Yesterday I passed the 45,000-word milestone while writing for NaNoWriMo. With six days left to write until the November 30th deadline, I don’t believe I’ll have a problem reaching 50,000 within 30 days.
What I Learned Since My Last Post
Every adventure in writing has its ups and downs, its fast times and its slow times. It’s exactly like reading a novel: there are exciting, fast-paced scenes, and there are slow, plot and character-building and transition scenes.
I’ve rediscovered that I enjoy writing scenes of conflict. This could be a sword fight (which doesn’t happen in this particular story) or an interesting argument between husband and wife (which does happen). I find it very difficult to close the file for the day when I’m in the middle of a conflict. It’s like taking a commercial break in the middle of a fist fight, saying, “I’ll be back after I make popcorn, and we’ll pick up where we left off.”
Ideas for quick comebacks and quirky lines are filling my head, and I just have to get them down. These great ideas won’t return tomorrow when I sit down to continue writing.
This is the reason my word count is so high.
During times of lull, I have to force myself to reach my word count for the day, as if I’m walking through three feet of snow. I have to keep telling myself the words must be written regardless of what they are. Get through this section and you will be rewarded with another conflict scene.
I didn’t worry about the words being perfect: this is the first draft.
Although I write free-style (free-range), there is a point in a story when I start to jot down in point form everything that needs to happen to tie up loose ends and bring the story to a close. It’s more like a grocery list than an outline.
This list is almost complete, which means the story is almost done. The contemporary adult novel will be longer than 50,000 words. I believe it will rest somewhere around 60,000. The main character—Mary Lola Barnes—is learning her decisions have caused her life to take unexpected turns and reveal ugly truths. She now has to deal with the repercussions.
Snippet (unedited): Mary wanted to believe him, but he didn’t know her life was falling apart. So many things had changed since her birthday in March, and almost all of it was her doing. Her actions had brought her to this point, had almost got her killed. Before she turned fifty, she never would have stopped on the sidewalk to dream about going on an exotic trip, so she would have seen that car coming or she would have already crossed the intersection and had been safely on her way home when it crashed. What was wrong with her? Maybe Richard was right. Maybe she was suffering from a mid-life crisis and her mind was unstable. It certainly felt that way.
And now I’m off to write my 1,667 words for the day.