As of the writing of this entry, we’re eighteen days into National Novel Writing Month and things are going wonderfully! This isn’t necessarily true for my characters (this is officially the most depressing book I’ve even written), but for me, the words are coming without too much difficulty.
Let’s get into some specifics.
Reaching 50k- I’m happy to report that I crossed the 50k mark on November 18th, which ties my previous record (Red and Black 2 back in 2016) for fastest to 50k. Now for a lot of people, this isn’t just a big deal. it’s the end goal! After all, you need to write 50k in order to win NaNoWriMo. But for me, I’m struggling to bask in the glory of this significant milestone. Part of this is practical, as my books are always longer than 50k. At the same time, it can be difficult for me to celebrate my own achievements, as my attention is always on the next hurdle.
For example, Red and Black has recently made it into two libraries. Recently, someone pointed out to me how wonderful this is, but all I could think about was how the copies were not circulating as I would like them to. It can be hard to slow down sometimes, and it’s important to think ahead, but sometimes you need to learn to stop and smell the roses. Or at least, I do!
Closing the Gap- As previously mentioned, part of the reason why I’m able to write so quickly is because I’ve made plenty of notes out ahead of time. It’s not outlining as much as it’s just freewriting my ideas. When I started NaNoWriMo, I had the first eight chapters planned out, giving me quite an impressive lead. And throughout the month I have continued to think ahead about where the story needed to go next. Unfortunately, my swift wordcount meant that I was writing faster than I was planning, and my prep work is down from eight chapters, to a page and a half.
I’m on vacation this week, meaning that I can take the time to do a lot of prepwork, but without the impressive lead that I once had, my daily word counts are unlikely to be as impressive as they once were.
The Next Challenge- Writing 50k during NaNoWriMo is totally achievable to me. I’ve done it eight times after all. But I’ve only managed to finish the novel during NaNoWriMo once (FYI- this was also Red and Black 2). The reasoning behind this is simple. For one thing, my books tend to be a bit longer than 50k. Secondly, the further I get into a story, the harder it is for me to write. Yes, there is something intimidating about the sight of a blank page, but the beginning of a book is the easiest part for me. The middle comes with plenty of speed bumps, but is still doable. Endings are what kill me. No matter how much I plan, nothing seems to come together quite as I’d like As a result, my writing slows down near an end of the book, which keeps me writing into December.
And I would love to be able to finish this book before December 1st.
I hope that everyone’s NaNoWriMo adventures are going well!