NaNoWriMo 2013 Mid-Month Update

About three weeks ago, I wrote a post about my plans for my NaNoWriMo project for this year, an Indian space opera story tentatively called The Veergati Codex. I talk about it in some detail here. That post also talked about some of the negative reactions I’ve seen against the entire event, established authors basically deriding the efforts of the “dilettantes” and the “dabblers” since “real authors” write all year, not just for one month a year. Its a fair criticism I guess, but its undeniable that many of the published authors of today are these same dilettantes and dabblers who’ve made it big. I know of at least three currently published authors, from major publishers no less, who took their first steps with a NaNoWriMo event and have reached all the way to where they are now. So the derision this year really rubbed me the wrong way.

But anyway, that’s not what this post is about. In the previous post, I’d said that my goal for this year was to do 30k words instead of the usual 64k+ I’d pulled the last years. With some personal things going on, not to mention some other commitments and my reading, I couldn’t afford to spend that much time on the writing for the event this year. I was all resigned to it too.

But then the first day came, and I was a mean writing machine, if I do say so myself.

NaNoUpdate1As you can see, I’ve had some really good progress in the last two weeks, the first fifteen days of the event. I’ve already written past my original deadline, and I’m thinking that I just might, just might be able to make that 64k number again. Its not a tough goal anymore. I haven’t had too many problems with the writing, nowhere near as many as I’d thought and I’m pretty motivated at the moment. If I compare to last year’s progress at this point, I’m actually ahead by about 2k words or so, which is quite surprising for me.

I think what counts this year is that despite my initial misgivings, I’m really feeling that competitive edge. And I’ve been keeping a couple friends really motivated too, to work on their projects and have a successful month of writing. And that’s what I love about this whole thing. Its the competitiveness that’s really gotten me going.

Last year, by now I had worked on several fiction projects, quite successfully. I’d written a 25k novella in full that was edited over the succeeding months and even got subbed this year, although it hasn’t yet found a home. I put in a novel and several short story submissions to Black Library. And other things here and there, keeping my creative wheels spinning. But this year, I’ve really struggled with my fiction writing. Burn-out of a sort? Whatever it has been, it has been killing. And I’ve procrastinated like stupid crazy this year, which hasn’t helped matters any, certainly.

But, with the high of all the writing so far this month, I feel like I’m back in the game. I’ve been having a blast working on The Veergati Codex, which I describe as Star Trek meets Black Hawk Down in an Indian setting. There are characters I’ve created for this novel that I hadn’t conceptualised earlier this year, hadn’t given a thought to. There is a pair of ensigns who get married early on in the novel and they are both women, so I’m experimenting with writing a same-sex relationship. There is a character that I’m writing as a sort of homage to a character I really love in the comics medium, someone who has had a movie outing as well, although it was a disaster. I’m writing a bromance between my primary character, the captain of the starship Veergati and his executive officer, with the former being a real hard-ass. And so on.

All my previous projects have been original affairs, down to every single aspect. But this project is quite different. I’m writing to capture a very specific feel, a sense of wonder and a thrilling action that I’ve seen in some of my favourite TV shows and films (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Black Hawk Down specifically). And I’m loving it. I’m really loving it. Especially all the easter eggs I’m putting in with regards character names and stuff.

31k words in 15 days. If I want to make that 64k cut, I need to write 33k in the next 15 days and this is going to be a challenge for sure. But I think I’m up for it. I’ll certainly give it my all. I’ve got my writing mojo back, my confidence and my head is in the right place after a long, long time.

How about you? How has your writing been going, NaNoWriMo or otherwise?

Posted on November 16, 2013, in NaNoWriMo, Original Work, Veergati Codex, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Dude, you rock! Keep going!

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  2. I will never understand why some authors deride events like NaNo. Yes, the focus of this month’s project is quatity rather than quality, but it’s not like everyone paricipating thinks they’re going to bang out the World’s Greatest Novel in a month because of it. Sometimes we need stupid things like this to motivate us and push some limits. Sometimes participating in NaNo a couple of times is what allows a person to realize they can keep up that kind of pace on a daily basis and gets them practice with writing and editing.

    And I have yet to meet an author who doesn’t talk about they started off small and got bigger and better.

    This year’s Nao has kickstarted my urge to write fiction again. I let it lie over the past year because of my health going to hell, but now that I’m writing again, I really want to keep going. I’ll probably actually push on beyond November and keep working on things, which is unusual for me since I usually take December off from writing just about anything fictional after NaNo’s writing blast. But this year, I dunno… Maybe I’m trying to make up for all the writing I didn’t do at the beginning of the year, but I’m really feeling it this time, and I want to keep going and not just stop and let another project (or two…) lie there.

    Best of luck to both of us! Progress and success!

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    • Exactly. Everybody starts somewhere. I think the problem is that most published authors today have gotten used to being “regular” writers and they simply can’t connect with how it is for people who are starting out or are still finding their rhythms. And that’s what it is about, finding that rhythm.

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