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NaNo2017: My Last-Minute Prep and the First Few Days

by Kellyn Roth |
November 4, 2017

Copy of Beyond Her Calling, characters

Wow, can you believe it’s already day four?! NaNoWriMo is flying by! I mean, four out of thirty isn’t much (only about 13%), but it’s still several days which I’ve spent writing like a maniac.
But, before I start talking about my (amazing) NaNo progress, let’s talk about my last minute prep.
Really all my prep was last minute. I didn’t start outlining until early October, and then I put it off and put it off until … I did most of it a week before NaNo, quite a chunk of it on October 31st!

But in the end, I was ready to go on November 1st.
Note: this is a thrown-together post without the proper pictures and such that I’m used to having … so please forgive me. I’m having a crazy week. (Updates on that at the end, too.)


Notebook Outline

So, I usually start outlining in a notebook (you saw the starts of that in my last post). I try to summarize the whole plot. Basically, it’s a big block of text cut up into bullet points.
I usually write this at least twice through (changing it and making all kinds of notes about changes between these outlines). (I also made an original half-done outline on the computer before this that I worked off of.)
This time, I think I did three notebook versions of the outline and two computer versions. (More on that in a moment.)


Computer Outline


I’ve never done an actual outline this this, with neatly arranged i, ii, and iis, but I did this year! I mean, I technically just made a big point for each scene(ish) and then put in whatever random thoughts I had about it, but … it’s an Official Outline, y’all.
My very first official outline. #plotterpride
(And yes, my scene-summary outlines were probably must more thorough, but this is much more me. Sharp. Quick. To the point. The kind of thing I can read at a glance.)
So … I typed up and wrote most of that (^) on October 31st. And I’m actually super happy with how it turned out! I tend to be a major procrastinator, so a lot of the time things end up being all over the place, but this actually turned out well … despite my last-minute-ness. ๐Ÿ˜‰



I have yet to actually use it while writing … but I do have an official Beyond Her Calling playlist on YouTube! You can view it here. There are only eleven songs at present (I might add more as I get deeper into the novel), but it is a playlist, nonetheless. ๐Ÿ˜‰
I know … there are lots of different genres in there. Everything from Disney to Evanescence to Beethoven. But I swear they all have something to do with BHC!


And Writing Began!

I have 9,354 words so far, and I haven’t started writing today. So a pretty good start, eh? At least for a girl who’s just doing 50K. I know people who’ve already made it into the 20Ks and beyond! *jaw drops*
I got up at 4:30 on Wednesday to write. It was crazy. I still haven’t recovered from it. Honestly, I can stay up all night writing … but getting up early? Nope. It doesn’t work that way. I need sleep in the morning.
I am reasonably happy with how the novel’s going. I just got to the point where I’m writing about Jordy … and ohmygosh, he is so sweet! And Violet is hilariously annoying
Here’s an excerpt so you can see what I mean.

(NOTE: this excerpt is completely unedited. As in, I didn’t even read through it before I posted it here. It is sure to be terrible.)

She stepped forward and said his name again as he drew nearer. โ€œJordy.โ€ She said it flatly, emotionlessly, and there was no smile on her face, but something in her eyes said he was just as glad to see her as she was to see him.
โ€œItโ€™s good to have you home, lad,โ€ said Dr. McCale. Jordy had forgotten how good a Scottish dialect sounded. He used his only occasionally now, usually when he wasnโ€™t thinking or if he wanted to bother one of his peers.
โ€œItโ€™s good to be home,โ€ Jordy responded, throwing his arms about his old mentor in an impromptu embrace. โ€œIโ€™ve missed ye, sir.โ€ It was so easy to let the brogue slip back. He promised never to use an English accent again. Who wanted to talk like a Britt, anyway?
Dr. McCale quickly shrugged away, though Jordy thought he was a wee misty-eyed. He next turned to Mrs. McCale and enveloped her in his arms. She held him close for a long moment.
โ€œOh, Jordy, look at you!โ€ she exclaimed. โ€œYouโ€™re a man grown!โ€
โ€œAye, I suppose I am,โ€ Jordy laughed. โ€œAnd Violet has done some growinโ€™, too. Whereโ€™s that leggy little lass I knew?โ€
Violet rolled her eyes. โ€œWell, at least I know where that condescending young man I knew is.โ€
Jordy chuckled. โ€œNow, Violet. Iโ€™m not so terrible, am I?โ€
Violet didnโ€™t reply; simply glared at him silently.
This was Violet, all right. Sheโ€™d never said a positive word about anything or anyone that he knew of except perhaps Ivy. Ivy โ€ฆ little Ivy Knight. He wondered what had ever become of her. Probably a debutante by now. At least, he hoped so. She was a likely lass, and he wanted her to succeed. Hopefully, the time sheโ€™d spent at McCale House had prepared her to step out into the world.
He tossed an arm around Violetโ€™s shoulders just to make her uncomfortable. He couldnโ€™t help it, really. She was so much fun to bother. โ€œWell, me darlinโ€™ wee lass, shall we make our way to the carriage?โ€
Violet shoved him away with surprising strength. โ€œOh, leave off, you big idiot.โ€

So … what do you think? Isn’t Violet the best even though she’s annoying as all get out? I honestly could write about her all day.


And Then There Was Life

And Kell saw the Life. And Kell said that the Life was bad.
Seriously, though, life tends to get in the way of things.
Though the truth is, those other things are getting in the way of LIFE, as life is what’s real.
Though I guess writing is also real. I mean, I’m really writing. And blogging.
I guess the more accurate description would be, “Parts of my life are getting in the way of other parts of my life, and it annoys me.”
So here are the life things that are getting in the way of my other life things (e.g. writing and blogging):

  • Work. I only work three days a week from 3:30 to about 6:00 (6:30 at the latest). I also worked for a couple hours this Tuesday morning (and will eventually start doing that every Tuesday), but it’s still not that much. All the same, it is there.
  • School. From the moment I wake up to 1:00, I have school. And that’s hard on me with all my grand illusions of finishing a novel in a month. Sometimes it runs over if I don’t work fast and get P.E. and instrument practice done.
  • AWANAs. I’ve been doing AWANAs (Affirmed Worked Are Not Ashamed – it’s like a Bible study activity for kids) every Wednesday night. And it’s not long, but it does take up the rest of my evening, soooo …? I’m really loving it, though.
  • Might be getting a puppy. This evening, we’re going to go look at some puppies in a nearby town. We’re going to have to put my dog Gidget down in a couple weeks. I’ll never have a dog as good as her, but it will help a little to have a puppy (assuming they turn out to be as good as they look & my parents give their consent).
(not sure if that one’s a possibility; it could be male or female, and we want a female)


We got a puppy!

Not the best photo, but you get the idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Her name is Aubrey Keira Roth. Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m been calling her Aub or Bree interchangeably. She’s really smart – already coming to my voice – and she’s quite gorgeous.

My mom: I was going to name you Aubrey.
My dad: I had a dog named [Kellyn] once.

Yep … that’s not much. But it has been keeping me busy. That and procrastination.
Well, that’s all for now! I’ll see you Wednesday (supposing I’m able to put a post together). ๐Ÿ™‚

~Kellyn Roth~

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How’s your NaNoWriMo/November going? How much have you written (if any)? What’s going on in your life? Are you a procrastinator? Do you like the excerpt? Do you like border collies? (I’m gonna block you if you say no …)

What do you think of my thoughts?

38 Responses

  1. You’re on a roll with writing your book! I only have done like 2,000 words. ๐Ÿ˜› (Yes, I am behind! Already! ? Life is getting in the way for me as well.)

    1. Yes, I think so! I’m hoping to get a good head start so if/when I get writer’s block, I can rest easy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure you’ll catch up! You just have to persevere. And if not … that’s not the end of the world, either!

  2. Wow, I’m impressed with your plotting! I don’t have the patience to do all of THAT. XD Aw, I’m really sorry about your dog. Hopefully your new puppy, (if you get one) will be absolutely adorable!

    1. Well, it’s the only thing between me and certain procrastination/writer’s block. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yeah, it’s sad. But we did end up getting a new puppy – Aubrey – and she’s very cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Haha! When I get writer’s block, I a) almost throw the computer across the room and scream b) use physical and mental force to make myself write. That’s wonderful! What kind is she?

              1. Yup! I’m possibly getting a Samoyed Dog, and there’s a funny and true story about one:
                So, a Samoyed owner and his friend were talking outside. The dog wanted to be let out of inside and take a walk, but the owner wouldn’t listen. So then, the Samoyed locked the owner out! XD

  3. Wow! You’re on a roll with your novel! I kind of failed to outline in time, but I did some last minute stuff (like on the 2nd of Nov. or whatever) so I have an idea of what I’m doing. I’m only at 1300 words so far. It’s really fun to write, isn’t it? xD

    1. Well, NaNoWriMo makes me write super hard. I never finish a full-length novel before it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And people write at different speeds – there’s no “right” speed to write at. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. OOH YAY KELLYN. I love reading about other people’s NaNo updates, not sure why. Maybe because it’s a peek into another author’s process? I dunno. And yes, I hate it when life gets in the way of writing! XD

    1. Well, I’m glad you enjoy it! I enjoy reading other people’s updates sometimes, too. Though sometimes it depends on the person … if I don’t know the person at all, I can be slightly less interested. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for reading my post!

  5. This is my first time doing NaNo and I am already on 12k AND FEELING PROUD AS A PEACOCK (don’t question this okay) AND LIKE,,, I didn’t PLAN for any of this. No outline, no character profiles, just a general idea of the story and I AM WRITING?! o I am very much a panster for this.
    And yesss of course I am procastinator but with NaNo i’ve been doing quite good? *dies in surprise* Violet seems a bit of a mystery to me at this point but I love the way you write!!

    1. WOW, awesome, Ilsa! That’s so amazing! 12K in 4 days??? On your first time? And no outlines or character profile or anything? That’s epic! I would die without all my little plotter stuffs. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Yes, Violet is hard to understand … she’s basically another character I tortured until she broke. *weeps* *hits self* Awww, thanks! <3

  6. Nice progress!! I’m so excited about NaNoWriMo! Maybe because it actually looks like I’ll reach the 50K this year! ? Would you like to be writing buddies?

  7. I love the excerpt! And the puppy is so cuuute! <3
    I'm definitely a procrastinator but this time I got my butt organized and I wrote an actual outline so Nano is going surprisingly well! ๐Ÿ˜€ Life got in the way the past two days (my mom had to go to the hospital with thyroid problems so I was worried but she's ok now) so I'm still only at 4,638 words so far so I need to catch up today, but I'm not as stressed out as I thought I'd be, so that's nice. ๐Ÿ˜›

      1. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! SUCH AN ADORABLE PUPPY KELLYN!!!!!! AND I LOVE THE NAME THOSE NICKNAMES!!!!!!! So sad about Gidget…we didn’t have to put our dog down, but we had to get rid of him and it was really hard. :'(

  8. I mean…. puppies are nice from a distance, xD. AND I LOVE THE EXCERPT! <3 I can't wait to read the book omw.
    The best part of this post: "And Then There Was Life
    And Kell saw the Life. And Kell said that the Life was bad."

    1. *tsks* ๐Ÿ˜› I get you, though … although I really loves puppies. And animals in general, haha. As long as they’re not one of the animals I don’t like. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Haha, well, I’m the lord of this blog, soooo? *makes no sense*

        1. I actually dislike small dogs. ๐Ÿ˜›
          Yeah? I guess so? Though I wouldn’t call it logic so much as me stating a random something and pretending it makes sense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Hey! I’m a new reader of your blog, my name is Arhan. I really like this post. Looks like you’re going to have quite a hard time but fun too. ๐Ÿ˜›
    My blog: arhansavenue.wordpress.com (in case you want to check it out, hint hint ๐Ÿ™‚

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