Daily Writing Check-in: October 26, 2017

Words/Time: 136 words of writing practice

During the last few weeks as NaNoWriMo approaches, I get to my evening writing time and work on NaNoPrep right up until midnight, when I stop and blog about how much I got done. I’m calling it quits 40 minutes before midnight…and I haven’t done any actual prep. And the 136 words were written last night, after midnight, so I count them for today.

I started coming down sick today. My daughter has been sick for a few weeks (mostly shook it, but still has a sore throat), and my husband has been sick for 4 days, so apparently now it’s my turn. I am having some serious joint aches, along with sore throat, and my brain is a bit muddled. Prep will not happen today, and most likely I’ll feel even worse tomorrow. I hope that’s all, though, because I do still need to do a good amount of prep work, and (when I’m not medicated as I am now), my fingers hurt too much to type.

The 136 words, though, were a pretty big deal, so that’s something. I wrote them starting with a writing prompt from this site. The word I used was “correspondence.” I had recently wondered if my protagonist could write a letter to his favorite person (a very wise man) right before the climax, and if that could make the climax better. I hadn’t decided 100% to do that, though, so I decided to see what that letter would look like.

By the time I’d reached the end, I had another sudden moment of realization (I’ve been having those a lot while working out this story, and it’s incredible!). What if the protagonist has been writing letters to this wise old man the whole story?

See, without getting into too much detail, because I want to go lie down, way back in the day, I had thought this story would be told through journal entries by Vin (who is currently the protagonist). I figured other things would have to be mixed in there too, a sub-plot that was more normal prose, but it made sense. But when I started outlining, I forgot (or maybe just figured I didn’t need to do it that way). I got through a page of broad outline and realized it was just too much detail. Not just in my outline, but it would be too much detail in the story. Way too much happens in this story to tell it all, but that’s okay, because a lot of it has already been told in other stories. So why rehash it, just because it’s a different point of view?

So I went back to the journal entries idea, and it started to feel better again. But then this morning, I thought…letters to the wise old man, instead of journal entries, and suddenly–it felt great!

There’s just one problem though…I don’t think he can be the protagonist anymore. These letters are going to be more introspective than anything exciting or action-y, and I don’t want the story to drag. So I think that sub-plot I mentioned above will need to actually be the “main plot,” with these letters being every 2nd or 3rd chapter.  I have no idea about the flow yet, but something like that maybe.

And the biggest issue with that now is that I’ve spent the last several weeks getting to know Vin, which is totally fine and necessary. But I have not outlined the other plot at all. At all. I know very broad strokes about what happens, but no clue at all what fills between those. And I can’t stress this enough–I am not a pantser. I don’t need a super-detailed outline, but I need a little more than what I know.

And now I’m sick.

I will take advantage of every medicated few hours where my fingers don’t hurt to try to find this plot…well, except when I’m binge-watching Stranger Things with my husband tomorrow. In that way, and that way only, maybe this is a good time to be sick. (Unless I get really sick and can’t even enjoy the show.)

Seriously, this post is crazy long for how little work I did, and the fact that I’m achey and ready to lie down. I think I got an adrenaline shot remembering my excitement this morning. It’s going away now. Time for bed.


For anyone out there who is participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to check out my series of tips and tricks for the month, and also to add me as a writing buddy! (Let me know you came from here, and I’ll add you back!)

4 thoughts on “Daily Writing Check-in: October 26, 2017

  1. I hope you feel better soon!

    And even you said you “haven’t done any actual prep” it sounds like you’ve made some great plot discoveries, so don’t beat yourself up!

    Some days are epic word sprints, and some days are crawls. They’re both valid and needed. 🤓

    Just focus on getting better! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do have a point there. When I said that I hadn’t done any actual prep, I meant that I hadn’t clocked any time spent outlining, or timeline tweaking, or character interviewing, or however else prep might look as I go forward. But the free writing led to a lot of mental work that wasn’t quantifiable. Since these daily check-ins are for quantifiable work, I didn’t feel like I’d done any for the day. But what I did was really important, so I shouldn’t have been so down on myself.

      Plus…sick.

      Thanks for your comment! It’s nice to have another perspective sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. getting sick during prep is the worst. Although it might bolster your immune system enough to keep you safe during NaNo itself, so that’s a positive there 🙂

    Take some nice naps and get better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah, good point! I was concerned the sickness would turn into something long and drawn out that would continue into November 1st, but this evening I’m feeling better than this afternoon, and I don’t think it’s just because I’ve had some medicine. It remains to be seen, but I think I’ll even get a little prep work in today.

      Thank you! I’ve definitely been taking it easy today. My company’s owner did his best to cover for me at work, and I helped out from home any way I could. But it’s been a lazy day for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

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