#WatchMeWrite + NaNoWriMo

First of all, a belated HAPPY HALLOWEEN! And of course, that means winter is coming, bringing with it the dreaded/exalted NaNoWriMo.

If you want a properly epic NaNoWriMo freak-out/pep talk, you should definitely check out Samantha Chaffin's amazing blog post. On the other hand, if you want to listen to me gloat about how I just finished my WIP, stay with me.

Knew you'd make the right choice. Both!

The WIP I mentioned is Winner Takes All. Long story short (pun not intended), Ylen's son is taken hostage by the royal family for her to investigate the life of Talisa, a native woman who climbed the political ladder to become Queen of a country ruled by a foreign minority. Disclaimer: this is not an allegory. Really. At least not in the way you think.

To prevent you from falling asleep entirely at this point, here's a quick #WatchMeWrite video so you can glimpse my desperate attempt at flowing, beautiful prose:

To be honest, it's been one nerve-wracking journey from 0 to 75K odd words. It's my fastest novel-writing speed ever -- 1500 words or so per hour, once a day, minus the occasional school-related Level 7 emergency. I couldn't have made it this far without the Twitter hand-holding by Christina, Sam, and AnQi. And I can't make it any further without the help of you, dear reader.

Essentially, what I'll be doing in November is a variant of NaNoWriMo, only for editing. Now, I know what you're going to say, I should let this piping hot mess rest for a while and come back. But here's the thing: I already have a few burning problems I've noticed, and in December, I'll be taking a trip to the wifi-less, computer-less city of Mendoza in Argentina for a science comp.

(Disclaimer 2: I don't have anything against Mendoza. But the competition organiser will take away all our communication devices, including computers. So I'll be effectively manuscript-less.)

As this is turning into a ramble, this is my plan for NaNoEdiMo:
  • Week 1: Write a synopsis, query, and detailed chapter summary. Note any horrible things.
  • Week 2: Figure out all character motivations, goals and stakes for POV characters.
  • Week 3: Figure out all character motivations, goals and stakes for non-POV characters.
  • Week 4: Clarify all character arcs for both POV and non-POV main characters.
This is mainly getting my story in order so that I won't be just paging through this after a month and saying, "Oh dear heavens, why did I write this?" Instead, I'll have a clear direction to redraft this. And that is where you come in.

Around the new year, I'll be posting a semi-second draft on Figment for beta readers so they can headdesk at my weird plots, twisted characters, and clich├ęd metaphors. So if you loved the #WatchMeWrite video up there, please do let me know in the comments, via Twitter, an email (alyssa.carlier@gmail [dot] com), Tumblr ask, anything goes. You'll be the first ones to cry and gush over my draft, as WTA won't go live until its third draft, projected to be in February/March.

That's about it — thanks so much for staying with me through this rant, so here's some virtual cake more substantial than the norm:

I actually got that to reward myself for finishing this, but hey, I like to share. So if you're interested, please don't hesitate to let me know! And for NaNoWriMo-ers, good luck! :D :D


  1. That does make sense—I mean, sometimes the "write a novel in a month" isn't the most reasonable thing ever. Looks like you're onto a great story, though. :D Good luck editing!

    1. I'm sure some people are hardcore enough to do it, but I just don't have the time to spare for 1600-odd words per day. And thanks! I'm still considering whether to live-blog or live-Tweet my NaNoEdiMo process, so you might see more of it on the blog :)

    2. Awesome possum. :) I look forward to hearing more about it.

    3. I'm really glad you're interested, haha :)

  2. This was a fun post! :) Hope that work of yours goes well! Good luck in NaNoWriMo!

    Sammie || Bloglovin

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it, I'm still super nervous but making decent progress :)


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