November 01, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

The start of NaNoWriMo feels like a mammoth task. It's a bit like starting a marathon or an ultra without course markers; you can take any road just as long as you go the incredibly long, yet doable, distance of 50,000 words this month.

The IDEA now has to be worked on, translated from thoughts and notes into words that form a plot and character we care about. (I didn't outline the story.)

Waking up just before 6am, I got up 10 minutes later. With a pot of fresh coffee, I headed to my desk, checked my emails, facebook and a couple of other sites until I no longer had a virtual excuse to postpone beginning on NaNoWriMo.

It felt like a tough start. Suddenly, I felt completely not ready and unprepared. So many choices, too much freedom. Do I stick to the plan, my idea, or do something else?

I began second-guessing the story, only to realize how little I really knew about my characters and plot. Or, to be more specific, I questioned whether I even had either one. Words weren't coming easy, and hitting the recount button didn't make them flow any faster.

The good thing about NaNoWriMo is that you need to stay on track for the daily average word count. So I reminded myself that was the main thing I needed to focus on: quantity. I don't stop until I hit my daily average. It's the secret to NaNoWriMo's success because the freedom that comes with worrying about  quantity alone works in that it leads to output.

I typed, and typed some more, until I hit 1,668 words. 

For now, I discovered that the protagonist Robin has a daughter named Isa, who is recovering from breast cancer and convinced her to train for the Vancouver Marathon together. 

Robin's husband doesn't like change, which includes his wife suddenly becoming a distance runner.

Robin has two brothers, both All American baseball players, to the disappointment of their dad who had a chance of making the Olympic marathon team before a bout of polio ended that dream. He later recovered enough to run a 2:37 marathon at the age of 52.

Her dad never encouraged Robin to run as a teenager, not surprising, as the 1960s wasn't an era when women did. 

And with that, Day 1 is done. I wonder what Day 2 will bring. 

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