How I’m really doing with novel-writing mania.

Today, I thought I should grumble a little.


As I write this novel, I am really excited and I have a strong sense of ‘Oh-my-God-I-may-actually-finish-this!’ But at the same time, I’m highly critical of my work. I’m not a great fan of my main character at the moment. It worries me because there’s a fair bit of me in her so I should like her, right? There may a psychological explanation for that one. Also, I think I’m not funny enough in my writing. I’m naturally quite witty person in real life but I find that I’m taking a rather serious voice in the book. It’s not bad but I’m not sure if it’s good either.  Then, there’s my characters. I think I have too many, to be honest. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m at a loss for how to keep up with them. There’s the occasional dilemma of whether I should name the door man or the receptionist when they will probably never appear again. I ask myself it’s important to know Frank’s home address. And I wonder whether it’s okay that I’ve made up half a dozen places in London!


Oh well. The pep talk on NaNo this week was at about ignoring the irrelevancies such as the characters’ goings and comings, and whether they opened the door and left or whether they showered before going to work. It’s funny because I was just wondering about that yesterday. The advice of Jonathan Letham on this week’s pep talk was to let your characters ‘leave without leaving’ if you get the drift.


Alas I’ll press on this weekend. I’m roughly 30% complete when I should really be 34% or so done but I won’t let that depress me. I tried to do something spontaneous with my main character last week by having her steal something, have a one night stand, get arrested or something like that. But I think I’m somehow protecting her… but I brought myself to allow her get drunk :-). In a strange way, It’s like having her misbehave will reflect badly on me even though the story is fabricated (of course). I’ll try to push through that this weekend. It may put me in sour mood as my dear girl wonders off into some rubbish act but I think it’s worth it.


Thanks for reading!


  1. i don’t even want to calculate the percentage of planned vs. actual wordcount, far too depressing… eightthousand-something sounds much better 😉


  2. Ariel Price says:

    Good job! You’re farther than I am. And it’s ok… I worry about the little things too. But, hey, little things hike up that word count. I’m sure your main character is great. I’m enjoying reading your updates!


  3. Seeing earnest people like you, I am tempted to embark on a similar odessey. Never too late to grow young.
    A novel is somewhat like your child.while it is nascent or adoloscent, you have to be careful to see that it doesn’t go wayward. When it matures, you just let it go its way. Hopefully, it brings you laurels.


  4. Kemi, it’s not unusual to worry about these things, but during Nano, don’t think, just write. 🙂 There will be plenty of time later to analyze and strategize the rewrite. (And believe me, there will be a rewrite, or two, or three, or…).

    I think it’s quite common for writers to inject much of themselves into their early works. But as you’ve found, it sometimes is a bit too close for comfort and makes you want to censor your writing. I certainly experienced that with my early novels. As you continue with Nano, why not have some fun and have your main character do something you’d absolutely never think of doing. Something that would make your jaw drop. The crazier the better. This may loosen you up a bit, and you can always edit it out later if it doesn’t work for the novel.

    Good luck! You’re doing great.



  1. […] How I'm really doing with novel-writing mania. ( […]


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