And I am learning... heaps. Here are a few things I have observed about the writing process and my own working habits:
1. Subject Matter: During Week 44, I decided to keep my 30-day novel simple. My memory-driven story, with healthy doses of embellishment, was a good strategy for 'keeping me writing' if nothing else. If it's boring, I can add the flesh to my bones later.
2. Point-of-View: First person narrative is easy to maintain and can not be beat for a quick, intimate story. After an initial struggle between present and past tense, I naturally fell into past tense, and so it is so.
3. Outline: I began with obvious scene or chapter headings, and am able to pick and chose which ones to tackle on a given day. I commit myself to finishing the scene, and then, depending on the word count and energy levels, I move to the next heading, or guiltlessly call it a day.
4. Word Count: 50,000 words divided by 20 headings equals 2,500 words each. When I started, my scenes fell well below this mark, and panic set in. But the more I write, the richer my scenes become, and the word count is picking up.
5. Long-hand: I have always preferred to start things off in long-hand. During NaNoWriMo, I have become very particular about this. I have one exercise book next to my bed, and one floating round the living room, and a bunch of yellow, 2HB pencils scattered everywhere. About 90 per cent of my first draft has been written in long-hand first, and then typed into the computer. Not only do I get that buzz that comes from fingers flying across the keyboard, but when I stumble across a hand-written passage that I forgot to type up, it's like finding twenty bucks in the pocket of an old jacket. Ka-chow word count!
6. Just Writing: It's true, the more you write, the easy it becomes. And I would like to think the quality picks up, too. (Well, here's hoping.)
And for those lexophiles amongst us, instead of writing exercises, here are some other things I have learnt that are a bit more silly:
I plotted NaNoWriMo on my calendar to remind me that its days are numbered.
If a writer backs up to his electric pencil sharpener, he may get a little behind in his work.Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like the soggy banana left-over from a midnight snack.
Writing with a broken pencil is pointless.
A backward poet writes inverse.The depressed writer who threw herself into an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
And lastly, but most importantly:
A boiled egg is hard to beat.