One more day before Nanowrimo ends and I must admit I have learnt so much about Philippine history in the last 29 days than all my years in primary and high school combined.
If there is one thing I can take away from this project, it’s that writing is an art and a profession. To be a professional, there are guidelines that, if followed, gives readers that satisfaction you get from a well-written story. And getting there is never an accident but the product of hard work.
The most unbelievable thing just happened. I did it. All 50,447 words of it. In 16 days.
I was on track to do it in 15 days but I had to choose between spending time on the novel or spending time with my workmates and I figured, the noveling can wait.
Insert dancing emoji here.
When I started Nanowrimo early this month, I was filled with apprehension. I was scared that I’d run out of puff a few days into it and confirm what I feared most – that I don’t have it in me to write a novel.
I knew it was going to happen but I didn’t know that it was going to be on the 11th day.
This morning I was up at 4am thinking about the main character arc. The central theme. The main plot. How I can keep the reader’s attention from start to finish. It’s not easy. I don’t even know how I can sustain my attention over 50,000 words, let alone someone else’s. On the first draft, there is no way.
“Storytelling is a part of every human culture because every human needs survival information.” – Gene Luen Yang
The number is 33,972. That’s the number of words I have written in the past 10 days outside of work and my daily life.
Written on the bus home last night
I did not want to go for a run. I started my day at 6.30am and I would have rather gone to bed and got dinner. But I know that this is my daily struggle – every day is a choice. I told myself maybe if I can just get myself to the gym then from the gym maybe I can get myself to change and maybe … by the time I turned on my iPod I was rearing to go.
I am now writing Chapters 9 and 10, which I’m devoting to my character’s unplanned trip to New York.
This would sound glamorous and fun any other time in New York’s history except this was the 1930s. It was the Great Depression and my character, who came from a wealthy family back in the Philippines, was reduced to selling cigarettes on trains just to survive.
It’s Day 4 of Nanowrimo and I’m a day ahead on the 1,600-word daily target. I’m hoping to have three days of leeway just in case I get too busy during the FPA conference in Hobart and, of course, if I could, I would rather go hiking while I’m there as it’s my first time in Tas.
About nanowrimo and the process of writing, I’m not sure if I’ve been looking for signs or the signs are coming to me. There are sources of inspiration everywhere. I laughed when I passed by Lorraine Pattiserie near The Ivy, having found out that my French ancestors originated from Lorraine and my first generation character is a son of a pattiserie owner. What a coinkidink!
It’s the first day of National Novel Writing Month. It’s a global initiative where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write 50,000 words for 30 days (or 1,900 words per day).
I don’t have time to write a novel so I am just going to force this into my schedule, finding that one hour and a half a day to write the minimum word count target each day.
And I did it – 1,800 words today! My book idea is a historical fiction centred on several generations of the Baltazars. 😀 It’s most definitely fiction but inspired by my dad’s family history from the 1800s to late 1900s. I haven’t decided yet where the story will end. For structure, I am looking at the following novels: Roots: The Saga of An American Family, Forrest Gump, One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Shipping News.
Working title: A Monsoon of Butterflies