Before I move on to this wonderful new year, I thought you might like to know what I’ve been up to since my last post (the one about NaNoWriMo not the one about being hacked!). Well here’s part one of what I’ve been doing:
NOVEMBER: Failed NaNoWriMo, Read the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare Instead
At the end of October, my wise sister told me that if I spent half the time I spend reading writing instead, I’d be able to bash out 10 novels before the end of the year (or words to that effect). She was right. I do spend a ridiculous amount of time reading and not doing anything else. Not just books either, I trawl the internet every day for hours reading articles and blogs. It’s getting out of hand. I am the master of procrastination, and reading allows me to tell myself I’m achieving something as I can pretend to myself that I’m doing some form of “research”. 2012 was the year I pushed the definition of research to its very limits.
Anyway, when Anna said this I did feel a little guilty and decided to attempt NaNoWriMo 2012. What better to get me to start writing? I even blogged about it to make sure I actually stuck to it (LOL). It was all going so well, in two days I’d written 2000 words and had a pretty fun love-at-the-end-of-the-world type plot planned.
After the first two days things began to unravel. I went to three different bonfire parties in four days which meant, naturally that I’d left my novel temporarily and promised to catch up in the week. I wrote a little more on my phone after a drunken night out (totally illegible drivel) but after that I had lost the drive to forge on. I told myself I was too busy, I’d catch up next week when I had more time.
The following week, I discovered the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I’d seen them before but thought they looked a little too childish, even for me. However when I saw them recommended on another blog by a grown up man, I thought I’d give them a go. Plus they’ve made the first book into a film and I wanted to check out the books before the films release later this year. NaNoWriMo was a lost cause after that.
I’m not sure why I was worried about the Mortal Instruments series being too young, as they’re similar in feel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Divergent, The Hunger Games trilogy, and many other YA books I have read and enjoyed. I suppose I don’t want to be that person who only reads YA, so I try not to limit myself to it all the time. I enjoy reading all sorts and don’t want to be defined by one genre. Having said that, YA fantasy and Sci Fi is always what I feel like writing about when I sit down to blog. It is an exciting genre that’s getting better and better and I don’t feel as wary of writing critically about it as I do with classics and literary fiction.
Anyway, I read the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series in about a week and a half. The books are City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass, and all follow Clary, a girl who has her world turned upside down after finding out she is a shadowhunter, a demon killer. Clary meets other shadowhunters her own age: Isabelle, Alec and the rather lovely Jace. When her mother goes missing in mysterious circumstances, Clary needs the shadowhunters’ help. Her search for her mother and missing childhood memories takes her all over New York, with her geeky and sarcastic but loveable friend Simon dragged along for the ride. As the books progress, Clary learns more about her past, her parents and the world of shadowhunters, downworlders and demons.
I liked these books because they were plot-driven, super exciting stories with a cracking forbidden love story
(although I did start shouting in frustration by the middle of the third book). What’s more, Simon, who should just be the annoying friend, turns out to be an excellent character. In fact, I’d say that Clare found the perfect balance between keeping the plot moving and exploring and developing the characters. All in all, I bloody loved these books! Even if I am indulging my inner teenager.
The Mortal Instruments series will eventually be made up of 6 books but only 5 have so far been released. Because the third book ended in such a wonderful place I told myself I would leave it there and resist the temptation to pick up the other two until the series had been completed (in 2014!!). Clare has also written another trilogy of books set within the same world but set in Victorian times, these are called The Infernal Devices. Only two of the three have so far been released, so I told myself I would wait until the third book came out before picking up the third. We’ll see how far I got with all this temptation-resisting when I recap on December!
So, that was my disastrous November. Failed NaNoWriMo, went to a lot of parties and read a few books. Any time I wasn’t reading/partying I spent helping my sister photograph a school and generally panicking over my lack of a serious job. But hey! It’s a new year now, so moping is strictly forbidden. Bring on 2013!
This year I will actually be attempting NaNoWriMo 2012. For those of you who don’t know what this means, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is where people around the world commit to writing a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve been wanting to have a go at this for a few years now but didn’t have the confidence. This year however, I’ve decided to give it a go!
I’ll admit I was a bit late to start with this, I only remembered it started on November 1st last night at around 10pm so at the moment I’ve only written 600 words. Still it’s a start! I will hopefully be making up for this today, cramming in a couple of thousand words. The aim is to write about 1700 words a day.
The big question was what to write about? Well, I have tentatively put that I will be writing a sci fi novel “probably involving some form of time travel” on my NaNoWriMo profile, but I’m not sure how this will play out. I had a great idea about a story involving time travel but have already confused myself over paradoxes and things so I’m tempted to abandon the time travel plot in favour of something more straight forward. Still, they say you should just write whatever comes to mind first, and worry about editing in December. So that’s what I’m going to do.
I haven’t decided yet if I will be writing one novel or several short stories, or even just some articles. My aim is simply to write lots all through November, as practice makes perfect and ultimately I want to write for a living (this is the dream). I think it’s excellent practice for getting into the mindset of writing lots every day.
Here’s a snippet of what I’ve done so far:
“I have seen the future, and it makes a mockery of Orwell and Huxley. They didn’t realise how much power chaos has.”
Cringe! I must admit that when I started last night I was thinking of an extremely overdramatic plot involving the end of the world so it’s a bit doom and gloom at this stage. Hoping to lighten things up a bit today with some ace characters so we’ll see where the writing takes me!
Wish me luck! I’m going to need it to make it to the end of November! I really don’t want this to turn out to be ANOTHER thing I start and don’t finish!