NaNo Update #4

Progress (word count or a general status update): 22,611

Current Mood: Eh. I didn’t write AT ALL on Sunday, and I payed for it yesterday. It was hard to get back into the mood, though I did manage to knock out 2,371 words. I’m approaching the dreaded “sagging middle” (am I the only writer who hates that term?) and I’m stressing about keeping the story’s momentum going. That said, I still like my story, and I still enjoy being immersed in its world. I referred to my daughter as Bree the other day, which is my MC’s name. So that’s fun.

Inspiration: Simple…

Goals as of Today: My girlie’s school has a week of half-days thanks to parent/teacher conferences, so my goal is to keep my head above water. That means, log at least 1,600 words a day. In my perfect world, I’ll hit 2K every day through Friday.

Recent Favorite NaNo WiP Bit:

Their two conversations, brief and random as they’d been, had somehow become the highlight of Bree’s week. Good weird, he’d written in his note. She couldn’t help but agree. 

After a relatively quiet breakfast with her parents, she got dressed for school. The little slip of paper on which Duncan had scribbled his note found its way into the small inner pocket of her bag. It gave the bag added weight, a pleasant solidity that kept Bree tethered to the ground as the day wore on. 

Non-NaNo News (because life DOES go on): Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing about my runner’s injury… Wait — You too?! My sciatic nerve is still giving me grief. I ran a slow five miles on Saturday and suffered the consequences all day Sunday. The good news is that I now know that I’m capable of pushing through the pain. So, watch out Big Sur!

In other news, I got my match for Sip Swap 2012 hosted by  Kelsey and Jessica. Now I’m even more excited about the swap because my my match is someone I know through her blog and mine. If you’re reading this right now, you *might* be my match. Can’t wait to go mug shopping!

In my downtime (ha!) I’m reading: Starters by Lissa Price. I’m about 130 pages in and honestly, I thought I was going to be annoyed by this book. But I’m not — not even a little bit! The main character is turning out to be all kinds of likable.  Starters is a page turner, and it’s kept me guessing which, considering the dystopian-saturated YA world in which we live, is pretty impressive.

You should read this blog post: Your Style, Your Voice, and Why, Yes, You Are a Special Snowflake By: Writer Amanda Hannah (via YA HighwayBecause: The post defines the sometimes confusing term “voice,” which we hear so often in the writing world, and tells us how our own voice is like a fingerprint we leave on our readers.

You should also read this blog post: 12 Movies That Inspired My Love of YA (And Influenced the Way I Write It) By: Moi! (Over at YA ConfidentialBecause: Teen movies are the best, and I’d love to hear about your favorites.

Gratuitous Photograph (because I love ‘em!):

I hosted a baby shower for a lovely friend on Sunday, and this little guy helped set the mood. Directions for making one of your own are HERE.

Hangin’ out with my favorite girl.

Tell Me: What are you reading? How’s your writing coming along? How’s your week shaping up?


28 thoughts on “NaNo Update #4

  1. kford2007 says:

    Congrats on your word count and just to let you know, I’ve called my son by my MC’s first name, too. My hubby got suspicious, wanting to know who David was. After he realized I was certifiably insane and calling my son by imaginary names, he shook his head and went back to watching football.

    I joined up on the Sip Swap and got a gal in a part of NY ravaged by hurricane Sandy. I hope my little mug makes her feel better. I took extra care picking one out for her. What a great idea.

    I’ll have to check out the book by Hannah. Thanks for the heads up.

    As always, love your pics. Happy writing and running, and make sure you give extra hugs and kisses to the wee bit. She’s adorable. (She looks like you, too.)

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Jenny! I’m sure the mug you chose for the Sip Swap will brighten your match’s day. It’s so fun to get a surprise in the mail, especially, I imagine, after something as trying and tragic as a natural disaster. I sent my mug off to my match today… I hope she loves it!

  2. Meredith says:

    That’s a great word count for this point in NaNo! I am severely slacking. I didn’t write a single word the entire three-day weekend. Not one. I’m working off an outline, but I left a lot of gaps, and filling them is proving to be a lot more challenging than I planned on. :/

    Sorry you’re still not feeling better, but at least you can push through it for your race!

    • katyupperman says:

      I hope so. I’m going back to my doctor tomorrow, so we shall see. I hope you’re not too stressed about taking the weekend off from writing. I’d say you’ve earned it. When I’m stuck, sometimes taking a step back helps to unstick my brain. Hopefully you’ll be able to dive back into your story soon, or at least fill in some of those outline gaps. Best of luck, Meredith!

  3. Liz Parker (@LizParkerWrites) says:

    I loved that post on voice, so good choice in sharing. I’m glad you’re still going to be able to do your half(?) marathon, but don’t hurt yourself worse! Your 2,371 words have inspired me to push through today. I’m getting into that middle part, too, and am struggling a bit. I need more historical research to really set the scenes for a few chapters–so I’m going to have a lot of [ADD HISTORICAL SETTING INFO] tags. You’re so close to 25k! Have a good week and good luck!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Liz! I’m so impressed with the word count you logged today. Way to put that lunch break to good use! I’m about 900 words from my halfway mark, and I’m hoping to hit it tonight… fingers crossed!

  4. Mrs. Silverstein says:

    I’m so excited about Sip Swap…I think I might go shopping on my trip to NY this week! Such a fun idea.

    I totally love that snippet…I still have bits of old HS notes that I carried around like that. I got such butterflies in my stomach reading that.

    • katyupperman says:

      Ooh, NY is a wonderful place to shop… Lucky girl!

      I was the same with notes from high school. This was, of course, long before text messages, but I liked the idea of my MC having something tangible from her eventual love interests… Hopefully it works!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Wooo hooo! Congrats on your word count Katy!!! I’m not doing NaNo this year, but I have my pom poms and am cheering for you guys who are!!!!!

  6. Rachel says:

    Congrats on your word count, katy! I also signed up for Sip Swap. I don’t know my person personally (okay weird to write out) but I found a super cute Scrabble mug with their first initial on it. Simple yet cool:) NaNo has been helping me push through and finish my rewrites. I’m now at 47,195 words and I am SO happy with this draft!! I have a feeling I’ll be finished sooner than expected which means….more time for revisions after this draft. LOL! Have a great week and take it easy with your girl 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh, that mug sounds adorable, Rachel. I bet your match will love it! And congrats on all the progress you’ve made with your draft. You are rocking your rewrite!

  7. Rebecca B says:

    I hate the term “sagging middle,” too. I used “muddled middle,” which is cheesy but lacks the saggy imagery at least. And yes, I am still trapped in the muddled middle of my WIP. So close to the end, yet so far away. . . . 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Okay, I’m adopting “muddled middle.” So much cuter than SAGGING middle. Bleh.

      I know what you mean about that point where the end is in sight, yet seems impossibly far away, too. Can’t wait to be there with this first draft!

  8. Tracey Neithercott (@T_Neithercott) says:

    I don’t hate the term “sagging middle” as much as I hate the actual sagging middle. You’re doing great at NaNo, by the way. I’ve been writing way less than I’ve wanted to. Figures the day job would pick November as the month to do ALL THE THINGS. I love these updates. I hope you don’t mind if I completely steal your idea and follow the template on my blog.

  9. Jaime Morrow says:

    Great snippet, Katy! You’re doing so much better at this NaNo thing than I am. 🙂 I’ve sort of lost momentum, but oddly, I’m not stressing much about it. Since I’m finishing a story off, I definitely don’t need the full 50,000 words. That allows me to putter away at it and make sure I like what I’m writing. The other day I became seriously disenchanted with what I was writing, so I had to walk away. It was really getting ‘saggy’. 😛

    Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts on STARTERS. I’ve been wondering about it, and now I think I’ll read it for sure. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      You’ll have to let me know what you think of STARTERS, Jaime. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out in the end. So far, so good, though!

      You are not alone in your occasional need to step away from your story. I feel that way often, which is why I usually write in bursts of 1000-1500 words. Any more than that, and my brain usually comes up empty. Then again, sometimes it comes up empty after 50 words, so… 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Jess! As you know, I feel EXACTLY the same way about your writing. And thank you (and Kelsey) so much for coming up with the Sip Swap idea. I bought and sent my mug off today… So excited for my match to get it!

  10. stephscottil says:

    I heard Starters was good; I’m selective on which dystopians I read bc I’ve been disappointed by so many of them, but I collect those comments in the back of my mind for consideration. I had to read Divergent since so many people recommended it.

    Good luck with Nano! The first Sunday of November I churned out an impressive word count which carried me through the next week. so I’ve been ahead even with mediocre word counts other days. Now I’m just barely ahead so I need to get back to work. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough story for 50k but after re-evaluating, I think I’m good. I’m not a plotter so I have to make myself write out plot points ahead of time.

    • katyupperman says:

      I’m picky about dystopians too. I’ve started and quit so many this year! STARTERS is good… Spare prose, super-fast pace, fascinating premise. Of course, major suspension of belief is required to truly enjoy it. 🙂

      Way to go on NaNo so far! I was worried about having enough story too, but like you, I think I’ll be good to go. Best of luck with “winning!”

  11. Sophia Richardson says:

    That inspiration is right on. I need to figure out what I want to read/write about, otherwise I will continue to sit around not writing! I was reading Jeffrey Eugenide’s The Marriage Plot (’twas good), but now I’m reading my third Malcolm Gladwell nonfiction; short to read and interesting, win. Good luck with the second half of NaNo!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks so much, Sophia! I’ve only read OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell, and it made me feel a like a slacker parent because I’m not forcing my daughter to practice a sport/instrument/language/activity forty hours a week. (Yikes!) His concepts are super compelling, though!

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