Status Report: Tom

 by Tom Wilkinson

So how is NaNo going for me?

Well, that’s an interesting question. This time, for the first time ever, I planned out everything ahead of time. I have a notebook, which contains character sketches, chapter headings and scene notes.  Each chapter has a minimum word count, to be divided between the scenes as I see fit.

So far, so good, I hear you say. And that would be fine, except for one thing: I didn’t finish my plan. Each chapter has a title. All but the last three have scene details. So in the last three chapters, I have no scenes planned. When I get to them, I’ll have to plan things out.

In terms of word count, I’m slightly ahead of the curve. I get the impression that that situation might not last though; the last few nights have been filled with my baby son refusing to go to sleep for hours at a time (current record: 150 minutes to go to sleep after bedtime) means that the time I should be filling with writing is instead spent wrestling a restless five-month-old and then picking over the burnt remains of my dinner. So we’ll see.

How about in terms of plot? Well, at this stage I should be about halfway through the plot as sketched in my notebook. And I am, so go team me! There’s a ‘but’ though (isn’t there always?). When I started, I worked out that each draft-chapter should be about 1800 words. Oops. The actual figure is about double that. So what started out as sparse descriptions and dialogue has now gone in completely the opposite direction, and I’m writing more than I need to per scene, and it’s so bad it’ll all need editing heavily. Oops again.

On the social side, it’s been fantastic to meet up with so many of you at the write-ins and social meets, hearing about your stories and your inspiration. Let’s keep that up – I look forward to seeing you all at future events and learning about your successes.

To go back to the original subject, then: how is NaNo going? I think the answer is a qualified “Well enough, compared to previous years”. I’ll finish, and some bits will have gone better than usual, and some worse.

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