Day 4, Sprint 7: Research, but no words

No words written today. My next scene is entirely new material. I have to get this right because the plot turns here. I refuse to skip over it because this was a major sticking point in 2008 and where I became bogged down. I’ve jotted down a possible structure for the scene, and created two research cards on the Kanban board. I have started looking into the topic on one of the research cards. I will work on same tomorrow.

Day 3, Sprint 7: 30,000 words closer to the finish line

Crazy, crazy day. Distractions everywhere. People in my cube at lunchtime when I was trying to write. I think they finally figured it out when I kept looking at my laptop screen, because they finally went away. Squeezing in my 500 words during at lunch works for me. I’m fresher in midday than I am after work. I can focus, even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes. And I achieved 699 words today. Will continue working on chapter 10 tomorrow. I’m getting to scenes that must be written from scratch. So far, over the last six-and-a-half sprints, I have accumulated more than 30,000 words, which is a third of a novel. Will I achieve NaNoWriMo status and finish? Probably not, but I will be in view of the finishing line by Nov. 30.

Day 2, Sprint 7: In with the new

I did very well today. 1000 words, which is double my quota, with some new material. Even though I wrote during lunch, I was in the zone. There were people around, but no distractions. There were personal issues at the front of my mind when I started, but I pushed them aside and made the writing a priority. I’m developing my new character Lulu, who just sort of came in and took over. She was unexpected, but her appearance tells me this process is working. Tomorrow, I start chapter 10.

Day 1, Sprint 7: Plot writes itself

980 words today. Trying to write during lunchtime was a bust because of constant busyness. So I wrote after dinner, however this was like cheating, leveraging word-for-word what already existed. However, some plot points related to events in the scene came to me while writing. Things I hadn’t “known” before. Why things had happened. That might sound a little odd, as if what I am writing doesn’t all come from me, but instead from an outside source. But that’s what it’s like sometimes. The plot resolves itself and sends me these little messages. So while I leveraged the words from the 2008 version of this story, the reasons behind things occurring in the scene are newly discovered. Tomorrow, I continue working on chapter 9.

Day 7, Sprint 6: Picking up speed

Last day of the sprint. I finished two chapters this week, 7 and 8. Today I’ve written 1104 words of chapter 9. I like the way it’s going. Still leveraging though, so I blew through the quota pretty fast. I seem to be doing my sprint reviews on the day before the last day of the sprint. Not sure why that is. Maybe because Sunday allows for more leisurely introspection. I think I will make Sprint 7 one day shorter, so that Sprint 8 will start on a Monday. Tomorrow I will continue to work on chapter 9. I’m well into the middle section of the novel now at 28,619 words.

Day 6, Sprint 6: Plot springs eternal

I gave birth to an entire chapter and a whole lot of plot today. 4065 words to complete chapter 8. And the plot fell out of the air and hit me on the head. This is why Agile fits the seat-of-your-pants novel writing style so well. As the pile of chapters grew on my hard drive, new ideas for characters and plot fell into my mind fully formed. Like today, it will happen when I’m in the shower. Sometimes I’m in the gym on the bike, or driving home from work. When I started this novel project nearly seven weeks ago, I didn’t know exactly how the novel would play out exactly. I lacked plot from the middle section on. Yet I trusted the creative process. By continuing to make progress, even though it’s only 500 words on the most blocker-filled days, it kept the story percolating in my head. Now, as I’m getting to that unfathomable middle section, the plot just came to me, just in time. It’s really quite a marvel when that happens. Tomorrow I will start on Chapter 9.

Day 4, Sprint 6: In the zone for a hot minute

Again, there was not enough calm at lunchtime to write much more than my quota. However, it was not just going through the motions. The action of the scene drew me in and I was in the zone, however briefly. Tomorrow is Saturday, and I should be able to accomplish more. Still progressing through chapter 7.

Day 3, Sprint 6: Day of distractions

What a scrambled day. I did manage to write 603 words, but it was like writing in a lightning storm at lunchtime, with all the crazy drama going on around me. I didn’t have time to consider or plot, just hack away at it. Tomorrow doesn’t seem to be shaping up any better as far as anticipated distractions, but I will keep working on chapter 7.

Day 2, Sprint 6: Showing, not telling

I’ve managed 551 words via rewriting work I did yesterday. It’s much more vivid now, not so much “telling” and more “showing.” This is good progress. Tomorrow, I will be back at the day job, so I will strategize on how to proceed on the next few scenes, so I have a good idea where I’m going and can move forward despite distractions.