“Throw all caution to the wind” they say. National Novel Writer’s Month is about not having to worry about the technical processes that are required in novel writing.

This is the first time I’ve done NaNoWriMo and I’ve followed the advice handed out by the many people out there. I spent a month planning my novel Divine Intervention. In fact I spent so much time preparing and planning that I thought if I didn’t stop planning, my plans would become the story.

Yet once the time came, and I set my alarm for six a.m. Sunday 1st November 2009, found it incredibly difficult to write the novel. The first few thousand words just rolled off the mind and puff … it was all gone and I suddenly felt this incredible pressure. I had to write 50,000 words in the next 30days.

Beyond my writing space my life was a little crazy anyway, I was about to start a temporary promotion at work and I knew that towards the end of the month there would be little time left to write.

I guess you could say I – like many other people – am afraid of failure. My refusal to fail at National Novel Writing Month has turned Divine Intervention into unspeakable mess, the voice of Gabrielle is bland, and her exciting life as a guardian angel is not so riveting. My secondary characters are flat and my hero, Kyle, he would cower in a corner crying “please don’t hit me” if you some much as raised your voice at him. …

Mmm…. A lot of work to do I guess. (Ha-ha understatement!)

On reflection, where I haven’t enjoyed the pressure of getting up at 5:30 writing for an hour before going to work, working sometimes almost 12 hours and then coming home to write some more … I have learnt that I am not a planner when it comes to writing. Knowing my characters strengths and their flaws, knowing their mannerisms and their lives inside out at the beginning doesn’t work for me. My characters grow with the plot and it’s their growth that shapes the narrative voice.

I have plans for Divine Intervention. I am caught between two choices of “for whom? And where?” for what I do with it when the novel is completed. I’ll be looking at this from a business prospective rather that a creative prospective and once the audience and market is decided, Gabrielle and Kyle’s story will begin again.

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