The Ups and Downs of Week 2 – NaNoWriMo Q&A and Top Resources


I gotta be honest with you, writing this blog post took a lot of push on my part. I have no interest to type another word. I would rather be napping or resting my tired fingers. Writing my current work in progress is pretty much taking up all of my brain power as of late. We are on Day 12 (Yay! Almost two whole weeks!) of National Novel Writing Month, and I have a few updates and information to share with you.

The first week I was really great about staying on track.  Friday I put on my boss hat and hammered out 4,000 words in order to catch up and reach the quota. Today I find myself almost 8,000 words behind. I’ll be honest with you, this is SO tough. The words could have been better. I could have described many things in better depth. I could have elaborated on more scenes. But that’s not what NaNo is about, is it? It’s about telling the story to yourself so it can be refined later. I want to start my update with sharing a few things I’ve learned about myself and my WIP this week by answering a short Q&A. My goal is to inspire you with these questions and their answers. Feel free to use them in your own blog posts or simply answer them in a journal!

This concept and some of these questions were borrowed from the very talented author Briana Morgan’s post on her NaNoWriMo journey! Let’s get started:

> What scene has been the best to write so far?

My Protagonist is a professor and linguist, so she owns and lives in the only library in her city. I really enjoyed describing it, because to her the library is her world. It’s her everything. While physically it’s no bigger than the average coffee house, the things inside it are beautiful and consuming. Even though I was the one creating it, I couldn’t help but be a little fascinated by her little piece of heaven. It’s the opening scene while I’m establishing her personal status-quo. She lives in isolation in this fortress of books and I loved showing the reader just how happy she is there. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t get to stay.

> What has been the biggest challenge of NaNo in week 2?

Just getting the words out without backspacing. I’ve already decided on about fifteen things that need to change. Scenes that will be rewritten. Terminology I’ve decided to toss. I’m writing a high fantasy and much of it is completely fictional – including entire races of creatures and cities and landmarks. So much will need to change when I’m done with this draft, but I’m doing my best to just keep writing.

I also personally struggle with dialogue. It’s always been my downfall and every time my characters open their mouth I feel it’s coming out wrong. Oh well, editing.

> Why are you excited to tell this story?

In all my unfinished projects, I know this story has always been there. I’ve finally come up with a plot that I’m still excited about, despite it being day 14. I love these characters. I want to have coffee with them. I want to tell them it’s not going to be okay, but they’re going to be total bad asses when I’m finished with them. Most of all, I want the world to have access to this amazing story, and if it stays inside my head, that may never be possible.

> Describe your characters with one word:

Avaline: Vivacious
Tara: Disciplined
Sarenthia: Sharp
Atlas: Dark
Felix: Clever

> What has been the most helpful in reaching your word count goals?


Telling people I was doing NaNo has been the downfall to my laziness and procrastination. My husband and friends are constantly asking me how my word count is coming along. Whitney from Accio Books has my phone number and texts me regularly to check on me and update me on her journey. It’s been difficult not to write because I’ve surrounded myself with people who want me to succeed.

Online Resources

How To Write A Killer First Draft  via ShesNovel

6 Ways To Become Immensely Inspired via Writerology

How To Catch Up On Your Word Count via Meg Dowell

Sprint Your Way To Writing Sucess via The NaNoWriMo Blog

Author Pep Talks

I also want to take a minute to encourage all of you to read the pep talks when they squeeze into your NaNoMail. I know it may seem like you don’t have the time, but they’re well worth the read. The pep talk by Stephanie Perkins really resonated with me and I even designed a graphic for it featuring my favorite quote from the talk:


> What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from week 2?

I’m learning things about my story I never would have uncovered if I didn’t start writing it. No amount of brainstorming, research, or outlining could have brought me to uncovering the puzzle pieces I’ve been able to uncover by writing. Sometimes, it’s time to just dive in. Don’t worry about where it takes you or where the story goes. The first draft is all about you and taking the journey for the first time.

So that’s what’s going on in my head! I’m way behind, but I’m still chugging. Even if 50K doesn’t happen for me by the end of the month, I will finish writing this story. For the reasons above and so many more. I hope you’re enjoying your NaNo journey…and if you need any help from me you can ask in the comments or catch me on Twitter @NicoleLautore!

Happy Writing, Wrimos! 

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  1. I love your character names! After Orphan Black I can’t help but love the name Felix!

    I too am behind in week 2. I’m not a night writer and unfortunately this has been to my detriment. Here’s to catching up over the weekend!

    Maybe if I catch up I’ll answer a few of these myself on my blog. If… ha ha!

    1. Haha my roommate is OBSESSED with that show. I just really love the name Felix. 😛 I hope I can catch up this weekend as well! Happy writing, I hope it goes well for you! 🙂 <3

  2. Hey Nicole, I think you have the right attitude. Loveing the story and the character is the main part, I think, becuase NaNo IS hard and if you don’t love the story, you’ll just abandon it. I think your decision to finish the story rather than just win NaNo speaks a lot about your attachment ot it 🙂

    I agree with you, writing is the secret. I find that a lot of problem solve themselve if I just start writing. And in a way, writing is so liberating.

    Hold in it! Kepp writing!!!

    • Meg
    • November 14, 2015

    Hey Nicole, thanks for the resource referral! 🙂 I really enjoyed reading this post and am looking forward to checking out more of your work. Write on!

    1. Of course! I really enjoyed your post. And thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it. 🙂

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