Fifty thousand

For previous updates on this project, click here.

November is a month of acceptance. If you want to look like a paedophile for charity, that’s ok. People will applaud you. Equally if you feel like locking yourself indoors, muttering insanely and giving social media constant updates on how many words you’ve written today, society will accept this.

I’m not officially doing NaNoWriMo. I started the month with 35,000 words and I’m pretty sure that’s cheating. But while all that extra support and camaraderie is floating around, I thought I might have a stab at cracking 50,000 words.

Wednesday 16th November 
Starting word count- 38537
Minimum daily target- 39301
10:51am- I missed yesterday due to driving six hours to attend my brother’s formal. Now behind.
10:56am- Cheating slightly. During a previous six hour drive I wrote out-loud and recorded it on my mini-cassette recorder (because I’m a BAMF). Transcribing that.
11:06am- This is painful. I’m not even kidding. The reason it took me so long to commit to this piece of writing was a desperate fear that it would stop being fun.
11:08am- THIS IS JUST RAMBLING. I don’t care if its authentic and potentially interesting rambling. Its still rambling about the tea making process and I’m pretty sure that isn’t how you write a novel.
11:13am- “You put the teabag in the cup and you put in the sugar (if you have sugar) and the milk (if you have milk).” YES ALEX EVERYONE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE TEA YOU DON’T NEED TO SPELL IT OUT.
11:19am- Resisting a strong urge to head-desk and/or rage quit. Please, please, please let this paragraph not be as shithouse as it currently appears.
11:29am- So it turns out that if you ramble into a tape recorder and then transcribe it, it tends to come out sounding like someone is rambling into a tape recorder.
11:35am- This is the problem I have with writing like this. When you become fixated on word counts, the quality of the section doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it is 332 words long.
11:40am- My characters spend a slightly ridiculous amount of time smiling at each other.
12:00pm- Damp patch. Can the words “damp patch” ever be used in a non-sexual context?
12:17pm- Other things my characters do a lot- look at each other.
12:33pm- The strangest thing is that I have almost no recollection of writing some of this. I also don’t remember the section of driving I was doing while writing it. This is possibly bad.
1:13pm- This single bit (which I rather like) is over 800 words long. Which means I can leave the tea ranting out for now.
Final word count- 39430

Thursday 17th November
Starting word count- 39430
Minimum daily target- 40185
1:17pm- I’ve been dicking around on Tumblr all morning and I’m still in my pyjamas. I’m finding it difficult to regret either of these decisions.
1:23pm- A couple of things occurred to me yesterday. This isn’t going to be magically finished when I hit 50,000. If I want it to be finished I’m going to have to tackle the total shambles which is the first 15 pages or so.
1:34pm- Urban Dictionary tells me “let’s blow this popsicle stand” is a lame saying. Well I think Urban Dictory is lame. So THERE.
1:42pm- I’ve got distracted again by my new favourite procrastination technique- typing increasingly random things into Google in order to create a queue on Fuck Yeah Dead Cat Bounce.
2:16pm- The worst part of this is that I’ve painted myself into a corner by informing as many people as possible about my goal. That means if I don’t make it, I have to fess up.
2:23pm- Put the chocolate down, stop refreshing the window and write some words.
2:29pm- I’m tackling the beginning by the way. You may have noticed it is as painful as I thought it would be.
3:03pm- I need 85 more words. Just 85. I can do this.
3:11pm- Just considered adding in yesterday’s tea rant to push up the word count. Need to leave the house in 5 minutes.
3:19pm- DONE! Oh bugger. I’m going to be late.
3:20pm- Double bugger. I’m still wearing my pyjamas.

7:04pm- Just logged onto Twitter to find four lovely motivational replies to an earlier desperation tweet. What did people do before the internet?
7:08pm- Tomorrow I have to drive back to Newcastle. I then I have Quidditch training in the evening followed by possible team bonding. Tomorrow is not looking good for my word count. Going to try and get ahead.
7:43pm- What’s the name of that date rape drug? Pretty sure it starts with a r…STOP GETTING THE WRONG IDEA ABOUT MY NOVEL.
7:44pm- No Ritalin is for ADHD. Bugger it, Googling “date rape drugs.”
7:45pm- Rohypnol! That’s it.
8:01pm- I’ve written 1101 words today. That’s a lot. I am a zarking genius. (The delusions of grander are only going to get worse the closer we get to my target).
Final word Count- 40531

Saturday 19th November
Starting word count- 40531
Minimum daily target- 41348
11:52am- Yesterday went worse than expected on the word count front. I drove for six hours, went straight to Quidditch and then ended up playing tabletop RPGs until 4am and sleeping on someone’s couch. So no words.
11:54am- I’m pretty tempted to write a Paranoia game into the Mexican dinner party. That sentence is a pretty good indication of how epic this story is.
(Remember what I said about the delusions of grander?)
11:57am- I need to write 817 words a day now. It was 716. I’ve only missed two days and made my word count on every other day and yet I’ve gained 100 extra words?
12:17pm- The Doctor Who Children in Need sketch came out today, along with the Smithmas trailer and new videos from the Vlogbrothers, Alex and Liam. The internet is being extra specially distracting ok?
12:31pm- Rachel’s just sent me a link to a site where, if you write 100 words, you get a picture of a cat. I think this will be helpful.
12:41pm- I’ve had this shirt on for 30 hours now. I haven’t showered since Thursday night. Still no words for today. Give me a sec, I’m just having a “WHAT IS MY LIFE?!” moment.
1:07pm- I’ve had a shower, washed my hair, changed into nice clothes, put on a pot to make pasta for lunch and started playing Charlie’s album loudly. Feel like a human being again. Let’s do this shit.
1:52pm- I’m writing the “boring bits”. By which I mean “context”. I have many thousands of words of amusing dialogue. I’m filling it all the bits around the edges.
2:20pm- My internet just randomly turned itself off. Possibly an intervention.
3:25pm- My novel features a deaf character. With little knowledge of the logistic of being deaf I find this pretty hard to write. This isn’t helped by the fact that, when you look up ‘how to communicate with deaf people’ ask.com tells you to trim your moustache.
3:38pm- Couch or lounge? Serious question. I feel like I should have consistency rather than switching between the two. Alternatively, write less scenes involving couches.
4:16pm- How do you describe…you know when you make a sort of mouth with one hand. Sort of looks like a duck. And you can make it talk. Yeah, how do you describe that?
4:34pm- I’m teaching myself to sign Doctor Who (another indication of the quality of this piece of work). Some confusion as the whether it would be the medical kind of Doctor or the Doctorate kind.
4:58pm- I keep getting distracted by typing words into the sign language dictionary. Sign language is pretty great.
5:15pm- I’m actually enjoying myself. I stumbled past today’s target ages ago without even noticing. This is how writing is supposed to be.
5:32pm- I need 26 words to be at 42,000. I feel this important milestone is worth a little more effort.
5:35pm- BAM! Take that word count.
6:06pm- Just typed “musicals with lots of dancing in them” into Google.
6:08pm- I have listened to “This is Me” three times today.
6:11pm- The word count is back to 716 a day. Probably going to go dance around my living room now.

Final word count- 



PS- Next weekend I’ll be blogging from the first ever major Quidditch Tournament in Australia! If you’re in Sydney you should definitely come along and watch. Details here.
PPS- Keep working on those riddles. I gather some people are having a bit of trouble. If you ask nicely there might be some more clues. Liking the Facebook page would be a good idea on this front.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year