We are about two-thirds of the way into November. I am happy to report that my National Novel Writing Month novel is coming along at the target pace. I have about 40,500 words right now, which is 81 percent of the way to the 50,000 word goal.
I am not saying they’re 40,500 good words. Some are. I’ve started editing (a NaNoWriMo no-no, perhaps, but more on that in a minute) and I think the first 2000 words and the last 2000 words are inspired.
The middle is an unholy mess.
There is also a structural problem, in that I have sketched out all the scenes I listed in my outline. Those sketches have put me at 40,000 words, but the ending of the book really feels like it has the scope of wrapping up something in the 100,000 word range.
What will those extra words be about? I have no idea. That’s why I’m editing. I’m taking needless words out and putting in new scenes.
But I do know that it is harder to turn nothing into something than to turn something into something better. My goal is simply to have a draft of this novel I’ve been noodling about for the last year. That is the beauty of NaNoWriMo. Stick with it and you will have a draft. Which is better than not having a draft!
Carving out space for fiction writing has also been teaching me more about myself. Namely, that I really like writing fiction. On Friday evening, my husband took the four kids to a Polar Express movie night at our church. While they were gone, I poured myself a glass of wine and cranked out 3000 words. It was the end of a long week, but I was happy as a clam. Now I just need to figure out how to carve out more space.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you?
Photo: Wintry November scene from a family hike along part of the Appalachian Trail this weekend.