It’s a little over halfway through November and on top of it being NaNoWriMo, my job kicked it into high gear with the announcement of an expansion, I practice Krav Maga three times a week, take dance lessons, and drum lessons! Needless to say, NaNoWriMo has been a hard but incredibly enjoyable task.

Twenty-two days in I’ve written 14,000 words. Ideally I would have been at 22,000, but seeing as I’ve got so much else going on, and I haven’t written each day but still met that count, I’d say I’m proud of that number and could easily catch up. For me though, I’m not trying to aim for a specific number, but for consistency. I wanted to write each day and if I couldn’t write long form, at list work on notes, sketches, or my mood board each day. In that case, my goal is on track!

Things I have realized:

One turn of events that shocked and appalled me was that after changing my font to the dreaded Comic Sans, the words started flying out of my brain onto paper. I had read that improved speed and creativity greatly and, indeed it has. I take back my almost twenty years of ripping on that font. If you want to read a hilarious monologue written from the perspective of the most hated font, you should read this! Bonus: it’s written in Comic Sans too.

Another thing I’ve learned is that no matter how much outlining you do, and how much you think you know your character, once you start writing the story can take on a mind of its own and sometimes your character morphs into someone you didn’t expect. For example, I had a character who was sworn to my Queen who in my mind was incredibly noble and duty bound, someone like Aragorn. However as I wrote the story, wrote more of the political climate, and learned more about the Queen he’d be protecting, he turned out to be a mischievous former criminal, someone whom she would have to grow to respect and trust. It wouldn’t be automatic. I went back to the outline I made of him months prior and it was so different from what he changed into it was almost like they were separate characters.

Inspiration in unlikely places

It’s funny how when you sit down to write and think to yourself, “Okay, creativity, let’s go!” your creativity doesn’t, in fact, go. It’s when you least expect it that creativity and inspiration strike. I have no idea how but listening to Kashmir by Led Zeppelin the other day led me to change a part of the ending of my story which I am no where even close to getting to. I have been listening to audio books while I drive to work and sometimes the author will use a word I don’t normally use, or a turn of phrase that I really like, and while I’m mulling that over in my head on the drive something will change for me in a story or character.

I’m also constantly thinking in terms of my story, so when I watch TV (I am right now obsessed with The Mandalorian, Watchmen, and The Crown Season 3!) I will be constantly keeping my story and characters in the back of my head and little tid-bits from these shows would inspire me. For example, royal etiquette on The Crown gave me inspiration for how the Queen in my story should act. The mystery surrounded The Mandalorian made me think of other ways to pace out reveals about my own characters.

I wanted to do more of these updates, but writing a novel is enough work let alone writing a blog post about writing a novel on top of it. I will write another update at the end of NaNoWriMo and maybe some character intros in between!

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