Nanowrimo 2017 – Week Two (09-15)

Good evening, welcome to week two of Nanowrimo.

Each week of Nanowrimo, I have been giving you updates on my progress, where my inspiration has been coming from, and my plans for the next week.

My plans for next week are; have my 50,000 words already completed. And it’s looking pretty good.


I’ve been working so hard to keep up with my 2,250 word daily goal. but it’s a steep incline to what I’m used to. I feel so guilty when I don’t reach it, and usually add it to the next day, which usually causes more stress. But hey, I love adding unnecessary stress! I’m still on track to reach 50,000 by the end of this week, and today I should be able to reach 40,000, so I’m thinking about the positives.

Week two has also been the week of doubting myself, I barely slept last night wondering what was the point of even finishing the novel. But, it’s normal and have those anxious thoughts with almost every story I think of and begin; sometimes it kills the novel, sometimes it spurs me on. I’m hoping that this time it will be the latter.

Depending on the scene I’m writing, my music inspiration changes. This week, while also still listening to Stranger Things mashups, I’ve also been listening to a lot of fun, upbeat songs that I like to use during my fight scenes. Because come on, what a duo!

How are you doing? Writing-wise but also in life?

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Nanowrimo 2017 – Week One (01-08)

Happy Nanowrimo writers!

So, we’re on our first update of the month, with one week already passing us by. How’s everyone’s writing going? Are those beginnings gripping? Are your characters introductions sparkling and intriguing? How’s your setting looking? All set up and explained? Your magic system air tight? Your governments villainous and mysterious? Your vampires sharpening their fangs? No?

Well, don’t worry, this is just a first draft.

I have had a pretty incredible first week of Nanowrimo 2017. Not that incredible because I was unwell for most of it, but also very incredible because it meant I was stuck in bed with my laptop, and I managed to write SO MUCH.



While each year I’ve managed to reach 50,000 words (sometimes just barely), this year is feeling a lot more like a race to the 20th. According to Nanowrimo, I should be completely finished by the 19th which is amazing?? I would love to be finished before my work experience, but I still have no problem with writing just a little bit while I’m away. But if I’m too tired or busy, apathy will set in. So, if I do finish on the 19th, it will be a big relief.

The story won’t be over though, oh no.

This week I’ve also been working with other writers and doing word sprints over on Twitter. So if, in the evenings, you’re ever about for some sprints, just @ me and I’ll probably be up for them! I’m in timezone GMT so the evenings might be mornings for you so keep that in mind when tweeting me! I’m hoping to do a lot more of them because they’ve been helping me get 4-500 words each time. They’re quick, around 15-20 minutes at a time, and it’s great motivation.

Music is a massive inspiration for this year’s WIP, and I do have a playlist for it. But this week, in particular, I’ve been listening to mashups of the Stranger Things theme and pop songs. How it links to my story? Not at all. But it’s working.


Also, picture inspiration is usually just anything I come across while scrolling aimlessly on Tumblr. Anything with neon lights at night in somewhere that’s maybe abandoned is kind of perfect. This week it’s this:



Here’s my introductory blog post on Nano this year, where I talk about my daily goals as well as a little bio about my WIP. Feel free to link me to any posts on your blog about your Nano updates as I’d love to read them, and let me know how you’re doing!

See you next week!

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Welcome, writers, to the best and most grueling month of the year.

National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) is upon us, and what better way to kick this off with a little post on my Nano-history, as well as introducing you to my story and what I’ll be talking about non-stop for the whole month.

I’m Hollie, I’m a book blogger, reader and writer, currently unemployed (for the 2nd November in a row) and will be starting work experience with Penguin Random House on the 20th November (AHHHH). I’ve taken part in Nanowrimo four times, and have won four times (no pressure eh?). I took part in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016, taking a break between 2011 and 2013 while I was at uni.

This year I’m gonna be writing a novel that I have actually already written. While other years I’ve used plots that I devised purely for Nano that year, this story has been rolling around in my head since around 2006. Yeah. It’s been crushed and morphed and moulded into something I hold dear to my heart, and actually wrote a 100,000 word draft of last year.

I came back to it. And I hate it.

I have since made a half-assed plan to re-write it; the setting, some of the characters and some of the plot is still there, but it’s no use going back through this draft and editing a ton; it needs a new start. And I’ve found that Nanowrimo has never done me dirty (as my four years shows). So! Here’s my working synopsis:

In a world where memories are traded, manipulated, and fabricated, one teenage girl is paranoid that a precious memory has been taken from her.

With the help of her best friend and his high school drop-out crush, she’s determined to break into the underworld of illegal memory manipulation to find the infamous ‘Storyteller’, a genius technician who’s work is notorious across the city, and who she believes is the only one who can make her life feel whole again.

But notoriety comes with enemies, including the son and heir to the company with the only legal ability to manipulate memories, who will stop at nothing to bring The Storyteller and the entire underground network to it’s knees.

Now, remember when I casually mentioned that on the 20th November, I’ll be starting a two week work experience with Penguin Random House that finishes on the 1st December? Yes. YES IT IS HAPPENING DURING NANOWRIMO. I’ve got a plan that might help me out or completely ruin me.

To get to 50,000 words by 30th November, I have to write 1,666 words a day. But because of my work experience, I’m going to have next to no free time. I’m going to be in the office or on a cramped train or sleeping. I’m going to be leaving the house at around 7am and getting in at 7pm. I don’t want to completely stop writing for my two weeks, especially while being IN the publishing industry and being surrounded by book lovers and writers. So, I’ve decided I want to, instead of reaching 33,333 on the day my w/e starts (20th), I’m planning on reaching 45,000 words. That means I should be a whole 7 days ahead of myself. I can write, but I would only have 5,000 words to achieve in 2 weeks.

I can manage that right?

So, my daily word count goal for the next 20 days? 2,250.


I can do this. I can do this. *heavy sigh*

As usual, I’m going to be posting weekly updates on my progress, including music and picture inspiration, and my Nano profile is here. Let me know if you’re doing Nano and make sure to follow me on Twitter for live updates of me screaming into the abyss!

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So, I did it. I wrote 50,000 words in the 30 days. But, let’s be honest, it was not as fun as it usually is.


The last two Nanos have been fantastic. Completely original and organic plots that I managed to fit in a whole 50,000 words. And, while I have no plans to edit/try to publish these stories, I seemed to have had a lot more fun writing them, as well as getting excited about them. On reflection, this is not the case with this year’s Nanowrimo.

Why? You may ask. Well, there are a lot of factors that I’ve thought about that may contribute to this, but the most jarring one is this; I am not the same person I was during the last two Nanos.

While I’m struggling with concentration, stress, and focus, it does not mean that I’m going to give this story up. Not only was I writing in a genre that I’ve never written in before (High Fantasy), I also had a plot that didn’t necessarily have a middle or an end. I had started to make a plan, but then November started and I just had to go and write.

It began easy; I had this beautiful idea of having a LGBT romance set in a Russian/Nordic inspired land with outlawed magic and mad Princes. I could picture all the settings, the way people spoke, and certain scenes I was excited to write. But, without a framework to base this on, without a linear plan of events, after about 20,000 words, I hit a wall. Writing scenes became bothersome and reaching my daily word count felt like a chore.

It doesn’t make writing easier when you become obsessed with a show that updates with clips in real time. But we won’t talk about SKAM in another post.

I’m glad I took part in this year’s Nanowrimo; it really pushed me as a writer at a low point in my life. I’m glad I found at least some solace in writing and thinking about the story that I wanted to create (at least at the beginning) and I definitely have plans to get it written completely and, hopefully, published.

How did everyone else’s Nano go? I love reading about other people’s experiences!

Nanowrimo Week One | Nanowrimo Week Two | Nanowrimo Week Three

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Welcome to Nanowrimo Week THREE, where the end is near and your crying just got more dramatic. I haven’t picked a book up in so long because I just can’t stop thinking about this novel I’m writing. I’ve day dreamed about it, had actual dreams about it, and often forgotten that the plot I’m thinking of isn’t a plot from a novel I’m reading, but a novel I’m writing, and that’s exciting!

However, my stats are not:


My WIP will be nowhere near finished when I reach 50,000. Because it’s a high fantasy, it is a part of a genre that is known for being long, and that’s exactly what it’s coming to. No big action-y stuff is happening, and you’re still only getting to know the characters, and I’m already at 34,000!

As you can tell by the super intimidating graph that has been spurring me on this whole time, I hit a bump in the road this weekend when I left the house for a day or two. Crazy, I know. Friday morning, I was able to write 600 words and was then off to a Panic! At The Disco concert. I didn’t get back home to my laptop until Saturday afternoon, when I was then whisked off to the cinema to see Doctor Strange. My novel suffered (and I did too in regards to the amount of hours sleep I got).

I hope to get to at least 35,000 by the end of today, and maybe even push it to 36,000 if I can.

Music Inspiration:

Picture Inspiration:


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Hello, welcome to Nanowrimo week two, and the worst week of 2016.

Yes, this week has a nation divided between love and hate, and hey, it isn’t even a nation that I live in. But, considering American news is broadcast everywhere (although it is not vice versa), I am fully aware of what is going on across the Atlantic and have nothing but sympathy for the people who are already suffering, and hope you can continue to march on in protest.

So while this week has been bloody awful, I’ve actually been making great progress with my novel, and am now two days ahead of my daily goals. Woohoo! (I mean, I haven’t written anything yet today, but come 9PM I’m writing until I go to sleep).


This is due, in part, to my two day departure from social media on Wednesday and Thursday, where I’ve found that horrific news incredibly affects my mental health. I had a very similar reaction to Brexit, and even worse so, considering it was news from my actual country, and was forced to come off social media for a while. It’s a strange feeling, because you empathise with the people on Twitter who are talking about it (and also don’t want come across as ignorant and blase about everything), but you also have to remember that social media is still MEDIA, and things are still misconstrued, exaggerated, and fear mongering. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first. So, I removed the app from my phone’s homepage, deleted the shortcut from Chrome, and turned my phone’s wifi off, so I wasn’t even tempted. This really helped writing wise, and I am even debating having a weekly ‘wifi shutdown’ for a day or two, because even if there isn’t some awful news happening, it’s still quite a healthy practice.

One of the things I’m slowly reaching is the middle section, which has always been my enemy. There’s a lot of talking, a lot of moving from room to room just to have more conversations. I have some sub plots running through the main plot too, but I am worried that the main plot is going to be lost. I think, once November is over, I’ll get to writing a story plan, because this middle bit really needs revising!

And now, for distractions! So, while the US elections put me in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, anime is what brought me out of it, but also made sure I did not get those words down.

Yep, you read that correctly; anime. More specifically, a new show about professional ice skating, called Yuri on Ice. I’m not really known for living that anime life, but YOI is so hilarious and cosy, that I binged watched the whole six episodes that are currently out, drinking a hot chocolate under the covers. Thankfully, there aren’t seasons and seasons to watch and I have to wait for one episode a week, because can you imagine what that graph would look like if I have six seasons to get through? They would be non existent.

Music Inspiration (With thanks to the Trainspotting 2 trailer):

Picture Inspiration:


How is that middle section treatin’ ya? Let me know in the comments how Nanowrimo is going (or not going) for you!

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I can’t believe a week of Nanowrimo has already passed.

And since this is the first November in a long time where I’ve had lots and lots of free time, I wanted to set an even harder challenge than usual and aim to reach 50,000 words a few days before November 30th.

So far, we’re looking good.


The first few days of writing your novel are, for me, the best days. I’m so excited to unravel a story that I don’t want to stop. I know the basic premise but I haven’t figured out each and every scene, so one will just come to me and I’ll think “Right! Get it on the page!” I’ve only recently delved into the world of novel planning and so far I really enjoy it. I began one for Royal Blood, but then suddenly November 1st arrived and I was spending too much time on the plan and not enough on the actual story.

At the moment, I’m just letting a million thoughts enter my brain, a lot of ‘What if THIS happened’ moments and then just letting it happen because hey, it’s just a first draft!

So Thursday 3rd November was the most productive writing day. The previous day I’d been in Oxford all day, and so needed to play catch up. However, I got so in the zone that I managed to beat Friday’s goal as well! I’m currently one day ahead, and working towards the next day’s goal each day, which is a pace I’d like to keep.

Of course, every week there are distractions, and this week was the reality television show Dance Moms. I used to be into the show so much a few years ago, but I stopped watching when I couldn’t binge watch because I’d watched them all (and because I’d discovered The Real Housewives of Orange County), but now I’m back down the rabbit hole and it’s awful. It eats up writing time, and so I’m trying to use it as a reward rather than as a thing that could physically minimize MS Word.

I’ve been letting music and Pinterest inspire me the most, as usual, and so;




If you want to know more about my novel, I wrote a little summary in my Nanowrimo intro post. How is your novel going? Do you find having a deadline works for you? Good luck and see you in week two!

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