit minimum word target
  • Organisational task – reduced number of notes to 488
  • Completed a chapter for Novel #3
  • Short Story #2 edited
  • Total word count for Day 4 – 1690
  • Monthly total so far – 8822

NaNo 2018 – Day 3

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Day 3


  • To hit daily minimum word target of 1667
“Best laid plans and all that…”

My cold has struck with full force. I barely slept last night so I set my sight on the barest of goals…to meet the daily minimum word target of 1667 words.

I decided to work on Novel #3 – I have three novels in progress that are set in the same world as Oathbreaker. This involved typing up and expanding some scenes that I’ve been writing on my smartphone for the past few weeks.

This also overlapped one of my NaNo organisational goals: I have over 500 “notes” stored on my phone – complete and incomplete poetry and flash fiction, and chapters and scenes from longer projects, as well as ideas, planning notes and venues for submissions. It’s time these notes are stored somewhere more permanent, where I can’t easily delete them or lose them should something go wrong with my phone.

So a relatively easy day. I reached my target after about 45 mins then turned off the PC, hoping that I might get some more done in the afternoon. I didn’t. Tomorrow’s another day.


  • Hit minimum word target
  • Started major organisational task – number of notes on phone now 517
  • Total word count for Day 3 – 1701
  • Monthly total so far – 7132

NaNo 2018 – Day 2

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Day 2


  • Complete Chapter 2 of Oath Broken
  • Edit Short Story #1
“Start in the middle and work outwards…”

I mentioned in my introduction to the journal that I was hoping to experiment with a few new writing techniques this month. One of these was to start a first draft in the middle of the story and then work outwards, to see how this technique compared to my usual writing process.

Now, I don’t have a set writing process. I find one technique works well for one project and then not so well for another. That’s just the way things go sometimes, and that’s why I think it’s useful (for me) to have a number of different writing techniques on hand that have already proven useful.  But first I need to try them…

Starting in the middle of a story is not something I have intentionally done before. Sometimes I will write scenes / chapters out of order, because my brain wants to get them onto the screen / paper before it forgets them, but that isn’t quite the same. In this case, there is no structure, and no intent, and I may not know where these paragraphs fit into the story.

I used this method to write Short Story #1. I had done no planning but had a theme to work with and idea of a scene from roughly the middle of the story. At this point, I had no clue though as to how I wanted to open the story. Instead of worrying about it, I wrote the scene; the middle of the story flowed right on to the screen and very quickly I moved towards the end. By the time the ending was finished, I knew exactly how I wanted to begin.

Verdict: I found this technique really useful. It boosted my productivity (4000 words in 4 hours) and the draft I edited today wasn’t in too bad a shape. I will definitely use it again.

I also completed Chapter 2 of Oath Broken ready for posting to Wattpad on Monday.

Today was a good day, and I’m finishing it pleased with my efforts.


  • Chapter 2 of Oath Broken completed
  • Short Story #1 edited
  • A new technique in my writing arsenal
  • Total word count for Day 2 – 2684
  • Monthly total so far – 5431

NaNo 2018 – Day 1

Daily record of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey…

NaNo 2018 – Day 1


  • Complete draft of Short Story 1
  • Edit chapter 1 of Oath Broken
“I woke up this morning as excited as if it was Christmas morning…It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo! Yay!”

Started off really well, but as the day wore on, I started suffering from the beginnings of a cold. Not impressed.

Happy with how the short story turned out; its 4100 words long, and written in less than 24 hours (I started it the day before). More on the short story in the journal entry for Day 2.

I also edited the first chapter of Oath Broken. I’m quite nervous about this story. I posted a preview of it on Wattpad in anticipation of releasing the whole first chapter tomorrow (2nd November 2018). The reception was better than I could have expected, so I’m really pleased and excited.

Although I hit both my goals for the day, I had hoped to get more done in the form of tackling one of my organisational tasks (I’ll explain what these are when I actually get around to doing them). Still super happy though. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.


  • Short Story #1 complete
  • Chapter 1 of Oath Broken edited
  • Total word count for Day 1 – 2747

I Won! (NaNoWriMo 2017)

First well done to all those writers who have already finished this year’s NaNo and good luck to those who are still writing away.

I completed the challenge on 24th November 2017, which is by far and away my best NaNoWriMo effort ever.  But that doesn’t mean that the novel I’m writing is complete.  Nope.  I’m guessing I’m still around 20,000 – 30,000 words off finishing my first draft, but I thought that after writing over 50,000 words in 24 days I had earned a few days away from the computer.

So that break is now over and my next task is to take a look at what I’ve written so far and find out what I still need to say.  I have an idea that most of those remaining words come from the middle of the book, with the rest required to tidy up the end chapters.  At this stage, I’m happy with the opening chapters / Act One.  My aim is to add around another 5,000 – 6,000 words to my NaNo total by the end of November, and then hopefully have the first draft completed by the end of the year.

All-in-all, I’m pleased with what I have written and what I have learned about my writing process.  It seems targeted writing sprints were my best weapon in my writing arsenal, especially on days when time was short.  I’m even finding I am using them for other projects too as a way to boost my productivity and sharpen my concentration.  Also having an good outline kept me focused.

With the 50,000 word target achieved, the pressure’s now off, so I’ll have a bit more time to spend catching up on all the amazing blog posts I’ve missed in my absence, especially responses written for the Weekend Writing Prompt.  I’ve tried my hardest to keep on top of it, but alas, I just couldn’t manage it.

If you participated in NaNoWriMo this year, how have you found it (so far)?

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Week 1

A whimsical image that has no bearing on this post whatsoever…enjoy 🙂

So, we are a couple days into the second week of NaNoWriMo, and I thought I would post an update on how my first week went.

My word count so far, on Day 9 is: 18,136.  If I keep up with my current rate, I will finish, so the stat-bot tells me, on the 25 November.  I’m glad to see my writing buddies who are participating this year are doing well too and have had a great first week.  Woohoo!

I’ve noticed that my writing process is slightly different this year.  When I write, I don’t necessarily tackle chapters in chronological order; I tend to write whatever I feel like writing no matter where it is in the storyline and then magically weave them altogether later.  At the moment, I’m solely concentrating on Act 1 (I use the basic three act structure with some focus points I’ve added in along the way), with my focus on the first six chapters.  I’ve been moving around these few chapters but stopping myself from exploring any further yet, except in terms of notes and planning, which of course, I’m not counting in my word count.

This has had an effect on my pacing: I’m hitting on average 2,000 words a day, whilst allowing myself a writing-free day once a week.  This seems to be working well so far.  I’ve also been able to edit sections as I go, which is helping me see how the next few chapters are going to unfold.

I even found some music on YouTube that compliments what I’m writing nicely.  My story is set in winter, and one hour of wintry music not only taps nicely into the season but also gives me a set timeframe within which to concentrate on nothing but writing this novel.  And I’m surprisingly still finding time to spend on other projects too (which I’m not including in my word count because they are separate from the novel).

At this point, it feels like things are going well.  Hopefully, this will continue and by the end of November I’ll have at least half a novel that makes sense and won’t require too much redrafting / rewriting.  Fingers crossed!

Are you participating in NaNo this year?  How are you finding it so far?