November 30, 2014

Epic Fail!

Well it's November 30th, end of #NaNoWriMo and I didn't not make the 50,000 words. 

I actually stopped a couple of weeks ago at 26,000 words. It was really weird; the story was told and that was the end of it. I fought it for a while and tried to change the direction of the story, thought maybe I could write about my mam for a while. It didn't matter what I tried. I had said all I had to say and it was time to stop.
Once I had made the decision, I felt a lot better. 


With fiction, you can add a plot twist, a new character, you and take a character on a tangent, but with a true story the tale is what it is; when it's told, it's told. 


I'm so glad I did it. I got all the words out of my head and on to the page. That was what I wanted. I just thought there would be more worlds. Actually, I think there might be, but not yet. I failed to reach the target of 50k, but what I've done is epic. I've captured my dad on paper, as much as I can, for now.


It'll go in a draver while I work on getting my second collection of short stories together, and working on last years NaNo novel, which is starting to take shape. I plan to do NaNo again next year, but will stick to fiction; I'm definitely more productive when I can just make it up :) 


Pop over and say hi on Facebook and let me know how you did. Did you get your 50k. You can tweet me @amowriting if you like :) 

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

November 10, 2014

Day 10 of NaNoWriMo

So we're one third of the way there with NaNoWriMo! 50k words in 30days. Doddle right?!


You want to know how it's going?


Well, I didn't sleep great last night and had an idea for a novel at about 3.30am. I spent the next hour wondering how I could jump ship and write about this new idea instead of finishing writing about my dad. 


Does that give you a clue?


It's hard going - that's how it's going. 


NaNo is not supposed to be a walk in the park I know, but it really is tough. I thought that the words would just pour out of me on to the page. That I'd be making dinner with one hand and vaguely brushing against the keyboard with the other hand as the words draped themselves across the page like an Austen character on a chaise lounge.


Not even close!


The first thing I noticed was that every section I started about my Dad (after all he is the focus of NaNo this year), I ended up writing about myself. I was so annoyed, so I'd regroup, start again and it wouldn't take long before it was me me me again.  


I posted a message in the online NaNoWriMo group I'm in. They all said pretty much the same thing. Write the story that wants to be written. Don't stop, don't delete, just keep going. Thankfully I hadn't deleted anything (if I'd deleted the stuff about me, there would only have been the title, his name and a story about his socks left). 


I trundled on regardless and just typed whatever was there. That started the tears. Not gentle can I borrow your handkerchief Mr Darcy tears - oh no. These were the snot rolling down your face tears. Tears that have to be wiped away with your whole arm. The ones that require to wash you face and your glasses before you can continue.


Absolute sobfest.


A couple of days of that and I needed a break. So yesterday, I took a day off writing and I read pretty much all day. It was lovely.


So today I'm behind on the word count', but I feel ready to go into the 2nd trimester of this thing.


Maybe I'm saving myself hundreds of euro in therapy. Maybe I'm setting myself up to spend twice that on it. But this process is not at all what I thought it would be. Most of the time it feels like a mess. Then I read a section and think... you've got this. :)



Here's a some of the section about him being caretaker at my secondary school. 



Dad's desk faced the main door as you came into the school. After coming through the door you turned immediately right and the office was on your right. The receptionists' area was the first thing you saw, then behind another door was the principal’s office. If anyone was sent to the principal because they were in trouble, they would end up standing outside the secretary’s area, waiting to be called. It was just opposite where my Dad sat or stood, depending on his mood.


I heard him tell my mam stories of really rude students who’d been dragged to the office by their teachers. I remember thinking to myself that it was something I must be careful never to do. I was far too much of a teacher's pet to cause that much trouble, but I knew if I EVER ended up outside the principal’s office, the trouble at home would be far scarier.


One thing that really annoyed him was when parents were just as rude as their children. I remember him being totally shocked that a parent had told our principal to f-off, when the principal said something about the pupil having no manners. Dad could not believe that anyone would talk to a school headmaster like that.


He would often end up chatting to pupils who were waiting to be called into the office. His question was always - why? Why didn’t you do what you were told, when you knew it would get you into trouble? Why were you so rude to your teacher? Why don’t you care?


I remember him saying to my mam once, “They should care Betty, Why don’t they care?"


Looking back I think I stayed inside the lines, not because I was afraid of him or because I was a teacher's pet. I stayed out of trouble because I cared. I cared what teachers thought of me and I cared what he thought of me.  



Got any comments, do pop over to the Facebook page or you can tweet @amowriting 


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