MIGHTY PEN: Sifa Elizabeth Poulton
It is amazing to me that we’re STILL not two-thirds of the way through November, yet we now have TWO Mighty Pens! Congratulations, Sifa, for winning NaNoWriMo 2018!! I’m so impressed, and so glad you joined The Mighty Pens. Everybody, give her a round of applause. Read below for some of her lovely experiences.
Interview with a Mighty Pen: Sifa
What’s one thing that changed in your expectations for your project from November 1 to now?
Originally, I thought I was really going to struggle to hit 50k as I’d just started university and had a somewhat terrifyingly full schedule. The first few days were really hard (I had an assignment in on Monday), but then I just sat down and wrote all weekend, more or less catching up. That was the ‘I can actually do this’ point. I’ve made sure I had at least an hour or two to write in the evening (some days I probably shouldn’t have!), and just watched my word count steadily rise.
What moment in NaNoWriMo18 stands out the most to you?
The first time I met the York WriMos (we’ve decided it stands for writing monster) and realise there were actually people out there behind the names and word counts. They’re the geekiest, loveliest people who are more than willing to talk the best way to execute a character or give you crazy (and not so crazy) plot ideas when you have no idea what to do. They’re such a big encouragement (as are the other writing groups I’m part of).
What’s something you’ve learned, or that you’re proud of, from this year’s NaNo?
I’ve learnt a lot about plotting thanks to watching Susan Dennard’s video on Sightwitch draft zero. I’d really been struggling to get to grips with the plot as I wanted a lot of twisty political schemes and had all of these elements, but no idea how they all linked. So I gave her method a try. It took five hours, and required moving the furniture to the edges of the room so I space, but I ended up with a coherent plot full of intircate schemes.
Any advice for yourself or others for next year’s NaNo, if you’re able to participate again?
That sitting down and writing something – be it 500 words or 5k – is the important bit. The actual number of words written isn’t. The first few days would have a lot easy (and every Monday!) if I’d been happy with the fact that I had written 50 words because at least I’d done something. Instead, I was hung up over the fact that the daily word count bar wasn’t green.
<3 Good luck with the rest of NaNo, and keep fundraising for NaNo + prizes!