My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hurrah and, indeed....


I have completed the NaNoWriMo challenge for my second year in a row. And I still have four days and, therefore, a minimum of 4000 more words to write before I officially stop and go back to Agoraphobics Anonymous.

I've loved watching my new characters develop, and the storyline that was entirely absent at the start of the month, has slowly taken shape in my mind. Once I've prepared Ag Anon for submission, I will come back to Moving Meditation and start afresh. This time I'll actually prepare character bios, a proper timeline etc etc. I simply couldn't do it any earlier because the characters were still revealing themselves to me. But now I have the people, situations and places for the third book in what has turned into my Lovingdell Series!

Now I'm going to curl up and watch Downton Abbey for three hours before preparing a lovely, stodgy, comforting tea and going to see Big Toots give her Brownie promise!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Halfway there....

...and the wordcount is looking good. I've written a minimum of 1000 words every day thus far, and my average is just under 2000. the neat little chart at the top of this blog shows my progress: red means I haven't updated my wordcount today, yellow means I wrote under 1667 words and green means I wrote over 1667. I'm on track to reach that glorious NaNoWriMo Winner's Purple Bar - hurrah!

So - what's happening in Lovingdell this time?

Gerry and Mary Walker run a tai chi group in the area and have started a new class at Lovingdell Psychiatric Hospital. It's attended by many in-patients (tai chi is excellent for people in the early stages of dementia and is a natural mood-lifter and calmer) and a handful of local people who aren't in-patients (but possibly should be). Gerry looks like a lugubrious stork, and Mary has been mistaken in the street for Dawn French. Their marriage is in tatters, mostly due to the fact they have a muderdering schizophrenic son....who's about to be released from Broadmoor into the hospital at Lovingdell.

Martha lives under her mother's thumb. She's too scared to tell her she's dropped out of teacher training in order to write the world's next Nobel Prize for Literature. Oh, and the fact she's a closet lesbian (she's so far inside the closet, she's in Narnia). She is forced to attend the tai chi class by Les, a somewhat friend of hers who runs the little cafe she hangs about in while she writes her great work. Apologies for the poor sentence structure there; NaNo is about getting the words down!

Maddie is an in-patient at the start of the novel. However, after three weeks, she's allowed home and appears to be doing well, battling her chronic depression. She's friendly with Martha and Steve.

Steve has lost his job, his wife and his pride. He's referred to the class by Dr Bailey (from Hospital Corners) as she believes he's suffering clinical depression. He's also referred to a psychologist, but she gets under his skin somewhat and it becomes apparent that Steve has a bit of a temper on him.

Watching this motley cast are Tamara and Peter. We don't learn much about Peter, apart from what he tells Tamara on their lunch dates after each class. Tamara went to the class seeking enlightenment. She's still mourning the loss of her husband 10 years after his death from cancer. At the start of the book, she tries to hide her grief behind aromatherapy oils, crystals, reflexology, reiki, organic FairTrade ethical clothing and a multitude of bracelets, rings and multi-coloured scarves. In the words of Marth: she reeks of patchouli and despair. However, after the first class, Tamara realises she's been hiding from herself and starts reinventing herself into someone a little less "alternative". She starts the book looking pretty hippy-dippy but ends up the sanest character in the book.

About to make an appearance in the class is Daniel Walker. He's spent six years in Broadmoor but is now deemed fit for a phased release back into the community. Although he killed a neighbour, his schizophrenia was to blame and he's been doing well on the right medication. Or has he? Before developing the illness, Daniel was an expert con-man and fraudster.....

So, when someone ends up dead, who's to blame?

Duh duh duuuuuh!

Friday, 9 November 2012


....the way to increase your wordcount by a ridiculous amount!

I was delighted to learn that another local lady was participating in NaNoWriMo this year. We met up in one of the local pubs last night, chatted for a bit about ourselves and our books (turns out she's the au pair for a couple of girls who are the Twotsies friends at school!), and then we turned to our computers and wrote for three and a half hours.

In that time, I added over 4800 words to my NaNo total! The words just kept on coming, spurred on by the fact I didn't want to leave after a measly hour. So I kept on writing beyond the point where I would normally stop (generally not much more than 2000 words a day), and kept on writing....and on and on.

This all meant I could have a relaxing morning with Lovely Neighbour, playing Mahjong until lunchtime and having a grand old time. I then came home and started on my 1000 words for today (the total I must write each day to stay in the Master Class Skeleton Marathon). I've finished up in time to have a cup of tea and relax some more over a book before I collect the Twotsies from school. We have a fun weekend planned with Lovely Boyfriend (who I've been thinking of today as he attends a funeral) and his daughter (henceforth to be known as the Gormlet; it's a long story and the Twotsies are now also known as Porglet Maximus and Porglet Minimus!). We're going swimming....although it'll probably be more splashing than actual swimming as I try to teach the Twotsies how to swim without their armbands.

Happy weekending folks. x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Writing first....

....housework second. That's my priorities for the day!

I've managed 1990 words today and I'm pleased with how things are turning out. Surprised, but pleased. Martha appears to be taking on her own storyline and I guess I'll just have to go along for the ride! Steve is turning out roughly as planned, as is Tamara. Mary has turned into completely the opposite of how I originally wrote my notes....but it's all working out and I think it'll pass muster.

Once the housework is done, I plan on doing some planning. Sitting down and working out a rough plot for each of the characters to work through. I'm splitting the book up into mini sections, based on principles and quotations from tai chi. So I need to take a look through the tai chi set and come up with enough ideas to see me through to the end. I already have a nice idea in place for the next section: Grasp Bird's Tail. Thank you to Martha for being so dirty-minded.....

Saturday, 3 November 2012

3 down....

.....27 days to go. I fell slightly short of my personal goal of 2000 words today, but Tamara simply didn't want to say anymore.

I thought I'd start to introduce my characters for Moving Meditation, now I've got three of them fixed in my mind. I'm not sure how many other POV characters I will include but here's who I have so far:

Martha: a twenty year old college drop-out, busy penning her literary masterpiece over free refills of coffee at the shopping centre. She's full of teen-angst she's never quite grown out of, hates her contemporaries and is terrified of her Mum discovering she's dropped out of teacher training. She's aided and abetted in her deception by Leslie, the manager of the coffee shop she frequents. He has concerns over her doom-and-gloom attitude and the cuts he sees on her arms. He's the one who persuades her to find a hobby. She settles on the local tai chi group who have been giving a demonstration in the shopping centre.

Steve: a twenty-five year old, recently redundant pharmacologist. We first meet Steve in A&E, where he's having a wee chat with Dr Bailey about injuries received. From his wife when she discovered he'd not quite got round to telling her about the reduncancy for two months. Silly boy. He's stressed out, depressed and utterly miserable. He didn't want to lie to his wife, but she's pregnant and has suffered numerous miscarriages in the past. She's none too happy and he's going to have to get his act together if he stands any chance of repairing his broken marriage. Dr Bailey encourages him to manage his depression through attending tai chi.

Tamara: a sixty-three year old vegan, desperately trying to fill the void in her life left when her husband died ten years ago. Her four children despair at her "hippy-dippy-ditzy" lifestyle and she despairs at their endless consumerism and love of McDonald's. She also learns about the tai chi class whilst in the shopping centre.

Characters who will be making an appearance in some form or another include Peter, a wealthy elderly gentleman who appears to have everything going for him in life; Mary the plump and genial tai chi instructor; Gerry her gawky, gangly and morose husband; and Maddie. Maddie has no reason to feel depressed. No marriage break-ups, no miscarriages, no estrangements from family or friends. It's called clinical depression and she's drug resistant.

As you can probably tell, the theme of this book is depression and its many and varied causes. I'm hoping to inject the writing with my own brand of dark humour to stop all my readers from feeling depressed too. I hope the ending will be as happy as that of Agoraphobics Anonymous, for at least some of the characters.

More tomorrow, I hope.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo...

...and I've discovered a fellow NaNo'er in my home town! I'd toyed with the idea of trying a write-in event at the local library, but wasn't sure if it would work if the only people to turn up were Lovely Boyfriend and self. But we may be a trio.....if the library agree to us taking up electricity and seating.

As you can see from the widget, I'm keeping up with my slow and steady approach. I now have two chapters and two characters, with another new person to get to know tomorrow. I hope she's as talkative as Martha and Steve have been....

Oh, and fans of Hospital Corners will see how the infamous Dr Bailey is getting on with things nearly two years later!

Thursday, 1 November 2012


....but steady. Those are the watchwords for this year's NaNoWriMo. Last year I went all out to finish the 50,000 words in as few days as possible. This year I'm making sure I write between 1000 and 2000 words each day, and that's all. Obviously, if I get properly stuck into a scene or situation, I'll keep going....but otherwise I'm doing what needs to be done and no more. I'm also making sure it's writing I'm happy with.

Yes, I "won" NaNoWriMo last year with nearly 51,000 words in something like 27 days. BUT, anyone can do that. If you put your mind and plenty of time to it, anyone can write 50,000 words in 30 days. The trick is writing something you're happy to put your name to. I wasn't happy with last year's effort, even as I wrote it. My character couldn't just order "coffee" - it had to be a double chocolate and vanilla  macchiato with extra whipped cream, caramel sauce and sprinkles, served in a large, cardboard cup with one of those annoying corrugated sleeves that are supposed to protect your fingers from getting burned but don't and a lid you can't drink through.

This year, I'm just ordering coffee.